Thursday, October 30, 2008

State Constitution: If it’s not broke . . .

Cheryl Jackson:
While both sides have valid arguments, we at Chicago Urban League feel it is important for voters to remember that the vast majority of the problems African Americans face do not stem from flaws in our state Constitution. A shortage of good-paying jobs, failing schools and lack of access to capital to fund businesses–none of these problems will go away by attacking our state Constitution with a red ballpoint pen. High crime rates, scarce affordable housing and deteriorating infrastructure in our neighborhoods–these are social ills that cannot be blamed on the Constitution. In fact, the estimated $40 million to $80 million cost of a Constitutional Convention could be better spent purchasing computers for public schools on the South and West sides, or hiring more highly skilled teachers in the toughest neighborhood schools.

As for education funding, the Constitution already clearly spells out the responsibility of the state to provide a high quality education to all of its citizens, and it's high time for Illinois lawmakers to honor that.

In 1808, the designers of the state's original Constitution wrote in a useful feature for making changes to the document: It's called an amendment. We, at the Urban League, believe the tools to lead Illinois forward are already in the hands–or certainly within reach–of our legislative leaders. The other tool lies in your hands. As a voter, you have the power to elect the candidates you believe will make the changes our community needs. If you're not informed about who you want to vote for, their policies and their track records, then I suggest you do your homework before Tuesday rolls around.
A couple of Con-Con items from CPR
Constitutional Convention Debate Draws Big Donors
Supporters of Constitutional Convention Push Forward 

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