Winter 1998 Home   Newsletters

Spring 1999

Fall 1999

President's Message
Vote by Mail Study
State League Convention
High Cost of the Initiative Process
Legislative Reports
Local League News - Hawaii County (Marian Wilkins)
Local League News - Honolulu (Grace Furukawa)
Local League News - Kauai County (Carol Bain)
Council '99
Membership Survey on Domestic Partnerships
Education Committee Report (Mary Anne Raywid)
Education Bills
League Office Now Wired
Millennium Young People's Conference
PLCO-Hawaii Still Recruiting
Proposed LWV Budget FY 1999-2000

President's Message

The hardest part of being a school teacher for me came in June when I had the time to reflect on the things left uncompleted, the goals not reached, the student I really could not reach, wishing I could have helped another one more. At that point, the successes do not mitigate the agonizing over the failures.

It is with this same feeling that I approach the end of my term as president of The League of Women Voters of Hawaii.

There is no question that it has been an eventful two years. Following our comparatively low-key, low budget, more traditional foot campaign of the previous years to defeat the call for a con con, we were catapulted into the intense campaign to defeat the call a second time plus the highly publicized campaign to defeat the marriage amendment as part of a motivated coalition. It was a continuous round of meetings, speeches, letter writing and telephoning. It was also a period of justifying our role as advocates to individuals and groups of the public who would prefer to silence us and contain our activities to only part of the League's mission.

Even through this, we managed to complete several studies and added two new positions to our program - one against legalized gambling and one on domestic violence, and revised our position on campaign finance reform to include the direct public funding of election campaigns. We have completed the study on voting by mail, and should have a position on it by May. All this thanks to the various study committees and their chairs, Susan Dursin, Suzanne Meisenzahl, Arlene Ellis and Marian Wilkins.

We joined some very active and effective coalitions - the Protect Our Constitution Coalition (POC), Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (HCALG), and Hawaii Clean Elections (HI.CLEAN). Where we did not succeed as well was the broadening of the leadership of League to the extent that I had initially pledged to do. I had envisioned activating more of' our subject matter committees - environment, human services, and women's issues, but failed miserably there. We identified people who would be interested in working in those areas but were not willing to chair the committees. We still need people to work on some of the other initiatives under Making Democracy Work, namely increasing Voter Participation and Increasing Civic Participation.

We have some new leaders who have contributed much and will play a big part in League's future. Mary Anne Raywid has stepped in to continue where Marion Saunders left oft, and is putting the final touches on a study you'll be hearing about soon. Annelle Amaral will chair the Domestic Violence Committee so ably started by Suzanne Meisenzhl. Annelle impressed us all with the skill she displayed in leading a discussion on implementing the coordinated community response strategy in domestic violence cases with representatives from many organizations and agencies as well as League. Dot Bobilin brings a lot of energy to League and has been tireless in her effort to keep legalized gambling out of Hawaii. Toni Worst as president of HI CLEAN has a core group of highly motivated people, Leaguers and non-leaguers, working to educate the community as well as legislators on the concept of public funding of election campaigns. We still have a long way to go, but the seed has been sown. A legislatively mandated study will be presented to the 2000 Legislature and the challenge will be to get the legislators to adopt public funding of campaigns for a 2002 elections.

And we have some very promising new members. We only need to find the right niche for them.

And finally, I want to thank the members of the State Board who performed their duties so admirably, and all the members who responded to my calls for help on special tasks in the office and elsewhere. I won't list all the names because I would need to take the whole paper. But I do need to thank Jona Sing for her work on the Ka Leo 0 Hana, inputting the text and then doing the layout. And a special thank you to Grace Furukawa, who with all her responsibilities as president of Honolulu League, represented State League on so many committees, willingly traveled all over the island to speak to different groups with me and by herself during the election campaign, testified before legislative committees, and helped me with even the most menial of tasks around the office.

And though they couldn't be here physically, Astrid Monson, Evelyn Bender and Anne Lee could always be reached by phone to give me advice. Thank you, everyone.

Jean Aoki

League of Women Voters of Hawaii

President - Jean Y. Aoki
Vice President - Toni Worst
Acting Secretary - Grace Furukawa
Treasurer - Jacqueline Parnell

Dot Bobilin
Arlene Kim Ellis
Grace Furukawa
Helene Hale
Suzanne Meisenzahl
Mary Anne Raywid
Marian Wilkins
Susan Wilson

Leo Hana Editors
Jacqueline Parnell
Suzanne Meisenzahl

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