To the editor:
(re: “Fight to change state constitution comes to Bronx,” Aug. 17)
As a retiree, I am in full agreement with the concerns raised by Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and state Sen. Jeff Klein that a “no” vote is urgently needed in November to protect the current provisions set in the state constitution that we now enjoy.
These include protections against age discrimination, the right to an absentee ballot, access to nursing care, and labor standards.
An open-ended process, controlled by delegates at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars, puts these rights and protections at risk.
Labor protections are currently provided by the state constitution for senior citizens, including protections against age discrimination. Currently, about a third of 65- to 75-year-olds are still in the work force.
In addition, standards, have been set for minimum wage, workday hours, and overtime pay fairness.
Voting rights protected by the state constitution include the use of the absentee ballot, which is used by seniors more than any other group.
Retirees who depend on their pensions could lose them, and the state’s economy would stand to lose the jobs generated by those pensions, and stand to lose the $35 billion they have contributed to the economy.
Let us heed the warning that senatorial districts were drawn in a partisan manner favoring Republicans who would be selecting the delegates — at huge taxpayer expense — and that progressives would become a minority in constitutional discourse.
Let us heed the warning that there are no enforceable campaign finance laws that would keep lobbyists from influencing who gets to participate in the election, and how deeply some of their pockets are lined, like the Koch brothers, who are focused on killing unions and allowing construction in Adirondacks State Park.
Far too much is at stake.