Letters to the Editor

Letter: No to a convention

There are many reasons why a state constitutional convention is unnecessary; I would like to outline a few. The Alaska Constitution is a comprehensive, clear and thoughtful document that has served the people of this state well since its inception more than 60 years ago.

A constitutional convention would cost the state upward of $17 million, and if there were no legal challenges to the new constitution, which is highly unlikely, it could take four to six years before changes were adopted.A constitutional convention would, by its nature, be divisive and not in the best interest of the state. Let’s stop spending time and money on issues that do not need fixing; let’s focus our energy and resources on real problems in our communities and state, i.e., homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, education, health care, affordable housing, and numerous other major issues.The Alaska Constitution was adopted in 1956. Since that time, the question of holding a constitutional convention has appeared on the ballot every 10 years. Alaska’s voters have repeatedly rejected it. Meanwhile, over the past 60 years, the constitution has been amended 28 times, without a convention.

Make no mistake, the people pushing for a constitutional convention have an agenda that goes far beyond the Permanent Fund issue. It includes, but will not be limited to: school vouchers, directing public school funds to private/religious schools; changes to the current method of selecting judges; ending a woman’s right to a legal abortion, including for rape victims; eroding our fundamental right to privacy from government intrusion; stepping on our civil rights and other liberties — if you didn’t love the world of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” you’ll want to vote no.

Bottom line: A state constitutional convention is a bad idea. It is expensive, unnecessary and contentious.

Please vote no on Ballot Measure 1 in November and defend our constitution.

— Ann Sugrue


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