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Coalition urges no vote on Con Con ballot question

Preserve Our Hawaii, a diverse coalition of organizations representing the business community, labor unions and environmental groups, is taking a stand to urge residents to vote no on the General Election constitutional convention ballot question. 

Our constitution protects rights that the people of Hawaii value including those for the environment, water and agricultural lands, Native Hawaiian rights, collective bargaining, and individual, civil and privacy rights and much more. Completely opening the constitution puts these rights and protections at risk. It’s too expensive, too dangerous and there are too many unknowns.

"In Hawaii, you have a right to a clean and healthy environment because of our strong state constitution. A constitutional convention could risk weakening this protection and many others like it for our water and our public trust lands. For the Sierra Club, that risk is just not worth it. That is why our elected leaders voted to oppose the constitutional convention," said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaii.

"The Con Con would cost so much money, roughly $55 million. We think it's better to spend that money on our kids in our public schools," said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee. "Besides, we already have a process to change the constitution which has been used more than 70 times since the last Con Con forty years ago."

“The groups coming together in opposition of a constitutional convention don’t always see eye- to-eye,” said HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira. “However, we all recognize that Hawaii’s Constitution is one of the best in the country and a Con Con could very well weaken the rights and protections that we have today. That’s why we all urge everyone to vote no.”

The mission of the ACLU of Hawaii is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the constitution and the laws of the United States and the state of Hawaii guarantee us all. Hawaii’s Constitution grants additional rights – like the right to privacy and the right to equality without regard to sex – that are not as explicit in the United States Constitution.

“Earlier this year the ACLU opposed a push to hold a federal constitutional convention,” explained ACLU Hawaii Executive Director Joshua Wisch. “A constitutional convention on the national or state level opens a Pandora’s box of opportunity for opponents of civil rights. We don’t deny that Hawaii’s government can do better. However, putting these rights at risk, which are specifically guaranteed to the people of Hawaii, is not the way to do it.”

The list of organizations standing with Preserve Our Hawaii continues to grow. Current members are listed below. For more information, go to DontBeConConned.com.

ACLU Hawaii
Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
Democratic Party of Hawaii
District Council 50/International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
Hawaii Fire Fighters Association
Hawaii Government Employees Association
Hawaii Laborers & Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund
Hawaii State AFL-CIO
Hawaii’s Thousand Friends
Hawaii State Teachers Association
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Longshore and Warehouse Union – Hawaii
Laborers’ International Union of North America
Sierra Club of Hawaii
State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers
United Public Workers
University of Hawaii Professional Assembly

Read these ConCon FAQs from Civil Beat.

 

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Author: Keoki Kerr
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