January 16th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
In 2002, Bob Riley and Don Siegalmann were facing each other in the Alabama gubernatorial election. My peers at school could not have told you who was running for Governor; much less could they have told you each candidate’s platform or even what a democratic election was. That year, I was in third grade and fortunate enough to have my gifted program teacher expect just that of me. Mrs. Wade did not shy away from teaching what many would consider to be difficult concepts for a third grader to grasp. Not only did she teach us about democracy and the candidates’ platforms, but she required that we be able to teach all of this information to the other students at our school, from kindergarten to third grade.
In third grade, I got my first dose of democracy, Alabama politics, and civic education. Today, as a political science student at UAB and working with ACCR, Foundation, that early educational experience inspires me to aim at educating citizens of the state about constitutional reform.
Since beginning at ACCR, Foundation as an intern in August of last year, I have found it easy and gratifying to immerse myself in constitutional reform efforts. I attended the Town Hall Experience: A New Constitution for Alabama, an event held by the University of Alabam
a’s Honors College in October. At this event, I had the opportunity to hear speeches about current efforts towards constitutional reform and had the honor of interviewing former Alabama Governor Albert Brewer for the organization.
Attending Constitutional Revision Commission meetings in Montgomery has been another enjoyable and rewarding experience. It has not only al
lowed me to stay current with constitutional reform issues and legislation, but it has also provided me a firsthand look of how committees, proposals, politics, and legislators operate in Alabama.
As a college student, these experiences are invaluable as education and inspiration. The more I learn about Alabama’s constitution, the more I aim to educate Alabamians about it. I have reached people statewide by reporting in ACCR, Foundations newsletter about the work of the Revision Commission and amendments that appeared on the November ballot; a peer and I hosted a fundraising and awareness event at a restaurant in Birmingham; I have even felt confident enough with my knowledge of the Alabama’s constitution to correct one of
My third grade gifted teacher expected me to know the issues and be able to tell people about them. I have that same expectation of myself today, just as I know countless Alabamians have that same expectation of ACCR. Educating people throughout the state about constitutional reform is necessary for all labors towards a better Alabama, and I am motivated to see that the dialogue that has been created by previous efforts is not stifled. my professors, who gave an incorrect fact about the document.