Green Party Congressional Candidate Scott Summers Comes Out for Con-Con

Green Party Congressional Candidate Scott Summers has decided that he favors the calling of an Illinois Constitutional Convention. His reasoning follows:

Let’s call an Illinois
Constitutional Convention.

Vote yes for Con-Con
on November 4th.

It’s not a high profile issue. But to me, it’s just about the most important thing on Illinois ballots this year.

I hope that voters will call a state constitutional convention (“Con-Con”) on November 4th.

Some say that a Con-Con could make bad matters worse.

Not likely. (Springfield? Worse?)

If anything, I’m heartened by the protections built into the process.

There is citizen participation at every step. And voters speak three times.

Step One: citizens choose on November 4th whether or not to call a Con-Con. (A 60% “yes” vote is necessary.)

Step Two: if it is called, then citizens will elect delegates some months hence.

Step Three: citizens ultimately vote on whatever the convention comes up with — amendments to the present document, or an entirely new constitution. (The convention also could choose to make no changes!)

And note well that Step Three is not necessarily “all or nothing”. The framers of the 1970 constitution had an elegant solution for the hot-button issues of the day: they held them off to the side, for separate votes.

In other words, voters could vote up or down on the basic document. Then they could vote individually about whether or not to include language on each of about a half dozen issues. (Not to sound too flippant, but — for example — “Do you want merit selection of judges with that?”)

We desperately need all sorts of fundamental change — in particular, equity (and adequacy!) in education funding.

Is there risk? Sure. The hot-button-issues-off-to-the-side model might fail (in whole or in part), and we could end up with some not so terrific public policy enshrined in our state constitution.

But I’m okay with that risk. I have enormous faith that common sense and fairness will govern the delegates — and the voters.

I believe that a Con-Con represents grass roots democracy at its very best.

This opportunity comes around only once every twenty years. I hope that the voters of Illinois seize it.

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