What is the NY Constitutional Convention? (an exercise in perspective taking)

I’m starting to see bumper stickers and small signs like the one on the left. Perhaps you have too. And it makes me wonder how many New Yorkers know what this is all about. For many people, a proposed vote on whether to hold a Constitutional Convention has tremendous implications on the way of life for all New Yorkers. But do they know enough about it to cast a thoughtful “Yes” or “No” ballot in November. Will they even bother? Please take several thoughtful moments to lend a hand– to research and educate your fellow New Yorker on what this vote means. What would a Constitutional Convention do? Why do some people look forward to it, while others fear it? In small groups, we’re going to deliberate and decide what would be important for citizens to know, what proposals seem fair or imbalanced, and propose possible solutions.  By the time we’re all done posting comments, perhaps we’ll have a well-rounded picture of what’s at stake with the “Con Con.”

The first step is for your group to discuss what you already know about the Constitutional convention.  Post your responses in the Comment space below.

14 thoughts on “What is the NY Constitutional Convention? (an exercise in perspective taking)

  1. This is an important convention for teachers because one of the proposed revisions could potentially alter our pensions? or not guarantee benefits? or something like that?

  2. I know that the teachers’ union is opposed to the convention. I believe the union thinks the convention is being proposed to make changes that could aversely affect teachers.

  3. Who are the delegates? What will special interests do? What influence will they have? Will advocating loudly for “No” votes backfire and just generate more interest?

  4. The Constitutional Convention would open up our state’s constitution for scrutiny, possibly undoing good practices that are already in place, particularly the Triboro Amendment, and protection of retired state employees. Keeping it closed protects against lobbyists and special interest groups, pushing their own agendas.

  5. the option to hold a constitutional convention can be brought up to New York state referendum every 20 years. The next referendum will be voted on the 7th of November, 2017. It is uncertain what would happen if the the state constitution is opened. Proponents argue that this is only way to “Clean up Albany,” argue for term limits, and redistrict the state. However, many believe that these arguments are a straw man for special interests to privatize public pensions, do away with things like tenure, and further weaken unions. The uncertainty alone makes voting no the only choice.

  6. A New York Times article that provides a comprehensive summary of why and how a constitutional convention may be called this year and some of the proponents and opponents

    A book review of two authors with recently published works pertaining to the NY constitutional convention

    This is an article posted by NYSUT to explain what the constitutional convention is and why teachers should oppose it

    A brief overview of political corruption happening on the state level that could potentially be remedied by changes made at the constitutional convention

    A summary from the teacher’s union of how the constitutional convention could endanger teacher pensions

    An overview of New Yorkers’ support for and knowledge of the constitutional convention

  7. Group Three: the New York Constitutional Convention can only be opened again in the next twenty years. The IDC may cover legislators that are not necessarily democrats. Many are conservatives or republicans. Many major issues may be voted upon by the state legislators that may not be beneficial for certain economic areas within New York such as Manhattan and Westchester in comparison to the northern counties of New York State.

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