© 1999 - 2006 League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and
League of Women Voters of the United States
A Publication of the League
of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham.
A Message from Jessie Dixon Tehranchi
February 12, 1949 – January 8, 2006
Jessie Tehranchi, LWV member and tireless activist for
universal healthcare and public transportation, died January
Jessie asked that this message be passed along to her friends.
The impact of Jessie Tehranchi’s passionate advocacy resonated throughout our community in the days shortly after her death. The following links from The Birmingham News online publication represent two of the many tributes paid to this amazing woman.
(If you need login assistance to access the material,
contact Jean Johnson at email@example.com
or 870-3063.) Members who receive a paper Voter received this
information in a special mailing ahead of this newsletter.
to our Holiday Luncheon Speaker
How Much Do You Know About the Alabama Legislature?
[Here are a few teaser questions about the structure and operation of the Alabama Legislature. Be sure to prepare for the Jan. 26th Legislative Study Consensus discusion!]
Legislative Question 1
Where and what is the “Star Wars Room?”
Legislative Question 2
Where does Alabama rank in the number of women in state legislatures?
Legislative Question 3
How many bills may be introduced in a legislative session?
Legislative Question 4
When do legislative committees meet?
Legislative Question 5
What two kinds of support service for legislators are lacking in Alabama?
Jefferson County Bills Proposed for this State Legislative Session
State Representative Jim Carns, R-Mountain Brook, has introduced a bill to the Legislature calling for a county manager in Jefferson County [HB324]. Carns, who is co-chair of the Jefferson County legislative delegation, told The Birmingham News, “I represent Jefferson and Shelby County as a state legislator. I watch both county commissions work. I see the benefits of the Shelby County manager versus the lack of those benefits for Jefferson County.” Jeffco commissioners Collins and White have indicated their support for the bill because department heads would report to a professional manager rather than politicians. Commissioners Buckelew, Smoot and commission president Langford do not support the bill. These commissioners advocate department heads serving as the professional managers in their assigned area.
Other legislation relating to Jefferson County being advertised for this session includes:
Doris Powell Speaks to November LWVGB Meeting
Doris Powell made her first speaking appearance as Chair of the Birmingham-Jefferson Transit Authority at our November 17 membership meeting. She updated us on her first two months on the job and outlined a few of her priorities for the next year.
During her first weeks as Chair, Ms. Powell asked members of the board to ride public transit. She wants to be certain everyone understands that public transit is about people, not buses. She told LWVGB members that HOV lanes, light rail, park & ride lots and bus routes are parts of the master plan to improve transportation in the Greater Birmingham area. Without an overall transit plan, neighborhoods are threatened with destruction to make way for highway construction.
In her new role, Ms. Powell’s key responsibility is the fiscal health of the Transit Authority. Since there is no dedicated funding source, she must lobby each of nine participating municipalities for their support. During her first two months on the job the Authority’s financial records were reconciled and opened to the public. Ms. Powell told us that all bills would be paid beginning with fiscal year 2007.
Ms. Powell faces an ongoing challenge reviewing and updating the Transit Authority bylaws written in 1971 and the subsequent amendments. She must research every amendment, verify that the municipalities approved it and that each was filed properly. Bringing counties and municipalities together will remain at the top of her priorities. The Authority lost $3 million in matching funds in September 2005 due to the lack of regional cooperation.
LWVUS Program Planning
Members are also encouraged to review Impact on Issues,
which includes information about existing League positions.
Program Planning information is available to LWV members and requires
login. If you are a League member and need login assistance, contact
Jean Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-3063.]
Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform
PUBLIC INVITED TO TAKE A STAND
ON CAPITOL STEPS IN MONTGOMERY
Alabama citizens will take a stand on the Capitol steps in Montgomery on Wednesday, January 25th, to ask the Legislature to Let the People Vote for a Constitution Convention. The public is invited to participate in this historic Let The People Vote Rally.
Supporters of a Constitution Convention will present the Legislature with more than 60,000 signatures on thousands of petitions urging the Legislature to pass a bill to let the people vote for a Constitution Convention to re-write Alabama’s 1901 Constitution.
Students will begin reading the 1901 Constitution and over 700 amendments at 9:00 a.m. on the Capitol steps and at 11:15 a.m., ACCR representatives and citizens from throughout the state, will present the signed petitions to the Legislature. The presentation will take place on the steps of the Capitol Building on Dexter Avenue. Speakers will include the bill’s sponsors, Alabama House Speaker Pro Tem Demetrius Newton and Alabama Senator Ted Little, and others from around the state.
The leadership of many Alabama organizations supporting a constitutional convention will also be present: AEA Retirees, Alabama ARISE, Greater Birmingham Ministries, NCCJ, Chambers of Commerce, and other civic and non-profit organizations, to name a few.
Following the presentation of petitions and comments, supporters will gather in the Capitol Auditorium for an Organizing for Success meeting. The public is invited to participate in all of the day’s events.
The Let the People Vote Rally is sponsored by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform (ACCR), a non-profit, grassroots organization that began five years ago. The late Bailey Thomson, former professor of journalism at the University of Alabama; former Governor, Albert Brewer; Auburn University’s Dr. Wayne Flynt; Former U.S. Congressman Jack Edwards; Samford President, Dr. Thomas Corts; and others founded ACCR to educate Alabamians on the need for a new Constitution. The 1901 Constitution currently restricts local decision making, economic and rural development, includes racial and discriminatory language, and exhibits general distrust of Alabama citizens.
For more information, contact ACCR at 205-540-7501 or visit the ACCR website at www.constitutionalreform.org.
Additional resource materials can be found at:
[Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read the above documents.
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader for free here.]
LWVGB Board of
League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham
About the Voter:
CALENDAR OF EVENTS