As an intern for Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform Foundation (ACCRF), one of my favorite experiences has been witnessing the actual rewriting of the longest constitution in the world. Attending Constitutional Revision Commission meetings at the State House in Montgomery has been an educational, exciting, and motivational opportunity.
The ACCRF was by created the state senate and charged with the task of rewriting the Alabama Constitution of 1901. At each meeting, the commission debates revisions of a particular article of the constitution with the aim of formulating an official proposal to be submitted to the state legislature for that respective article.
I was tasked with attending these meetings to accurately report on the commission's work in ACCRF's newsletter. This has not only allowed me to stay current with constitutional reform issues and legislation, but has also provided me a firsthand look of how committees, proposals, politics, and legislators operate in Alabama.I think most individuals my age would be bored listening to a four-hour discussion on the local government provisions of the Constitution; but I find that time flies at Revision Commission meetings because I am genuinely having fun. As a political science student, attending Constitutional Revision Commission meetings has been an invaluable education about how Alabama's government works.
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Communicating with people about the merits of rewriting Alabama's constitution is a vital task within the ACCRF's mission to educate Alabamians about the less than optimal document. To actually observe the much talked about and greatly needed change happening has been rewarding and inspirational.
On November 6th, two of the Revision Commission's proposals to revise the Banking and Corporations articles were voted on by Alabamians statewide and successfully adopted. I hope that we see similar achievement and positive revision to other portions of the Alabama's constitution that will likely be voted on in 2014.
Many obstacles face the Commission's upcoming revisions because they deal with more controversial topics, but my time at ACCRF has taught me that most people are supportive of some sort of constitutional reform. The more I learn about Alabama's Constitution, the more I aim to educate people about it. I have made a personal goal of encouraging students to join the effort by establishing an ACCR student chapter at UAB. Students interested in constitutional reform for Alabama and joining the student chapter should email ACCR@uab.edu.