Charter Revision in the Empire State
The Politics of New York's 1967 Constitutional Convention
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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.