Charter Revision in the Empire State

The Politics of New York's 1967 Constitutional Convention

By Henrik N. Dullea

Subjects: New York State Government
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9780914341499, 449 pages, March 1997

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Table of contents

Richard P. Nathan


Part I. The Lure of the Constitutional Convention

1. Introduction: The Scope of the Study
2. Why Study the Convention--And How

Part II. The Road to the '67 Convention

3. The Call of the Convention
4. The Delegates: Their Nomination and Election
5. Preparing for the Convention
6. Open for Business

Part III. The Convention at Work: Drafting the Charter

7. Procedure at the Convention
8. The Structure of Government
9. The Fight Over "Blaine"
10. Rights and Resources
11. City and State
12. The Judiciary, Again
13. United Parcel or Piecemeal: Presenting the New Constitution

Part IV. What Happened?

14. The Ratification Campaign
15. Patterns of Conflict and Cohesion
16. A Magnificent Failure

Appendix: Delegates to the 1967 New York State Constitutional Convention



Provides an eyewitness record of the people, events, issues, and legacy of this failed convention.


Few citizens know much about the constitution of their state. Some don't even know there is one. Yet state constitutions are basic instruments of our democracy. They structure state and local government and stipulate the rights of citizenship.

In New York State, as in others, the Constitution mandates a periodic vote on whether the state Constitution should be revised. In New York, a mandatory ballot question is put before the voters every twenty years — "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?"

Seven months prior to the next such vote — which will be held on Election Day, November 4, 1997 — the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government is publishing companion books on the New York State Constitution — one a sourcebook on constitutional change in New York, the other a rich history of the last constitutional convention held in New York State, that in 1967.

The author of this book on the 1967 convention is Henrik N. Dullea, vice-president for university relations at Cornell University. He is a graduate of Cornell and received his Ph. D. degree in political science from the Maxwell Graduate School of Syracuse University. From 1983 to 1991, Dullea was director of state operations and policy management for Governor Mario M. Cuomo, responsible for the day-to-day activities of New York State's departments and agencies.