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Spring 2002

Council 2002

President's Message: Hawaii Has the Most Apathetic Voter Turnout... (Maile Bay)
Redistricting Work Done (Jean Aoki)
Support for Voting for Incarcerated Felons (Dorothy Cornell)
How it Looks for Schools in the Legislature (Mary Anne Raywid)
Invitation: Saunders Hall Dedication
One Afternoon at the Legislature (Jean Aoki)
Ice (Marian Wilkins)
Campaign Finance Reform (HCE) (Laure Dillon)
Local League News - Big Island - Kona (Marian Wilkins)
Local League News - Big Island - Hilo (Alberta Lindsay)
Local League News - Honolulu (Pearl Johnson)
Local League News - Kauai (Carol Bain)
Lunch 'n' Learn the Law
Council Meeting May 18

President's Message: Hawaii Has the Most Apathetic Voter Turnout in the Nation

Why is this so? How can we teach others that we must use this most basic tool to keep democracy alive? It is the only way in which we can control politics and decide whom our decision-makers will be.

Our children are not voting. Voting must become a "rite of passage" that is celebrated as an act of becoming an "adult" -- an act to control our fate and to take responsibility for the actions of those whom we elect. We have allowed Madison Avenue and Wall Street to dictate the "rites" that mark the passage to adulthood. By default, driving, drinking, smoking, becoming sexually active, and consuming, are their "rites" to coming of age.

The time has come for all of us to revisit the "rites" of our modem culture. Let us find a way to make voting one of those rites that we practice, over and over and over, each time the opportunity arises. Let us reward our children as they take that step into living democracy.

Miscellaneous Musings

Too sadly, our traditions are being transferred to a box of fried chicken or a jingle that gets stuck in one's head. This week, when nearly 2,000 Kentucky Fried Chicken executives met in Waikiki, I learned that their franchises are booming since September 11, recording off-the-chart profits. Some speculate that the American people are seeking comfort food in these times of stress. Guess KFC serves up food as close as some can get to an old fashioned supper placed on the dinner table.

After the conclusion of the Winter Olympics, I stayed stuck in front of the television for a few more nights and witnessed what the public sees night after night. Wow, was I surprised. Sexual pun after sexual innuendo and even a roll in the hay on various shows that the remote clicked on when the hour was only 7 pm. Most children who can walk and talk are still up, watching and listening to this "adult" tare. One would think that adult behavior revolves totally around our sexual organs and making inane or mean comments to each other. Few character actors have any cerebral qualities. Nary was there even a reference to civic involvement other than an emergency police, fire, or ambulance response.

In between the shows, we saw more advertising for what we should have or be. -- More traditions to be purchased and how to feel whole with the leather interior, the cool tall refreshing one, the ultimate vacation cruise, and so on and so on. Loads of the use of "Old Glory" and red, white, and blue to catch the eye, but no message on how to be a good citizen, or how citizenship and voting go hand in hand in creating a democratic climate that allows all this "free trade" and consumption to continue.

We need to teach people why they need to vote. Get your children to vote, reward them with the highest praise. We are living in times that need the people to take an active role in democracy, and voting is the core act to ensure that democracy remains "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Aloha mai,
Maile M. Bay

LWV - Hawaii

Maile Bay - President
Jacqueline Parnell - Vice President
Grace Furukawa - Secretary
Janet Mason - Treasurer

Jean Aoki
Sunni Baran
Meda Chesney-Lind
Suzanne Meisenzahl

Publication Editors
Mary Anne Raywid
Suzanne Meisenzahl

Jonalynn Sing

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