Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

You should know that back on April 9, 2017, five (5) months ago, I wrote a “What you should know” column expressing my opposition to a constitutional convention.  Because maybe you did not receive it, back them.  I am herewith sending it back to you again.

Why I Am Against A Constitutional Convention

You should know that on November 7, 2017, New Yorkers will vote on whether or not to spend millions of dollars to hold a State Constitutional Convention.

You should also know that under the New York State Constitution, every 20 years on Election Day, New Yorkers are asked to answer this ballot question: “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?”

It is also important for you to know that I believe that a Constitutional Convention will hurt the men and women in New York who are already struggling to pay their bills and raise their families, among them are union workers from transit to teachers, retirees, those seeking employment, those who find themselves in court, and even our environment will almost certainly suffer irreparable damage.

Some of the reasons why I am opposed to a Constitutional Convention are:

(1) Currently, the Constitution guarantees that pensions benefits for every public employee are protected and cannot be diminished or impaired.  A Constitutional Convention would almost certainly result in the lowering of pension benefits across the board for all public employees.

(2) The public sector union currently has the right to collective bargaining. With a Constitutional Convention, it is most likely that those collective bargaining for public sector unions will end.  This will do away with the right to good jobs and good wages.

(3) Presently, under the Constitution, all workers have the right to access public sector jobs. A Constitutional Convention will most probably turn back the hands of time and allow for discrimination, favoritism, and nepotism in hiring.

(4) The Constitution currently provides for the right to a free public education. A Constitutional Convention could take away this right, harming our children’s fundamental right to education.

(5) Workers compensation rights are currently protected by the Constitution. A Constitutional Convention will almost certainly alter workers compensation, making work especially dangerous for many men and women who face serious injuries every day on the job.

(6) Our watersheds, state parks, and wild preserves are being protected by the Constitution.  A Constitutional Convention can do enormous harm to our environment by opening up our watersheds, state parks, and wild preserves to developers so they can be seized or plundered by the private sector.

(7) Our Constitution requires for judges to be elected into office by voters. A Constitutional Convention would almost certainly end the election of judges in favor or lifetime appointments, thereby opening our judicial system to many levels of corruption.

It is for this reason that I am opposed to, and ask everyone to vote “NO” to a Constitutional Convention. Otherwise, union workers, children, retirees, those seeking employment, those who find themselves in court, and even our environment will almost certainly suffer irreparable damage.

I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.


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