Every 20 years the people of New York vote on whether or not they will hold a constitutional convention. This event is less important for freelance reporters than official reporters, but I am going to talk a little about it in that it can impact New York State reporters.
Very quickly, the constitutional convention would enable the selection of delegates who would then propose changes to the constitution. The proponents of the convention, including the Bar Association, state that it is old and needs improvement.
The opposition, those who would vote no, including the Judge’s Association and NYCLU, worry that a constitution could be used to take things away from New Yorkers, such as our New York Human Rights Law, declaring that no New Yorker should be discriminated against for race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, and the collective bargaining power of people in the state.
Succinctly, I side with the no camp. And I urge each stenographer to side with the no camp. I have not heard promises of a better tomorrow. No one has come out to pledge that they would rework the constitution in a way that is more favorable to New Yorkers than it is today. So sadly, despite being a huge fan of change, I think that the best route to change any failings of the current constitution is for the legislature to amend it piece by piece.
That’s my two cents. Rarely will there be politics posts here, but this could impact the pensions and bargaining power of officials, or freelancers if someday they should unionize, and we must keep those options open.