Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Alabama Arise says vote "No" on Amendment 4
Vote No on Amendment 4
At first Alabama Arise supported Amendment 4 with reservations. Of course we agree that the racist provisions should be removed from the state constitution, but we were disappointed that the amendment does not restore the state's responsibility to provide public education to all students, as the original 1901 Constitution did. Alabama voters rescinded that right with passage of Amendment 111 during the segregation era.
In legislative floor debate last spring, the Black Caucus fought to restore the education right to the amendment. When that effort failed and the amendment was scheduled for the November ballot, we joined other groups who planned to support the imperfect Amendment 4. Our reasoning: It would not be good for Alabama's reputation if we reject an amendment to remove racist language, as we did in 2004.
Over the last week, we became wary of this sentence in Amendment 4: “Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as creating or recognizing any right to education or training at public expense. . . .” It’s a sentence from Amendment 111, and some say it wouldn’t have any practical effect. After lengthy discussion of the pros and cons, Alabama Arise has decided it’s not wise for voters to approve an amendment that re-states a provision that was intended to protect racial segregation of schools.
Alabama Arise now recommends a “No” vote on Amendment 4. To read more about Amendment 4, visit our Facebook page.
Remember to vote on November 6!