The Risk is Just Too Great

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Every two decades, the New York State Constitution calls for a referendum on whether to hold a convention to revise the New York State Constitution. This measure will be on your ballot in the general election on November 7th.

If a majority of voters approve holding the convention, then in November of 2018, three delegates will be elected from each of the 63 state senate districts along with 15 statewide at-large delegates for a total of 204 delegates. The delegates will meet in Albany in April 2019 to debate modifying or totally rewriting the State Constitution. Changes approved by a majority of the delegates are then submitted to the voters; a majority in favor would ratify those changes.



Approved by the membership 10/12/17:

WHEREAS a New York State Constitutional Convention poses risks to rights protected by New York State’s constitution, including those upholding social service and school funding, environmental laws, public employee pensions, civil liberties, tenant protections, sanctuary cities and union activities,

WHEREAS if Republicans get control of the convention, they can overturn any New York law or regulation and enact the Trump agenda,

WHEREAS it is unlikely that a majority of delegates will be progressives because:
(1) three delegates will be elected from each of 63 state senate districts, but the New York State Senate was gerrymandered in 2012 with the intent of producing a Republican majority,
(2) the average expenditure in 2014 to win in a state senate district was $995,000 and
(3) running for one of the 15 statewide delegate seats will cost millions,

WHEREAS the cost of the convention is likely to be inordinately high because there is no set time limit on its length nor budgetary limit on its expenses. The 204 convention delegates are paid at the same rate as State Senators, with legislators and judges who serve as delegates collecting double pay, and the convention can hire whatever staff and consultants it chooses,

WHEREAS if voters decide in November 2017 to hold a convention, the election of delegates will be on the same day in 2018 as the congressional election, sidetracking our efforts to take back Congress, and

WHEREAS after the convention, there will be a statewide referendum on proposed amendments that could cost millions for paid media, encouraging an influx of money by hedge fund managers, the Koch brothers and others.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, because the convention poses too many risks, Three Parks Independent Democrats opposes the New York State Constitutional Convention and will publically campaign for a “NO” vote in the referendum to be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

Convention Page The New York Civil Liberties Union opposes the convention. This page explains why and links to a fact sheet on the whole the convention process.
No Constitutional Convention web page has many articles opposing the convention as well as links. New York State United Teachers NYSUT, represents over 600,000 teachers.
Convention: a Danger to Pensions Posted by the Retirees Local of the United Federation of Teachers, this article explains why the Convention poses a threat not just to teacher pensions, but to the pensions of all NY State public employees.
More Videos. If you have already watched the video above and it starts playing again here, turn it off and click the box that says More Videos.
No NY Convention Easy to navigate site that lays out the basic arguments against the convention.
New Yorkers Against Corruption This link is set to open to a page listing the many organizations opposing the Convention. More are being added all the time.
United University Professions This site has lots of flyers to download. The organization represents the professional staff at the State University of New York.
Good background information on the convention process from Local 1180 of the Communication Workers of American (CWA.) Includes ten reasons to vote no, a usefull summary.
League of Women Voters "Seeds of Failure" : a detailed 74 page analysis of the 1967 NY State Constitutional Convention, the most recent to have been held.
Language from the NY State Constitution providing for calling Constitutional Convention
Notes from Steve Max's presentation at the Three Parks Independent Democrats debate on the Constitutional Convention
The entire New York State Constitution

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November 1, 2017.

The New York Times says "Vote No."

Read or download the Times editorial here

Flyer for Upper West Side distribution. Quotes from our elected officials.

Download Here

Half sheet flyer. Two on a sheet for cutting. Bullet point reasons to vote NO

Download Here

The above two flyers are signed Three Parks Independent Democrats. If you would like a .doc file to change it to your group's name, email Here

Download two sided flyer with information about other ballot initiatives on the back.

Color version here

B & W Version here

Download Poster Here