Monday, March 6, 2017
Are you R.E.A.D.Y. to vote in November? Can you say that you are R.E.A.D.Y.?
- Registered to Vote
- Educated on the Issues
- Activated to Mobilize
- Determined to fight
- unYielding in our efforts to save public education
On November 7, 2017 there will be a vote held to decide if the NYS Constitution should be reopened. What could be at stake?
- Guaranteeing the right to a free and public education
- Rights to worker’s compensation
- Right to be a part of a union and to
- collectively bargain
- Requiring the state to provide for social welfare needs
- Prohibiting reductions in public pension benefits
Many people might get upset thinking that changes need to be made to the Constitution. They might also think that the only way to make changes to the Constitution is to reopen it. This is simply not true. Individual bills can be put on the ballot for November and can change the Constitution. The Constitution does not need to be reopened for changes to occur. Specific aspects of the Constitution can be changed by the passage of individual bills. These bills could easily target what needs to be changed without jeopardizing what does not need to be or what special interest groups are wrongly targeting.
When changes are made through individual bills, voting New Yorkers are able to vote on these bills. They have the ability to use their voting power to demonstrate their support or lack of sup- port for a bill. If the NY Constitution is reopened then the power lies with the delegates and decisions are made by the select few. Roughly 200 delegates can amend any part of our Constitution if it is reopened. About 200 people, can decide on different aspects of New Yorkers lives rather than voting New Yorkers.
Also, we must factor the cost of having a Constitutional Convention. The last time it was opened, was 1967. In 1967, it cost taxpayers roughly $6.5 million dollars. In 2016, that same $6.5 million dollars could cost taxpayers over $46 million dollars. This is an extraordinary amount of money and resources that would be expended to reopen the Constitution.
Many people might think they are powerless but in 1997, when the last vote occurred, many groups banded together to convince others to vote no. It worked and the Constitution was not reopened. Among these groups, were teachers.
If you are asking, what you can do. Then here are some answers. Tell others that the Constitution does not need to be reopened to make changes. Tell others that opening the Constitution could result in the rights of New Yorker’s being stripped. Tell others that special interest groups could get their agendas fulfilled if the Constitution reopens and their voices are powerful enough. Tell everyone to vote ‘No!’ Tell others to get registered to vote so that they can participate in this process.
Voter Registration information: http://www.elections.ny.gov/
Click here to download the complete March 2017 Beacon Lite