Constitutional reform should move to forefront again
Editorials
09-24-2006 Daily Home News

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A little more than a month remains before the Nov. 7 general election in Alabama. It is decision time once again for voters in the state, but itís more than a choice between candidates, itís about deciding whether or not your voice will one day be heard.
So far, the cries of reform for Alabamaís archaic constitution remain muffled by a Legislature unwilling to relinquish much of its power.
In the final days of the 2006 legislative session, lawmakers said ‘no’ to allowing the people to vote on whether to hold a convention to rewrite the state’s century-old constitution.
But just like a persistent tide, the issue will rise again because a growing grassroots movement refuses to let it subside.
On Oct. 5, that movement – Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform – will hold its annual meeting at the state Capitol building in Montgomery. The location is appropriate because it is in that city where the problem lies.
ACCR hopes to bring citizens and lawmakers together in this event to talk candidly about what ails this state, the centerpiece of which is a constitution that long ago lost its effectiveness in truly serving the people.
From the most mundane of issues – like controlling insects and weeds in a community — on up, the powers that be in Montgomery want the power to stay right where it is. They fail to see the validity of local people making local decisions.
That’s why more than 700 times the constitution has needed amending, and it continues to include language and ideals that most Alabamians shed long ago. It’s an image we would like to forget, but there it is in black and white.
ACCR is billing the annual meeting as a chance to “come and let your voice be heard.” We couldn’t agree more. It is long past time that the people of Alabama stood up, beginning with the voters in Talladega and St. Clair counties, and demand that they have a voice in their own governing.
The best place to start is by demanding that the people they elect on Nov. 7 give them the fair hearing they deserve.

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