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December 1966

From the Convention
Election Law Report (Nan Lowers)
Ethics in Government: Why Ethics, Why League, Why Now? (Nancy Dykes)
Voter Service (Sue Thorndike)
Letter from the President (Marguerite Simson)

Letter from the President

This past year, the emphasis of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii has been on informed and active Leaguers. This is as it should be. There was much for a new State League to learn. The first state study item, Election Laws and Election Law Administration, was the kind of study about which every League member could be expected to became well informed and to reach decisions. Not only were decisions reached, but one of those decisions was acted upon as the new State League helped to pass legislation on military voting.

In order to lobby effectively, it was necessary for League members to inform themselves further. A first-hand study of the legislature -- by direct observation -was carried on at the same time that a weekly series of discussions was being held with experts in "legislative effectiveness." Information gleaned from these sources was passed on to those members unable to directly participate through the three issues of the Legislative Newsletter. Much has been learned and what was learned has been translated into action. As I said, that is as it should be.

In this election year, however, the State League must turn its efforts to informing and stimulating citizens through Voters Service. Voters Service is one of the primary functions of the League as a regular part of our program -- but especially during an election year. Because of reapportionment, the kind of non-partisan information on registration, voting procedures, candidates and issues which the League can offer is, if anything, more important than ever.

Plans for state-wide coverage will be sent to local leagues, along with requests for help in carrying them out. Just as every member was expected to become informed on League program in order that the League's legislative efforts might be effective, so every member's support will be necessary in order that the League may effectively help Hawaii's citizens to become informed voters before this fall's elections. This, too, is as it should be.

I do not mean to imply that we should slack off on our job of informing ourselves. In fact, just the opposite is true. With a new study item, Ethics in State Government, added to the agenda we have a responsibility to ourselves as well as to the electorate. It does mean that we must channel at least as much energy outward into the community as we direct inward.

League delegates from all over the nation at the National Convention in Denver last month re-affirmed the purpose of the League. Informing ourselves and acting on our information fulfill only part of that purpose. Stimulating citizen interest throughout the State is equally important.

Marguerite Simson
President League of Women Voters of Hawaii

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