Convention Not Best Plan for NY

Mr. Morrongiello’s prescription to save upstate New York in his Jan. 5 Guest Viewpoint is admirable.

Civic participation is the cornerstone of our democracy. It is the reason why the founders of the great state of New York wrote into its constitution that residents be given a choice every 20 years to hold a constitutional convention.

Unfortunately, the idea of another costly convention is better in theory than in practice.

Political ideologies, backroom deals and personal agendas have ruled over New York’s constitutional convention process. The last conclave in 1967 produced nothing more than a path for the politically connected to collect another check to increase their government pensions. Millions in taxpayer dollars were spent and very little was achieved that could not have been accomplished through a statewide referendum.

We have amended our constitution more than 200 times through referendums voted on by the people. This is the most democratically efficient and economical way to change our constitution. In just the last few years, voters approved more than seven amendments.

Voters, don’t be fooled into supporting another convention. The only winners will be special interests and the losers will be us.



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