July 12th Event at Cooper Union
I was lucky to have arrived early to the auditorium at Cooper’s Union on July 12th. The room was packed, and I could feel the energy of the people around me as we waited for the presentations to begin.
There were a wide variety of speakers, each presenting from their unique perspective about the need for a constitutional convention to address the problems with our current state government. After the presentations, the audience had an opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming vote on the convention and process for making change happen. After voters decide to hold a convention this November, the delegate election process begins. Three delegates per State Senate district plus 15 statewide delegates will be elected in November of 2018. Then in 2019, the delegates will meet for the convention and propose amendments. Finally, in November of 2020, the voters will once again come to the polls to approve or reject the amendments suggested by the delegates.
Some of the people who attended expressed concerns over the possibilities for the convention to be hijacked by people who did not want the best for New York, but two things reassured me. First, the people of the New York are the ones who vote on everything. Nothing can be put into our state constitution without the approval of the people. Second, the groups I was worried about all seem to be working against a constitutional convention because they know they have a better chance to continue to hijack our state by keeping everything the same. All of the organizations that have joined the coalition to fight for a Constitutional Convention support making our elected officials more responsive to the people of New York, not powerful out-of-state interests.
This event was the first of many that will be hosted to get the word out about our once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform our state for the better. I hope that all of my fellow New Yorkers will be able to, as I was, learn more about the convention and understand why and how this is the best and only option to reform New York. I didn’t know it was possible for an event to leave me disappointed about the many problems in my state but also fill me with motivation and enthusiasm about how to fix it.