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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!

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