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Social Justice Resources

Alabama

Alabama Citizens For Constitutional Reform

Who we are: ACCR @ Samford, a member of the College Coalition for Constitutional Reform. The larger organization Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform was founded April 7, 2000. As a Grassroots effort to amend the 1901 Alabama State Constitution either article by article or through a Constitutional Convention.

ACCR @ Samford seeks: Political Science and History students to conduct research on the logistics of a constitutional convention. Business students to research the economic impact the constitution has on Alabamian citizens. We also need caring, compassionate individuals who believe in the need for Constitutional Reform.

Reforming Alabama’s "Thick Book" A Panel Discussion


Join Alabama legislators Merika Coleman, Paul DeMarco, Patricia Todd and Greg Canfield as they share their opinions of an Article by Article reformation of the Alabmana Consititution. Also listen to some supporting reasons behind a Constitutional Convention.

•Monday, March 30th 3:30-4:30 pm
•The Flag Colonnade
•*Convo Credit Offered*

Why We Need a New Constitution:

Home Rule: Alabama is the only state in the southeast that deprives counties of local control, forcing county governments to seek legislative approval for even the most mundane of matters, including leash laws, rodent control, billboard regulations, court costs, and fire protection, among others. Our state legislature spends nearly 50% of its time debating local issues, and over 70% of our constitutional amendments apply to a single city or county. Doesn’t it make more sense to let local governments deal with local problems?

Tax Fairness: The current constitution forces our poorest citizens to pay a disproportionate share of their income in taxes. For example, the wealthiest one percent of Alabamians pay about 4% of their income in state taxes, while the poorest fifth of our citizens pay nearly 11%. Moreover, Alabama families begin paying income taxes after just $4,600 in earnings, the lowest threshold in the nation. By contrast, Mississippi does not begin collecting income tax until a family makes more than $19,000 in a year. Alabama is one of only a handful of states that still collects sales taxes on groceries and non-prescription drugs.

Economic Development: The 1901 Constitution prohibits state and local governments from participating in internal improvements or economic development activities. Over 50 amendments allow various governing bodies different powers to promote economic development and invest in infrastructure projects, but the original provisions that put a straightjacket on economic development are still there. As a result, the restrictions apply fully in some counties, partially in others, and not at all in still others.

Budget Flexibility: On average, most states earmark 22% of their revenues; Alabama earmarks nearly 90%. This gives the governor and the legislature very little flexibility to match available resources with the most pressing needs, particularly when revenues fall short. For example, our state’s education budget has faced proration eight times in the last 17 years.

Constitutional Length: Alabama’s constitution now has 743 amendments (including amendments dealing with bingo, mosquito control, catfish, soybeans, dead farm animals, beaver tails, and prostitution), while the national average is 116. The constitution itself is easily the longest in the nation and is 12 times longer than the typical state constitution.

Principles of Democracy: The main objectives of the framers of the 1901 Constitution were to remove the voting rights of African-Americans and poor whites in Alabama while centralizing power in the hands of a few special interests in Montgomery. These goals were achieved with astounding success. By 1903, the number of African-American citizens registered to vote had dropped from 181,000 to less than 4,000, and over 40,000 white citizens had lost their right to vote as well. Although the infamous voting restrictions of 1901 were overturned by federal courts, evidence of this embarrassing legacy still remains in our Constitution today, and the centralization of power remains as strong as ever.

Source: Alabama Citizens For Constitutional Reform

For More Information

P.O. Box 10746
Birmingham, Alabama 35202-0746
Phone: (205) 540-7501

Alabama Arise


 Arise Citizens' Policy Project (ACPP), founded in 1994, is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of 150 congregations and community groups and some 1,400 individuals united in their belief that low-income people are suffering because of state policy decisions. Through ACPP, groups and individuals join to gether to promote state policies that improve the lives of low-income Alabamians. In a state that by many measures is the worst place for poor people to live in the United States, ACPP believes acts of charity are vital, but they are not enough; we must work to improve harmful state policies. ACPP provides a structure in which Alabamians can engage in public debates with the goal of improving the welfare of all Alabamians. Donations to ACPP, a 501(c)3 organization, are tax-deductible.

