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Reform’s next move

Meeting here July 15 will continue the crusade to update Alabama's constitution



Opinion
July 7, 2002


   Those who feared - and the special interests that hoped - that Alabama's grassroots efforts to rewrite its constitution were dead will soon discover the reform movement's demise has been greatly exaggerated.

   Yes, the Legislature hemmed, hawed and did virtually nothing about constitutional reform during its last session. But, then, it did virtually nothing about anything constructive.

   Legislators spent more time working on keeping their jobs than doing the people's business.

   But reformers, by nature, don't throw in the towel when they meet adversity. So the Alabama Citizens for Constitution Reform is getting ready again to rouse the public's voice so that even progress-deaf legislators can't ignore the call for change.

   Appropriately, the first of a series of public sessions will be held in Huntsville. Even more appropriately, it will be held in Constitution Village, where Alabama's first set of statewide laws was drafted in 1819.

   The meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 15. Every citizen who cares about the future of Alabama and can attend the meeting should do so.

   This meeting, one of several to be held around the state, is part of a two-pronged effort. First, organizers want more suggestions from the public. They also want to compile research that shows how other states have instituted reforms and how their work could be used in addressing Alabama's unique challenges.

   You'll get to hear what others think about issues like more local control of governmental functions and how to revise the state tax system so that the rich and powerful don't continue to put the burden of paying for state services on the poor. And you'll get to offer your views.

   After hearing your neighbors and the research reports, we think you'll want to join the crusade to return power and decision-making to the people. If you haven't delved deeply into the issue, you should. An informed citizen makes the best choice.

   The power brokers and entrenched interests have held sway in Alabama for more than 100 years. They love the status quo, which in Alabama has meant inadequate education, low wages, environmental pillage and the like.

   Just your showing up will worry the power crowd to no end. That might be reason enough to go. But it's also more than likely that hearing the truth about the need for reform will convince you to join the battle to modernize Alabama.

   And when that happens with enough people, all the lobbyists in Montgomery won't be able to keep the archaic, ineffective constitution of 1901 from becoming the reformed constitution of this millennium.

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Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 34
Montgomery, Alabama 36101-0034


E-mail: accr@constitutionalreform.org
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