FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2001
CONTACT: Kathryn Bowden
Alabama's voters deserve the final say on any proposed
new state constitution, says the leader of a growing grass-roots movement
to rewrite Alabama's antiquated charter.
Dr. Thomas E. Corts, president of Alabama Citizens for
Constitutional Reform, called today on Gov. Don Siegelman and the
Legislature to support a constitutional amendment that would require
a statewide referendum.
"The final decision on any new document must be made
by all the people of Alabama," Corts wrote in a letter to Gov. Siegelman.
"To that end, we believe that a constitutional amendment should be
presented to the people of Alabama to ensure that they have the final
choice on any new charter for our state.
"Not surprisingly, the 1901 constitution is vague and
unclear on this point. ACCR believes, however, that nothing could
be clearer: the people must decide."
Clearly worded language in an amendment would affirm
American-style democracy, Corts added. He called on the Gov. Siegelman,
Lt. Gov. Steve Windom and legislators to put partisan differences
aside to pass the amendment in the upcoming special legislative session
and then send it on for voters' approval.
"While many leaders approach constitutional reform from
different ideologies, all should surely find common ground in the
simple idea that the people should have the ultimate decision-making
authority," Corts wrote.
"Most issues in constitutional reform will require considerable
and meaningful debate, but Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Liberals,
Conservatives and people of all races and gender alike should rally
behind this proposal."
Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform is a non-profit,
non-partisan grassroots group working to educate the people of Alabama
about the need to rewrite the state's constitution, which has been
amended 706 times. The organization, which now has more than 1,000
dues-paying members, grew out of a rally in Tuscaloosa in April 2000.
Other ACCR leaders include former Gov. Albert Brewer
of Birmingham, former U.S. Rep. Jack Edwards of Mobile, Birmingham
community leader Odessa Woolfolk and District Judge Howard Hawk of
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