The New York State
Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Information Related to New York's Nov. 7, 2017 Constitutional Convention Referendum



In recent decades, the quality of public deliberation about periodic constitutional convention referendums has been low. In particular, there has been a lack of historical, comparative, and normative information to help people understand this important democratic institution.

The New York State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse seeks to rectify this problem. In particular, it seeks to elevate the quality of public deliberation on issues relevant to New York’s November 7, 2017 referendum on whether to convene a state constitutional constitution, and then, if voters pass the referendum, issues relevant to subsequent stages in the constitutional convention process.

A companion website, The State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse, provides information about related referendums in other states. Information about America’s last state constitutional convention referendum may be found at another companion website, Rhode Island’s Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse.


If you use this website for your research, please do the author the courtesy of citing it.

Source: Designed by J.H. Snider

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President (inscribed on Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC)

J.H. Snider, Editor

J.H. Snider is the president of, a public policy institute that focuses on the most difficult areas of democratic reform─where elected officials have a conflict of interest in bringing about reforms that might reduce their own power.  From 2011-2013 he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and during Spring Semester 2009 a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.  He has also been a fellow at the New America Foundation, American Political Science Association, and Northwestern University.  Dr. Snider has a Ph.D. in American Government from Northwestern University and an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College.

He is available to speak about New York’s constitutional convention history from 1776 to the present and the history of U.S. state constitutional conventions more generally.

Phone: 646-580-6420