ACPP's sister organization, Alabama Arise, is an advocacy coalition comprising the same membership. 

Clean Water

 

Environmental Stewardship

Restoring Eden

Mission: Restoring Eden is a national, non-profit Christian organization dedicated to encouraging faithful stewardship of the natural world as a biblical, moral, and wise value. Restoring Eden at Samford strives to create and maintain environmental sustainability here on the campus of Samford University. We believe that respect for the earth, unique in God's creation, is vital to Christian maturity and a righteous walk under God.

Action: In keeping with this goal, we encourage individual participation in creation care events, speaking up for Christian environmental stewardship, education about the importance of sustainability and recycling, and the continued growth of Samford's sustainability efforts, including recycling. The students in Restoring Eden are vital partners with the University's official Go Green Initiative. We work together, students and administration, to maximize the efficiency of environmental stewardship at Samford.

Participation

To see what we're doing now: read our latest newsletter

For More Information

If you would like more information regarding Restoring Eden's work, or have suggestions about events, recycling, or sustainability at Samford:

 

Fair Trade

Fairtrade

FairTrade - Sells products manufactured in Third World countries for fair wages.

TransFair USA

TransFair USA

 

HIV/AIDS

DATA

DATA - DATA aims to raise about and spark response to the crises swamping Africa: unpayable debts, uncontrollable spread of AIDS, and unfair trade rules which keep Africans poor.

Care for Aids

Homelessness

National Coalition for the Homeless

National Coalition for the Homeless - Their mission is to end homelessness. They focus on housing justice, Economic justice, health care justice and civil and voting rights.

 

Human Rights

International Justice Mission

Mission Statement: International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and oppression.

The IJM campus chapter exists to raise awareness and funds for the particular rescues that IJM performs. we are here to learn, teach, and grow spiritually through the pursuit of justice.

For More Information

 

Genocide

Save Darfur Coalition

Save Darfur Coalition - It is an alliance of over 100 diverse faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations, the mission is to raise public awareness and to mobilize efforts to help end the atrocities and reduce the suffering in Darfur and nearby refugee camps.

 

Hunger

Bread for the World

Seeking Justice. Ending Hunger.

Bread for the World is a Christian citizens' movement that seeks justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our congressmen. World hunger is not a problem of food shortage, but an absence of will and a misplaced power to do anything. It is a problem that can solved if we rally the political will to do so. Bread for the World here at Samford seeks to create awareness among students and faculty, so that they may use their voice to urge congressional representatives to take an active role of support for bills and improvements that will help stamp out hunger.

Recent News

In July, the Fairness in Food and Farm Policy Amendment of the farm bill, which addressed the key principles of our Seeds of Change campaign was defeated. Yet our advocacy helped bring many positive changes in the House bill, including a significant increase in funding for nutrition programs and additional resources for conservation.

This month the farm bill will be presented to the Senate, and decisions must be made by the Senate Agriculture Committee and on the Senate floor. Our voice will ensure that hungry people all over the world are heard, and that valuable improvements to the bill are made.

For More Information

If you are interested in helping with Bread for the World:

National Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness

National Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness - This organization works with a coalition of students and community members, across the country to end hunger and homelessness through education, service and action.

Food for the Hungry

Food for the Hungry - Faith-based organization that works in 47 countries to feed individuals physically and spiritually.

Human Trafficking

 Free the Slaves

Free the Slaves - A non-profit organization working to end slavery worldwide.

Not For Sale
Persecuted Church

Christian Freedom International

Poverty
War/ethnic conflict

Invisible Children

Invisible Children - is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial resources to the "invisible children" of Northern Uganda by documenting their true, untold stories in a creative and relevant way, resulting in positive change.

Other
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