Call to Convention
President's Message (Evelyn Bender)
Campaign Finance Reform -- A Hot Issue
League Position on Campaign Finance
Board Meeting Notes
Bylaw Changes Proposed
Why Americans Hate Politics - Book Review (Anne Borgen)
Telephone Reference Unit Begins
LWVHI Proposed Budget 1993-1994
Big Island LWV Reports
It seems like only yesterday that I was writing my first President's Message and now I am writing the last one. It has been an honor to have served as your State President but now it is time to pass the gavel on to others.
While much progress has been made in many areas these last two years, there were times when it seemed like we were going backwards. This was especially true on the national level where we were able to get legislation through Congress only to have it vetoed by President Bush. He was also able to restrict much of our reproductive rights agenda.
The new Clinton Administration brings hope and encouragement. Not only has President Clinton promised to sign legislation on motor-voter registration, campaign finance reform, and freedom of choice if they reach his desk but in January 1993, on the 20th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, he issued a series of Executive Orders reversing several of the Bush restrictions on reproductive rights. These restrictions included the prohibition of abortion referrals and counseling in federally funded clinics; the prohibition of military hospitals from performing abortions for service personnel willing to pay for the procedure; the prohibition of the use of fetal tissue obtained from abortions for federally funded medical research; and the prohibition of international family planning aid for programs that provide abortion services, counseling, and referrals. At the same time, Clinton directed the Food and Drug Administration to reexamine its policy with regard to RU-486 to determine whether the "import alert" is justified.
On the state level, the League completed its study on Multifamily Residential Leasehold and came to a consensus. The study on Home Rule has stalled not because of lack of interest but because of uncertainty as how to proceed. The topic was much more complicated than originally perceived. We participated in the National Study on Health Care.
We helped prepare and distribute a Voters Guide for congressional and state legislative offices prior to the 1992 Primary Election. While the State and Local Leagues conducted registration drives, held forums, and disseminated information about voting and on the various issues, we, along with the Lt. Governor and others, were very discouraged about the low voter turnout in Hawaii. While voter turnout increased nationwide, the turnout here was one of the lowest. There have been several reasons given for this-the high number of military here who vote absentee elsewhere, the cynicism of some voters here, our practically one-party government, and the fact that the nation election results are known before our polls are closed. The League along with others will have to explore this area and take part in measures to try to bring up voter participation.
The League has been very active at the State Capitol and had several successes in the 1992 legislative session in firearms control, election reform, reapportionment, and the filling of midterm legislative vacancies. Our activities in the 1993 session are reported elsewhere in this issue. Hopefully we will have a few successes.
I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to all of you who have given me moral, physical, and financial support these past two years. I wish the new President and Board much success and promise to help them where I can. I sincerely hope all of you will too.