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Letter: Protect workers’ rights by rejecting convention

Protect workers’ rights by rejecting convention

In an era when it is common to propose a benefit to the general public, when in fact it diminishes rights and protections, voters should vote no on Nov. 7 on the proposition to convene a constitutional convention in New York.

As the state constitution now stands, residents have environmental, public education, voter and worker rights and a social safety network. Many of these laws and mandates were adopted in a more progressive and humanitarian time.

Historically, constitutional conventions have been controlled by sitting state legislators and others party connected. They have the political infrastructure, financial resources and procedural knowledge that assures they will dominate a delegate caucus. So much for “draining the swamp” in Albany.

If you’re looking for legislative reform, this is akin to letting the fox into the chicken coop. Legislators would receive an additional salary of $79,000 for their service. The cost of a convention is estimated to run into the tens of millions of dollars.

The state constitution has been amended over 200 times. Should two successive legislative sessions vote to change this document, the public has the right to vote on the amendment. That is how Proposals 2 and 3 will come before the voters in November.

Save the cost and the protections we all enjoy in the state constitution that now stands. Use your voting power to rehabilitate our Legislature in Albany. This is the only way to obtain the reforms we all desire. Vote No on Proposal 1.

Stephen J. Muscarella

President, WNY Chapter

NYS Alliance for Retired Americans

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