Hirohama, Janis


Janis R. Hirohama was elected President of the League of Women Voters of California in 2007 and reelected in 2009. She served as First Vice President and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States from 2000 to 2004. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, Ms. Hirohama’s areas of professional interest include voting rights and criminal law.

Prop. 15 Means Fair Elections

By Janis Hirohama
League of Women Voters

It’s not news to any of us in California that our governance is dysfunctional. One reason for the mess we’re in is our current campaign finance system. The amount of money spent on elections is outrageous. The system gives big donors outsized influence, drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens.

And our elected officials spend far too much time raising money and not enough time doing their jobs. To break this pattern, we need to change the way we fund election campaigns, so that politicians can get out of the fundraising business and focus on fixing the serious issues facing our state — like education, public safety, and the budget crisis.

Redistricting

By Janis Hirohama
League of Women Voters

Good government advocates celebrated when the voters passed Proposition 11, the Voters FIRST Act, in 2008—and with good reason. Prop 11 replaced a backroom, incumbent-protecting system controlled by the Legislature with an open, transparent process in which an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission would draw district lines.

The 14 members of the Commission will be selected by the end of this year, after an application and selection process designed to weed out conflicts of interest and maximize balance and diversity. But critics aren’t waiting to see how the selection process plays out. Instead they are already attacking the commission by nitpicking the application process and criticizing the composition of the applicant pool to date.