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Constitutional convention carries risks

On Election Day, Nov. 4, 2008, the League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest urges our fellow citizens to vote no on the question of whether to hold an Illinois constitutional convention.

In a statewide study, our membership overwhelmingly opposed the call for these reasons:

We face the risk of exposing the entire constitution to revision and the loss of 1970 gains.

The cost of a convention outweighs possible benefits. A convention, if held, has the unlimited power to rewrite the whole constitution and there is no guarantee that any particular issue will actually be addressed.

The amendment process is the appropriate way to handle single issues, such as recall of elected officials. It has been relatively successful since the 1970 Constitution was adopted, with 10 out of 17 proposed amendments being adopted by the voters (three of the defeated ones were the same proposal).

We are concerned that special interests and party politics will gain control of the delegate election process as well as the convention’s deliberations with the potential for the results being unrepresentative of voter’s concerns.

We are concerned that the current political dysfunction in state government will extend to the convention.

Most of those supporting the call for convention are willing to risk the entire constitution for their cause, whether it be for recall of officials or lower taxes. While the league is a strong supporter of some changes, including adequate and consistent funding for public education, we do not believe that any one issue is so important that a constitutional convention is the appropriate means to address it. The league is a non-partisan organization with a long history of support for constitutional reform when needed. Now is not the time to give unlimited power to a convention to rewrite a basically sound constitution.

Join us. Vote no on Nov. 4.

Mary Cay Murray and Ann Courter
Co-Presidents, League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest

Elevator rescue

My family and I would like to express our gratitude to our Forest Park fire and police department. On Monday (Sept. 22) fire crews came over to free family members (including small children) and neighbors from a stuck elevator during a power outage. Then again on Thursday morning (Sept. 25) to transport my sister to the hospital. I am sorry I do not remember every one’s name. Police officer Grimes along with Jerry, a paramedic, and his co-paramedic came out early Thursday morning.

A female firefighter and a crew of five, I believe, were here on Monday for the elevator rescue. Again, thank you all very much!

Lester Nixon
Forest Park