Every 20 years, voters are asked to support or oppose a constitutional convention. If they support it, which hasn't happened since 1938, three delegates from each Senatorial District are elected next November. In April of 2019, they will be sent to the convention.
All aspects of the state constitution are up for debate, from term limits to legalizing marijuana. Whatever the convention delegates adopt and propose will go back before voters for an up-or-down vote in November of 2019.
Are there some pretty scary pitfalls that come with a constitutional convention? Nobody is denying there is. The whole process could be hijacked by special interests, and some fear they could target issues like employee pensions and restricting development in natural areas.
Does that sound familiar? Because that is what is already happening in Albany. If the constitutional convention is hijacked by lobbyists, its should be easy for them to do as our state legislators have been showing them the best way to go about that for decades now.
A state legislature that is consistently ranked one of the most corrupt in the nation doesn't all of a sudden get to take a moral high ground and push the narrative that the voters of New York State can't figure out what is good for us.
If there is a constitutional convention, it will be incumbent on all of us to serve as watchdogs to make sure the process is on the level and is best for the people of this state, which we will do at the ballot box.
It won't be easy, but we think the majority of voters are up for the challenge.
Political pundits always like to say that legislators will be held accountable at the end of their term when voters head to the ballot box. Let's remove the middle man and give real voters the chance to enact change and bypass the Albany gridlock.
It doesn't get any more “by the people, for the people” than that.