Why Not a Con Con?

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, hosting a conclave of civic-minded people to discuss, debate and ultimately decide to change our constitution is an exercise worthy of consideration that is better in theory than in practice.

Constitutional conventions are mini-legislative sessions. They are held in Albany and the delegates are voted in the same way state legislators are.

They are rarely successful. Our current state constitution dates back to 1894. There have been other Constitutional Conventions since then: in 1915, 1938, and 1967. Of those, only 1938 developed changes that voters approved.

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