Let people vote on constitution

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 3, 2007

To the Editor:

The question as to whether Alabama’s 1901 Constitution with its racist language, restrictive local authority, regressive tax structure and almost 800 amendments (the longest Constitution in the country) needs to be rewritten has been agreed upon by more than 60 percent of Alabamians recently surveyed.

Not everyone agrees that it should be done by a convention, but the alternative approach has yielded very few results as evidenced by the fact that we are still talking about it and still facing two to 10 amendments on the ballot every election.

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In 2006, bills were introduced in the Legislature and Senate to let the people vote on whether or not they want a convention. The bills outline a method to elect citizen delegates that would minimize the likelihood of the convention being dominated by the same old special interests.

They also provided for the people to have the last say in accepting the output of a convention.

In spite of the fact that both houses were presented with petitions bearing more than 75,000 signatures asking them to take action to let the people vote, neither bill made it to the floor of their respective House for debate.

This year, similar bills will again be introduced. If you believe, as I do, that Alabama needs a new constitution written by a convention of citizen delegates, please, please, please contact your legislator and senator and ask them to support the bills in 2007.

You can find their contact information at www.legislature.state.al.us.

You can make a big impact on my grandchildren’s lives by spending 15 minutes and a couple of 39 cent stamps. Ask them to just let the people vote!

William A. Giardini