June 19, 2017

Broad coalition announces opposition to a constitutional convention

Source:  New Yorkers Against Corruption
constitutional convention

On some issues, we may agree to disagree. But on the question of a constitutional convention in New York state, we are united: It's a boondoggle.

The newly announced coalition New Yorkers Against Corruption released the following to the media Monday, June 19, 2017.

See also: List of coalition partners.

Broad, diverse and unprecedented coalition of more than 100 organizations announces opposition to a constitutional convention

Coalition asserts that a convention would be a boondoggle that only benefits corrupt Albany insiders while hurting everyday New Yorkers

Contact: Tom Meara
Phone: (718) 309-3506

Albany, New York – A coalition of organizations, broad and diverse in both its geography and ideology, today announced a new coalition, New Yorkers Against Corruption (NYAC). The coalition will run a multifaceted campaign to educate voters about the potentially destructive impact that a Constitutional Convention would have on New Yorkers.   

New Yorkers Against Corruption (NYAC) is an unprecedented alliance of progressive activists, conservatives, environmentalists and labor organizations.  It is likely the first time in state history that these groups have galvanized their grassroots advocates for the same cause. This fact is emblematic of how disastrous the referendum’s passage would be to New York.

“The prospect of a constitutional convention touted by idealists is a complete fraud. We know nothing about the framework of a convention – How much will it cost? What are the rules to run as delegates? Which issues will be considered? How will Albany insiders ensure transparency? There is a total lack of information,” said Jordan Marks, Campaign Manager for NYAC. “That is why over 100 organizations – representing millions of people from throughout New York –  formed NYAC.  We, the people of New York, have zero interest in writing a blank check for corrupt Albany insiders to throw themselves a multi-year party.”

“Women have struggled for decades to have a seat at the table and this process will not be inclusive, making it vulnerable to powerful special interests that do not stand for the people of New York, especially those already underrepresented," said Robin Chappelle Golston, CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.

“A constitutional convention will be a taxpayer funded, $300 million boondoggle that will only award corrupt Albany insiders, not hardworking, everyday New Yorkers,” said Tom King, President of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. “Corrupt politicians and their friends and family members will end up being elected as delegates. I am sure their first goal will be to attack our rights.”

“I have a responsibility to advance policies that protect the rights of 2.5 million working people and their families,” said Mario Cilento, President of New York State AFL-CIO. “A Constitutional Convention would give well-funded special interests the ability to control a process that can negatively impact those rights including the right to organize, funding for education, and care for injured workers. Our teachers, firefighters, nurses and all hard working New Yorkers deserve better.

“I experienced the Constitutional Convention in 1967 and it was a disaster. Establishment politicians and Albany insiders will hijack the process and abuse their power as delegates,” said Michael Long, Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party. “Further, a constitutional convention will cost New Yorkers hundreds of millions of tax dollars. There is already a process in place to change the New York State constitution. That is why we have four new casinos coming to New York State. If any legislative issue needs change, we all know the course.”

“Right now, the nation needs New York to champion policies that will protect our health and environment. Our constitution is the bedrock on which our safeguards are built," said Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates. “Through a constitutional convention we could lose everything we worked so hard for and the nation would lose our leadership.”

“For generations, we have worked to defend and preserve the rights and liberties that are guaranteed by the New York state constitution,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “A constitutional convention endangers that work by exposing our cherished constitutional values – and the rights of all New Yorkers – to tinkering, horse-trading, and compromise. The NYCLU will stand alongside the members of this coalition to educate voters about the risks a convention poses.”

Coalition Partners

Members of the New Yorkers Against Corruption coalition include:

  • Adirondack Council
  • NYS Conservative Party
  • Council of Churches
  • CSEA
  • Environmental Advocates of New York
  • Equality New York
  • New York State AFL-CIO
  • New York State Alliance for Retired Americans
  • New York State Professional Fire Fighters
  • New York State Rifle and Pistol Association
  • Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
  • Right to Life
  • New York Republican State Committee, Chairman Ed Cox
  •  Strong Economy for All Coalition
  • Working Families Party
  • UFT
  • NYS Public Employees Federation (PEF)
  • AFM Local 802
  • Alliance of South Asian American Labor
  • Bronx GOP
  • Buffalo Branch NAACP
  • Cattaraugus Allegany Central Labor Council
  • CBTU NY Chapter
  • Central New York Area Labor Federation
  • Central NY Central Labor Council of Oneida & Herkimer Counties
  • Chemung County Democratic Party
  • Citizens for a Better Southern Tier
  • City of Corning Democratic Party
  • Coalition for Economic Justice
  • Community Voices Heard
  • CWA District One
  • CWW Rochester
  • Dunkirk Central Labor Council
  • Dutchess County Central Labor Council
  • Elmira City Democratic Party
  • Equality Long Island
  • Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Greater Southern Tier BOCES Support Staff Association
  • Greater Syracuse Council on Occupational Safety & Health
  • Horseheads Teachers' Association
  • Hudson- Catskill Central Labor Council
  • Humanists of Long Island
  • IBEW Local 139
  • Indivisible Patriots of Long Island
  • Jamestown Central Labor Council
  • Jefferson Lewis & St. Lawrence Counties Central Trades & Labor Council
  • Kate Mullany CLUW
  • Labor Religion Coalition
  • Labor Religion Coalition of the Finger Lakes
  • LGBT Network
  • LITAC Long Island Transgender
  • Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW
  • Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY)
  • Long Island Jobs with Justice
  • Long Island LGBT Community Center
  • Long Island Progressive Coalition
  • Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition
  • Make the Road
  • Metro New York A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • Move Forward Long Island
  • New York Committee on Occupational Health and Safety
  • New York Communities for Change
  • New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU)
  • New York Progressive Action Network of the Southern Finger Lakes
  • Niagara Orleans Central Labor Council
  • North Country Peace Group
  • Northeast Central Labor Council
  • NYC & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters
  • NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
  • NYS PEF Retirees
  • Port Authority PBA
  • Pride at Work - NYC/LI
  • Pride at Work - Rochester/Finger Lakes
  • Professional Staff Congress
  • Progressive East End Reformers
  • Queens LGBT Community Center (QCenter)
  • Rochester Metro Justice
  • Rochester Next Up
  • Rockland County Central Labor Council
  • SEIU 32 BJ
  • Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders-Long Island (SAGE-LI)
  • Staten Island Republican Party
  • Steuben Livingston Central Labor Council
  • Suffolk Child Care Council
  • Teamsters Local 814
  • Tioga County Republican Party
  • Tri-County Central Labor Council
  • TWU NY/NJ State Conference
  • UAW Region 9A New York Area CAP Council
  • UFCW Local 1500
  • United Steelworkers District 4
  • Upper Hudson Central Labor Council
  • Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body
  • Western New York Area Labor Federation
  • Writers Guild of America, East
  • Yonkers PBA