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President's Message (Astrid Monson)
Annual Meeting '96
Excerpts from "The 1996 Legislature" (Ah Quon McElrath)
Consensus on Con Con (Jean Aoki)
Human Resources (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
State Legislative Report (Jean Aoki & Arlene Ellis)
Can Honolulu League Survive?
New Guide to Services Published by ASK-2000
Voice of Our Own
Well Wishes from Hawaii
Voter Article Deadline
National Convention

Consensus on Con Con

Honolulu League reached consensus to oppose a Constitutional Convention for 1998. The "question" on whether a Con Con should be held in ' 98 will be on the ballot for a referendum in November of this year.

As one of the items on the agenda at Honolulu League's Annual Meeting, members spent about an hour discussing the issue. The consensus was that many of the issues being raised in public as worthy of a Con Con could either be addressed statutorily, or with public pressure, considered by the Legislature for constitutional amendments. On an issue like single-member versus multiple representative districts, the authority to designate single or multiple districts (up to 4-member districts) already exists with the Apportionment Commission which meets every 10 years after the national population census. If the public Sees merit in multiple representative districts, it can raise that issue then.

The fear was expressed by several members of the highly emotional nature of some of the more visible issues, and member expressed concern that, as in the same-sex marriage debate before the Legislature this past session, there could be intrusion by national groups interested in influencing the local conventions on certain issues.

Much of the discussion mirrored the observations offered as reasons for or against having a Con Con as contained in the committee report mailed to all League members statewide with the Aloha Voter. Many felt that while there were some valid arguments for having a Con Con, the negatives outweighed the possible good that could come from a convention, and, with the added burden of the great cost of a convention when the State is having difficulty funding many worthwhile programs, we should be looking for alternatives to address those issues that some feel need review. Many felt that the energy and time needed to prepare for and hold a successful convention could be expanded towards solving these problems without a formal convention.

There was a question raised as to whether League should even take a position on the "question." and whether State League had a position on State Government an/or the constitution that would permit our taking a position.

State League's position on the State Constitution lists some provisions that should be included in our Constitution. One of these is that the Constitution should provide for amendment, review, and revision. Does this provision give League the responsibility of entering the public debate on when and how the constitution should be amended? Many of us think so. As one member put it, the public is going to look at the League to take a position on this.

There was some opposition to taking a position on Kauai, so two questions were posed there: 1 } Should League support a Con Con or oppose one? (7% of those attending the meeting supported a Con Con, 93% opposed) and 2} Should the League support a Con Con, oppose a Con Con, or not take a position but possibly educate voters on the pros and cons. (There ,vas no one in support of a Con Con, 46% felt we should oppose a Con Con, and 54% felt that we should take no position and stick to the education of voters.)

At Honolulu meeting, there was some discussion on possible follow up activities after State action on the League position on the "question." There was a general feeling that in pushing for a "no" vote on the question, we should list the more prominent pros and cons and give our reasons for rejecting a Con Con at this time.

Honolulu League will present our views and the question raised to State Council where the final decisions will be made.

We have received some favorable comments on the Con Con Committee Report distributed to all League members statewide with the April Aloha Voter. (It really should have been mailed as an insert to the Leo Hana, but because of the necessity to distribute it before the locals Annual Meetings, it was sent out with the Aloha Voter.)

We would like to recognize the efforts of the members of the Con Con Committee who managed to fit in the many interviews into their busy schedules and the sub-committee chairs who helped shape and guide the project and the final report. A special thanks to Suzanne who spent a stressful few days on the computer typing the pages as they were faxed to her, faxing the completed pages back to the office for editing and changes, making the changes even as she typed more pages as they were faxed to her. A special thanks also to Arlene who coaxed and stroked our over-worked copier into producing the thousands of pages in record time (she even spent Sunday of that week at the office) so that the report and the Aloha Voter could be collated and readied for bulk mailing by Monday afternoon.

And of course, we would never have met our deadline if it hadn't been for Annie Kim's willingness to drop her own work to help wherever needed.

Jean Aoki
Chair, Con Con Committee

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