Voting ‘yes’ on con-con empowers New Yorkers
A recent television ad by “New Yorkers Against Corruption” tells us to vote “no” on the proposition for a constitutional convention. In my opinion, citizens against corruption in New York State should vote “yes” on Election Day. A “no” vote guarantees the status quo. Beware: “No” ads inflate potential costs of the constitutional convention process and present bogus claims.
It’s no wonder New Yorkers have one of the lowest voter participation rates in the United States. Albany’s “three men in a room” habit means our state senators and Assembly representatives have little say in decision making, rules and budgets. Real power rests with the governor and the Senate and Assembly leaders.
Voters will elect convention delegates. Citizens can petition to be a delegate and appear on a convention ballot. Later citizens vote on constitution amendments.
Vote “yes” to gain “recall” of elected officials. Recall allows voters to petition for removal of rogue officials. Citizens in other states have this right.
Eliminate processes that enable “three men in a room.” Include rules to increase power of our senators and Assembly representatives. Reduce state controls over local governments to enable local officials to more effectively carry out the wishes of their constituents, and reduce red tape.
A remodeled constitution could set campaign dollar limits for all state elected positions and require full disclosure of individual donors. The convention should consider banning all but personal campaign contributions and set a personal donation limit for each office.
I looked at the New York State Constitution. In no way is this document an elegant, timeless model for government like the U.S. Constitution. We need to change the status quo. Vote “yes” for a constitutional convention. As New Yorkers we can and should do better.