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  • "New York's Last, Best Hope for Real Reform" The Case for Convening a State Constitutional Convention

    “We The People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.” So begins the Preamble to the New York State Constitution, the supreme law of the land governing the Empire State and all of its citizens. This approximately 50,000-word framework establishes the contours and parameters of state government, and, like all constitutions, simultaneously enumerates and constrains the government’s powers. New York’s constitution, the state’s central governing document has been subject to numerous revisions and amendments; it also establishes and codifies the values that shape the Empire State’s cultural identity: the promotion of commerce, the protection of civil liberties and workers’ rights, advancing public welfare and establishing environmental safeguards, among others. On a more tangible level, the document also serves as an “operating manual” for the actual structure and configuration of state government. It is my assertion that fixing the substantial and endemic problems that lie at the core of New York’s dysfunctional public institutions will require nothing short of the wholesale reformation of the aforementioned “manual,” to enact the long overdue reforms that New Yorkers have called for, yet the Executive and Legislative branches have continually failed to deliver.