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On April 28th, five of us from the Big Island attended the State League Convention as delegates: Leilani Bronson-Crelly, Sara Burgess, Lois Cecil, Donna Oba, and myself. We enjoyed hearing Mazie Hirono discuss her experiences as a Congressional newbie.

After a two-year term as State President, Sue Irvine handed over the gavel to Jackie Parnell. Convention delegates were as appreciative for her service as we have been. You can read her President's Report and see the convention booklet on the state's website at www.LWV-Hawaii.com. Minutes should be posted there soon.

As always, the convention is a chance to meet League members and find out what's going on on Kauai and Oahu. (Maui still is not a full-fledged League and sent no representatives to the convention.)

Some of the ideas I came away with . . .

  1. Interest in the question of whether to have a Constitutional Convention in 2010. LWV has a position from 1996, which needs to be reviewed. It will go forward as a study, aiming for consensus by August 2008.
  2. Review of the Vote-by-Mail Study done by Marian Wilkins. Kauai never approved the position, but now wants to re-examine the question. They will lead the review, although they have asked for Marian's help.
  3. Development of a training pamphlet/video under the leadership of JoAnn Maruoka. This would be a guide to how a bill becomes law and how League members and the general public can take a position and testify. County Leagues could add their county info and use it both for in-house and for outreach to other organizations.
  4. Fund raising using the film "Iron-Jawed Angels." The film details the very difficult battle that women fought for the vote. This is Suzanne Meisenzhal's idea. She intends to try it in Honolulu and thinks neighbor islands could use her plan if it works out okay. We might use the film for an in-house program sometime, if we can find someone with a big-screen television willing to let us come to her home.
  5. On-going study of public access television channels, headed by Carol Bain from Kauai and Jo Judy, who now lives on the Big Island. This is a fascinating topic, examining the use of public money for the airwaves and the way funds have been used. Stay tuned for more about that study and where you can read related information.
  6. A possible study on voter turnout led by Honolulu League members.

Reminder that the National League Convention will be in Washington, D.C. on June 7-11. It's late notice, but if you are going to be in D.C. on those dates, let me know. For the rest of us, we can check the national website in a couple of weeks to see what went on.

Sue Dursin

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