PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 11, 2021 


We reflect and update as HIV/AIDS first came to national attention 40 years ago this month; and when it comes to infrastructure spending, bipartisanship isn't dead yet.


2021Talks - June 11, 2021 


President Biden offers up more COVID-19 vaccines to the world; Dems and GOP close in on an infrastructure deal; and Speaker Pelosi tries to quell a spat over the Middle East among Democrats.

Voters to Decide on NY State Constitutional Convention

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Every 20 years, New Yorkers can vote for or against holding a state constitutional convention. (Ron Cogswell/Flickr)
Every 20 years, New Yorkers can vote for or against holding a state constitutional convention. (Ron Cogswell/Flickr)
 By Andrea Sears - Producer, Contact
November 3, 2017

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, voters in New York will have the once-in-a-generation opportunity to vote for or against holding a state constitutional convention.

The question goes to the voters every 20 years, and in 1977 and 1997, New Yorkers said 'no.' A 'yes' vote would begin the process of electing delegates next year who could propose amendments to the state's governing document.

Priscilla Grim with Citizens Union, a good-government advocacy group, says a constitutional convention could take on issues that the state legislature consistently fails to address.

"We could expand voting access to all New Yorkers, and modernize those processes," she says. "We could install term limits for corrupt politicians, and figure out how to make it easier for everyday people to run for office."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo initially supported holding a constitutional convention but has since expressed reservations, and the leaders of both houses of the legislature oppose it.

There's also opposition from civil liberties groups, labor unions and environmental groups, who fear that the process would jeopardize rights in the current document. Grim thinks those fears are unfounded. She notes that citizens have three opportunities to vote in the process.

"There's one for the meeting, one to elect delegates, and the third vote is to reject or ratify the outcome of the convention," she explains. "This is the closest thing we have to participatory democracy in the system that we live in."

The last constitutional convention was held in 1967 - when voters ultimately rejected the amendments that the delegates proposed.

Grim adds that the turmoil from the last presidential election has sparked widespread interest in getting involved in the political process.

"People are more energized and more excited about running for office than ever," she notes. "People are so thirsty for real political solutions. We could do that in this process."

But others, concerned about the $50-100 million cost of a convention, believe it would be controlled by legislators, and waste taxpayer money - ultimately for no purpose.

Best Practices