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Curious about the New York State Constitutional Convention? Heard rumors that the process might endanger your pension? Want to know more what a “Yes” vote would do and how delegates are elected? Learn how you could you run as a delegate? Citizens Union, your platform for civic engagement in New York City and State, hosted a virtual conversation to answer these questions about the Constitutional Convention and more! The Director of Public Policy of Citizens Union, Rachel Bloom unpacked these questions one by one to explain the process and possibilities found in this historic November 2017 election.

Demystifying the Process

On Thursday, August 4th we held a conference call for those curious about the New York State Constitutional Convention. Over fifty people called in wanting to know more what a “Yes” vote would do and the process to elect delegates. Brandon West, from the New King Democrats, joined the Citizens Union Director of Public Policy, Rachel Bloom.

Questions from the Calls

Question: One misconception people have is once this is voted on in the affirmative, any issue will be automatically passed without discussion.

Citizens Union Answer: Yes, this is one major misconception being exploited by the “Vote No” crowd. The actual process includes three votes. One – to hold the convention. Two – to elect delegates. Three – to ratify the results of the Convention.

Question: If a New York State Constitutional Convention is approved by the voters, what is the time commitment required for a delegate?

Citizens Union Answer: There is no mandated minimum nor maximum amount of time the Convention must run.

Question: Will Citizens Union be involved in recruiting and supporting potential delegates?

Citizens Union Answer: Yes, Citizens Union wants to run an independent bipartisan slate of candidates.

Question: If we Vote Yes to a New York State Constitutional Convention, won’t then each issue brought forth, closed primaries vs. open primaries, legislators who receive pensions after convicted, be a separate issue that then the citizens have to vote on?

Citizens Union Answer: Who knows what will come out of the convention. They could present everything as one question, or multiple ones. But yes, there could be multiple questions. In other news, New York State will be voting on another type of pension question in November.

Read the transcript.