Coalition Urges ‘No’ Vote on Con Con Ballot QuestionOctober 11, 2018, 2:04 PM HST (Updated October 11, 2018, 2:04 PM)
Preserve Our Hawaii is urging residents to vote “no” on the General Election constitutional convention ballot question.
Preserve Our Hawaii is a diverse coalition of organizations representing the business community, labor unions, and environmental groups,
The US constitution protects rights that the people of Hawai‘i value, including those for the environment, water and agricultural lands, Native Hawaiian rights, collective bargaining, and individual, civil and privacy rights and much more, the coalition stated in its Oct. 11, 2018, press release. Completely opening the constitution puts these rights and protections at risk. It’s too expensive, too dangerous and there are too many unknowns, the press release continued.
“In Hawai‘i, you have a right to a clean and healthy environment because of our strong state constitution,” said Marti Townsend, director for the Sierra Club of Hawaii. “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.”
“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 Hawai‘i’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 Hawai‘i is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the constitution and the laws of the United States and the state of Hawai‘i guarantee us all. Hawai‘i’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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i’s government can do better. However, putting these rights at risk, which are specifically guaranteed to the people of Hawai‘i, is not the way to do it.”
The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i represents more than 2,000 member companies and serves as the voice of business in Hawai‘i. The chamber also urges its members to vote no.
“We strongly believe there is no compelling reason to hold a Constitutional Convention now,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i. “With cost estimates in the millions of dollars and no clear benefit to the business community, it just doesn’t seem prudent at this time.”
The list of organizations standing with Preserve Our Hawaii continues to grow. Current members are listed below. For more information, go to DontBeConConned.com.
Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
Council For Native Hawaiian Advancement
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