Constitutional Convention Debate On A Lamp Post

PROSPECT HEIGHTS – When Art Chang put the pro-Constitutional Convention (ConCon) yard sign by his residence, he was hoping to send a message to his neighbors. He was not quite expecting to engage in lamp post exchange on pros and cons in his Prospect Heights neighborhood.

Next day he woke up to find this posted across from the sign:

Art took up the challenge, and listed his Four points to counter the No arguments:

Whoever did the posters, probably did not know that Art Chang volunteers his time with The Sanctuary State Project, a pro-constitutional convention organization he founded in August. His response made that clear.

Last weekend upped the game:

Art, a software entrepreneur who is a Board Member of the NYC Campaign Finance Board, and was the Founding Chair of the NYC Voter Assistance Advisory Committee, has lived in Prospect Heights since 1997. He hopes the posters will stay up outside 384 Sterling place until November 7, when one of the questions on the ballot will be – are you for or against holding a Constitutional Convention to consider changes to the New York Constitution, which has not been updated since 1938.

What is Constitutional Convention? Why Vote YES? Why Vote NO? – The Village Voice ran an excellent summary of why you should care, and what’s at stake by Ross Barkan (who has since announced he’s running for Marty Golden’s Senate seat in Bay Ridge). Written in plain English, it is one that you really should read, regardless of which way you are leaning.

One takeaway –  any amendments proposed to the New York State Constitution at a Constitutional Convention, should folks vote in favor of holding one come November 7, would still need to be approved by voters to take effect. Last time voters said NO.

Electioneering by the Fire House on Cortelyou Road / BKLYNER

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  1. I agree with the NYTimes editorial to vote “NO.” The delegates to ConCon will be the same political insiders as now populates Albany. There is no reason to think any meaningful reform will happen from this cast of characters. And think about how many subway power failures (like this morning) could be avoided by spending the millions required for ConCon instead to the MTA – or to schools or libraries.

    Vote NO.

  2. Every registered voter gets three changes to make sure that we all enjoy a positive outcome, yet convention opponents are encouraging everyone to vote ‘no’ at the very first opportunity, the vote whether or not to even convene. And the opponents are engaging in the worst kind of fear-mongering. Fred (above) “knows” that “The delegates to ConCon will be the same political insiders as now populates Albany.” The poster of the anti-convention signs in the photographs “knows” that the convention delegates will take away teachers’ pensions. Nobody knows either of these things. A constitutional convention is a rare chance to address many of the ills in Albany (campaign finance loopholes, gerrymandered election districts, etc.) that our elected legislators will not. Let’s give a convention a chance by voting ‘yes.’ And then, let’s vote to populate the convention with delegates that are not “the same political insiders.” And then, let’s vote ‘yes’ on recommendations that make New York State a better place, and vote ‘no’ on recommendations that hurt workers or reduce environmental protections. A ‘no’ vote now is premature and does nothing but preserve the status quo, which we do all know is not working.

  3. At the last constitutional convention (1967), 7% of the delegates were politicians, 93% were actual people. The delegate election is separate from the senatorial election, and 3 from each district, so there’s no reason to assume that the delegates will be Albany insiders. I would think that the delegate candidates would be people interested in writing a state constitution. The state is a mess, the legislature shows no interest in changing it, it’s up to us. I’m voting yes.

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