The Hawaiʻi

State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Information Related to Hawaiʻi's November 6, 2018 State Constitutional Convention Referendum

1978 Constitutional Convention

Primary Sources

Chief Clerk of the Convention, Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of Hawaii 1978, Vol. 1, Honolulu, Hawaii: State of Hawaii, 1980, 1,242 pages.

Secondary Sources

The 1978 constitutional convention was held before the era of the internet, so this website cannot provide links to the various media accounts here. One index that is available online is:

Index of Hawaii 1978 Constitutional Convention News clippings, The Archival Collections at the William S. Richardson School of Law.  The item is a scrapbook of more than 100 newspaper clippings of articles leading up to and covering the 1978 Hawaii Constitutional Convention. Most cover the period after the convention call.

According to Ian Lind, a former investigative reporter at several Hawaiian newspapers, there was “a total of approximately 500-600 news stories” on the 1978 Hawaiian constitutional convention in just the two leading Hawaiian daily newspapers alone.

Here is a recent popular media account of the results of that convention:

NOVEMBER 7, 1978   The 1978 Constitutional Convention brought huge changes to the way Hawaii is run as a state. All 34 proposed amendments to the state constitution passed. Among the most dramatic: term limits for state officeholders, a balanced-budget requirement and unionization of state employees.   “The ConCon solidified that liberal base of the Islands … because the roots were heavily influenced by liberal values. It was a device to mobilize the public,” said Ira Rohter, a UH Manoa political science professor and local pundit who passed away a week after we interviewed him.   The state’s second Constitutional Convention also paved the way for Native Hawaiian rights through the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the preservation of Hawaiian language through diacritics and the use of Hawaiian street names.  Source: All 34 ConCon Amendment Proposals PassHonululu Magazine, August 2009.

Many articles in popular media from subsequent Hawaiian constitutional convention calls also make reference to the 1978 and earlier Hawaiian constitutional conventions.

A Small Sampling Of The Articles Leading Up To The Convention Vote

  • “It’s Time to Think About the Con Con” – Editorial. Honolulu Star Bulletin, August 19, 1977, page A-16.
  • “Doi to Marshall’s Con-Con: Beware Hawai’i’s Errors.” Honolulu Advertiser, August 8, 1977, page A-6.
  • “Issues That Con-Con May Consider”. Honolulu Star Bulletin, September 12, 1977, page A-18.
  • “The Case for a Single House”, by Joe R. Seacrest and ” and the Case Against”, by James Wakatsuki. Honolulu Star
    Bulletin, May 4, 1977, pages A-16 and A-17.


National history day project by a high school student.  Published on Mar 9, 2012.


Advocacy Organizations

League of Women Voters
Con Con ’78: A Wrap-UpLeo Hana, Fall 1978
Hawaii’s State Constitution: What Should it Contain?, July, 1978

Legislative Reference Bureau

Hawaii Constitutional Convention Studies 1978, Legislative Reference Bureau. See:


Pang, Gordon Y.K., Former Land Board chairman, WWII hero William Paty dies, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 16, 2018

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