College Hosting Debate on New York State Constitutional Convention on Sept. 26

Representatives from opposing sides will debate on the upcoming vote.

NYS_768x576.jpgOn Tuesday, Nov. 7, New Yorkers will vote on whether or not to a hold a constitutional convention. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Arthur Schwartz, a prominent election law lawyer, and John O’Malley, the legislative director for a chapter of the Communication Workers of America CWA Local, will debate on whether or not the state should hold the first constitutional convention in 50 years.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Kelly Commons at 3900 Waldo Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463 on the Manhattan College campus. This is a free event and open to the public.

New York State puts a convention up for referendum every two decades by state law. If a constitutional convention were to take place, specially elected delegates from the state’s legislative districts can propose amendments to New York’s constitution. Amendments to the constitution would only be made if they are passed by voters in a later referendum.

New York last held a constitutional convention in 1967, only to have none of its amendments passed. The state’s last referendum for a constitutional convention was in 1997, when it was voted down.

The Manhattan College government department, government and politics club, Concerned Citizen For Change, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and Northwest Bronx Indivisible are sponsoring this event.

For more information about the constitutional convention debate, contact Margaret Groarke, Ph.D., associate professor of government of Manhattan College, at margaret.groarke@manhattan.edu or (718) 862-7943.

By Pete McHugh