New Yorkers Can the Con Con proposal by an 80% no vote!
November 8, 2017
Dear PEF Members, Retirees, and Staff,
I want to thank each and every one of you for your part in the overwhelming defeat of Proposition 1 in yesterday’s election. New Yorkers rejected the Con Con proposal by an 80 percent no vote!
This victory means more than just stopping the Constitutional Convention. It also clearly demonstrates what can be accomplished when we all work together and engage the membership with a clear message. Our membership, retirees and staff all worked hand in hand to protect pensions, collective bargaining and many other issues that could have been taken away.
PEF committed resources early on to educate our membership and the public about the dangers of a constitutional convention. From our Vote No Toolkit, PEF regional meetings, phone banking, and door knocking to placing educational flyers in every piece of mail that left the PEF office, everyone played a role in this victory.
Because of you, all New Yorker’s will continue to enjoy the protections the New York State Constitution provides. Together We Win!
On the November 2017 ballot, New York voters will be asked to decide whether to call a convention to rewrite the New York State Constitution.
A constitutional convention would have far reaching, long-term consequences that threaten many of the benefits and services working New Yorkers depend on and expect — and once they are gone, it could take decades to get them back.
PEF MEMBERS, introduce yourself to all the tools in our kit. Here is tool #1 Get to know the facts:
What’s at stake?
- The environment – New York State’s constitution has the nation’s strongest protections for forever wild areas like the Adirondacks and the Catskills. Greedy developers could push to undo these safeguards;
- Public education – The state constitution guarantees our students the right to a free public education;
- The social safety net – The state constitution ensures the state provides for citizens in need;
- Our voting rights – The constitution provides valuable protections; and
- Don’t risk losing these vital safeguards.
It’s A Politician’s Convention!
- During the last convention, four out of five delegates were career politicians and Albany insiders;
- And every politician who ran for a delegate seat that year, won a delegate seat;
- And who ran the show? All of the convention leaders were sitting legislators;
- Most troubling? Thanks to Citizens United, corporate special interests can spend unlimited money getting their cronies elected; and
- Do you trust Albany insiders to do what’s right? Don’t risk it.
It’s just not necessary!
- A process already exists to amend the state constitution, and it doesn’t cost a thing;
- For example, the state Legislature passed an amendment in 2013 expanding casino gambling. The same process could be used for new amendments;
- Opening the state constitution is like opening Pandora’s Box;
You can’t predict what changes delegates will make;
- The last time a convention took place it was a complete failure; voters rejected every proposed constitutional change; and
- Don’t add to Albany waste.
A waste of tax dollars!
- Experts estimate a constitutional convention will cost hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars;
- Lawmakers can collect salaries and pension credits as elected officials and as delegates simultaneously;
- The last time a constitutional convention took place, it cost taxpayers millions and accomplished nothing;
- Constitutional conventions don’t have mandatory end dates -delegates keep meeting and taxpayers keep paying; and
- Should taxpayers fund a party for Albany insiders? No!
Labor rights at risk!
- At risk: The right to unionize and bargain collectively. Your union’s strength could be jeopardized;
- At risk: Workers’ compensation. Safeguard your rights if you’re injured on the job;
- At risk: Public pension protections. The constitution guarantees your pension will be there;
- Other states have made drastic pension changes with disastrous results for active members and retirees. Don’t let it happen here; and
- Don’t risk your rights/your future!