Remarks by Dr. Thomas Corts

February 14, 2001

   Thank you for joining us today. As Dr. Thomson mentioned, I'm Tom Corts, president of Samford University and more relevant, president of Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform. I'm pleased to be joined by several distinguished members of our board, who, like me, are here first and foremost in our capacity as citizens of the great state of Alabama. Our mission at ACCR Foundation, Inc. is to educate and motivate Alabamians to join in rewriting Alabama's antiquated constitution, which we believe to be the worst in the world.

   It's time for a new constitution for a better Alabama: a constitution that empowers instead of prohibits , that offers vision instead of reaction, that promotes results instead of inefficiency and that fosters community rather than division. We need a new constitution that simply allows us to be the best Alabama that we can possibly be.

   As you now, Gov. Don Siegelman and others have challenged the people of Alabama to show our leaders that we want a new constitution. To that end, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform grew out of rallies and forums across the state where citizens voiced their strong support for reform.

   Today we want to share with you our three-point strategy for helping our fellow citizens achieve a new constitution for a better Alabama.

   First, our citizens need the freedom to rewrite their constitution.

   The framers of the 1901 document intentionally made reform difficult. Therefore the first task we must undertake is to remove constitutional barriers that restrict Alabamians' freedom to reform their government. We will be supporting legislation that broadens the people's ability to rewrite their bloated constitution through the Legislature.

   ACCR Foundation, Inc. does not endorse any particular method of reform at this time. Indeed, we envision several effective ways to write a modern constitution. We simply want the people of Alabama, working through their elected leaders , to enjoy the freedom to write and approve a modern document as they see fit.

   Second, we will work continuously to educate the people of Alabama about how our constitution holds us back as a state. We were thrilled to learn recently that constitutional reform has registered as a problem in a recent public opinion survey, a copy of which you'll find in your packet. As citizens learn firsthand about our efforts, many are joining this crusade to give Alabama a modern mission statement for the 21st century.

   Finally, we will work as long as it takes to achieve a modern constitution through broad participation of citizens and their legislators and governor. We believe that an open and well-informed process will produce the fundamental laws that will guide Alabama toward a future that holds promise for everyone.

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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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