Public Discussion on Proposal One, Oct. 23, 2017

On Monday, October 23, the Theodore Roosevelt Site will host a public forum on Proposal One, and the pros and cons of holding a Constitutional Convention in New York State. Presented by Counterpoint and sponsored by the Canisius College Raichle Pre-Law Center, the forum will feature some of the leading local voices on Proposal One and the top scholars on the state constitution.

Panelists and Participants:

  • Dr. Peter Galie, Political Science Professor Emeritus, Canisius College
  • Christopher Bopst, Chief Legal and Financial Officer, Sam Son Logistics, Inc.
  • Jeremy C. Toth, Second Assistant County Attorney, Erie County
  • Richard Lipsitz Jr., President, WNY AFL-CIO; New Yorkers Against Corruption


  • MODERATOR: Michael Wooten, WGRZ

Dr. Peter Galie and Christopher Bopst are co-authors of The New York Constitution 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2012) and co-editors of New York’s Broken Constitution (SUNY Press, 2016). They have co-authored several articles for The Rockefeller Institute on the New York State Constitution. Galie, Bopst, and Jeremy Toth have also authored articles in The Public on Proposal One and the Constitutional Convention process.

We have the power to control our destiny — to shape the government and policies of this state. Regardless of what happens in Washington, we can adopt reforms that will correct the dysfunctions in government; reduce, if not eliminate, the pay-to-play culture in Albany; and place in our constitution policies and rights protections that reflect New York’s distinct political culture. In an age of uncertainty and turmoil at the national level, we can seize the day. 

Jeremy C. Toth is Second Assistant County Attorney for Erie County, and has written on the New York State Constitutional Convention process for The Public.

New York State arguably has the most progressive constitution in this country. Can we get even more progressive? Sure, anything is possible. But can we lose cherished rights and protections that we have taken for granted in this bluest of states? Yep. Anything is possible.

Richard Lipsitz Jr. is president of the The Western New York Area Labor Federation, part of the national AFL-CIO, which was established in 2001 and represents 100,000 members in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.

New Yorkers Against Corruption is a nonpartisan and cross-spectrum umbrella organization of groups opposed to holding a Constitutional Convention.



When New York voters go to the polls Nov. 7, they’ll be presented with more than a slate of politicians. They’ll also face an up-down vote on Proposal One, this state’s vicennial mechanism for triggering a Constitutional Convention. If a majority of voters decide in favor of Proposal One, there will be a special election on November 6, 2018, for delegates to the convention, which would convene on April 2, 2019. Delegates would propose amendments or a new constitution, and citizens would vote on these proposals on November 5, 2019. Approved changes would be ratified on January 1, 2020.

For more information:,_Constitutional_Convention_Question_(2017)


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