The Green Party of New York (GPNY) State Committee made a decision at its quarterly meeting on Saturday, September 16 to issue a statement that it would decline to endorse either the pro or con side of the New York State Constitutional Convention vote in November.
Party officers cited the large gap between what the Convention could be–a place for grassroots democratic discussion and passage of amendments that would benefit all New Yorkers–and what it likely would be: a convention dominated by sitting and former legislators looking to collect a second paycheck, elected in large State Senate districts on waves of corporate cash.
GPNY said that Greens should feel free to vote their conscience in November on this issue, but that it would focus on its candidates and organizing for the passage of the New York Health Act, its primary focus this year.
Statement from GPNY Co-chairs Peter LaVenia and Gloria Mattera: Party members were evenly split on this issue after hearing from representatives of The People’s Convention and the local Troy Area Labor Council. We believe that the state government is broken, and that serious, radical change is needed. Yet the very real consequences of a Convention at a time when the Left is not yet an organized mass movement in New York, and is unlikely to become one due to the Convention, led many party members to hesitate to support endorsement of the convention. Given that the party supports wholesale change and reform to all levels of government, we also felt we could not decide to issue a statement that told party members to vote no on the convention. The best option was to decline to make an endorsement either way, and allow party members to feel free to vote as they please on this issue on the November ballot.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE