Spring 1997 Home   Newsletters

Summer 1997


President's Message (Jean Aoki)
Bonnie Campbell Keynotes Violence Against Women Forum
State League Convention
Should We Mandate Expenditure Limits? (Robert Y. Watada)
Making Democracy Work
Open Government Coalition (Eve S. Anderson)
E-mail v. Public Officials and the Sunshine Law
United Nations DPI/NGO Conference
Voting Requirements for a Constitutional Convention
Local League News - Hawaii County
Local League News - Honolulu
Local League News - Kauai
State Board Action
Get the Lowdown on the Legislature (Richard Borreca)
LWV of Kauai Wins Award
Fourth Annual Violence Against Women Luncheon Forum
Council '97

Open Government Coalition

On June 7, 1997, I represented the league at the third meeting of the Open Government Coalition of Hawaii. The purpose of this meeting was to further discuss the importance of our First Amendment rights and how best to build a community group to keep a watchful eye on government as it attempts to make it more difficult to get requested information.

A steering committee was formed to put together a viable organization. Representatives from Common Cause, the Honolulu Community Media Council, the Society of Professional Journalists, the U.H. School of Journalism, the League of Women Voters, teachers and community members were present. Other individuals and groups will be invited to join. A Web site connecting all states will be set up to share information concerning the Freedom of Information issue.

Desmond Byrne, president of Common Cause, reported on the National FOI Coalition Conference held in Oklahoma City in April. Among the issues discussed at this conference were the ownership by citizens of all government information since our taxes finance the gathering and compiling of all government data, the public's right to know versus the right to privacy of individuals, the assessment of charges that are fair for the retrieval and copying of information requested, and the need to educate the public on their right to information and on the importance of ensuring that government conducts the public's business openly.

Three items suggested as initial activities for the coalition were: (1) a survey of current issues and controversies, (2) a review of Office of Information Practices (OIP) Draft Rules, and (3) the gathering and distribution of resource materials to members.

The league is committed to improving openness in government. Being a strong member of this new coalition is most important to ensure public access to government processes and information in a timely manner.

Eve S. Anderson

Spring 1997 Home   Newsletters Fall1997