Why We Must Say No to the NYS Constitutional Convention
This Fall New Yorkers will be asked to vote on the convening of a Constitutional Convention. A
referendum asking for a yes or no on this issue will appear on the November ballot. Our organization and many allied groups are strongly opposed to the establishment of such a Convention.
Our objections are as follows: A Constitutional Convention, while being portrayed as an overdue exercise in democracy would be dominated and controlled by well funded lobbyists. Such a gathering opens the entire NYS Constitution to dramatic change. In many ways the NYS Constitution as presently written is a model. In it are many protections for workers. Public worker pensions, prevailing rate in construction work, collective bargaining guarantees, benefits for workers injured on the job are all guaranteed by the Constitution. They cannot be legislated away, without changing the Constitution.
Further the Convention would be taken over by the very monied interests that seek to destroy the rights of the working people. Lobbyists and their friends in political circles will be in the driver’s seat should this event come to pass. Finally, as stipulated on the ballot this Fall, the convention would be paid for with taxpayer dollars and most amazingly could be seated for months or even years. We are against such an exercise in“democracy”, but we are for a wider participation in society by the working people. We are against the restriction of working class rights, but we are for a robust expansion of guarantees which advance the living standards and working conditions of ordinary people. We are not a “special interest” as if, we are just another group of lobbyists, but we are in favor of a vigorous defense of all we have achieved.
Do not be fooled by the seductive voices that promise an expansion of democracy through the taking away of your rights. Vote no to a NYS Constitutional Convention this fall!