Fall 1999 Home   Newsletters

Summer 2000

Council Edition 2000

State Council Meeting 2000
President's Message (Virginia Isbell)
Members Wanted for I & R Study Committee (Marian Wilkins)
Democracy Network (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Legislative Program 2000 (Jean Aoki)
Campaign Finance Reform Bill (Laure Dillon)
Raywid Busy on Education Front!
Access Room Celebrates 10th Anniversary! (Jean Aoki)
League Local News - Honolulu (Grace Furukawa)
League Local News - Big Island (Virginia Isbell)
League Local News - Kauai (Carol Bain)

Democracy Network

Hawaii Voters to have Online Access to Unbiased Resource

LWVUS Education Fund together with their partners Grassroots.com, and the Center for Governmental Studios are creating an easy-to-use website called Democracy Network (DNet). The program is designed to enrich and add new ways of engaging citizens and to strengthen League's ability to work in coalitions and diverse environments.

On January 2000 LWVUS/ LWVEF boards approved a three-way agreement which allows the DNet technology and personnel to be acquired by Grassroots.com. Grassroots. com, based in San Francisco, is a new Internet corporation founded with the mission of reconnecting Americans with their political system in an open, nonpartisan online community. The management team is committed to a public service mission.

DNet is an online system (www.dnet.org) that supports communication between candidates, ballot measure groups, affiliates and voters. DNet is designed to track, local, state and national election information for offices and candidates in all 50 states. This nonpartisan, interactive online system will provide voters with a onestop shop for all election and campaign information simply by inputting their zip code. Try it.

In addition to coordinating office and candidate information we will also be able to manage other election information, including voting information, calendars, news, officeholders, issues and endorsers. Candidates will be encouraged to address a wider range of issues, and to address those in greater depth, than they might in other media.

The goal is to increase voter understanding of important public policy problems, allow candidates to debate their positions in an "electronic town hall" before online audiences, and help to reduce the pressure on candidates to raise campaign funds. DNet will foster greater civic participation and interaction between voters and candidates, and create new online political communities.

League of Women Voters is an important tool that puts the League on the leading edge of today's intersection between technology and public policy. As DNet grows it will help facilitate LWV efforts in other projects, membership and communication.

On March 4th I attended the LWVUS Western Regional Training Conference for DNet to be trained as an Affiliate Manager responsible for creating and managing the site in our state. Our task now is to develop a team of local administrators charged with contacting our state and local candidates. Candidates will be encouraged to input their own data. If you'd like to learn more about this exciting project and might be willing to join the team, please contact your local league or email me at suzannemeis@cs.com, phone 808 735-5998 or fax 808 926-3202.

Suzanne Meisenzahl

Fall 1999 Home   Newsletters Council Edition 2000