Friday, September 19, 2008

From IFT: Vote NO on Con Con

Statement from the Illinois Federation of Teachers on the state constitutional convention issue:

We would like to take a brief moment of your time to let you know about an issue important to all IFT members that will be on the ballot Nov. 4th.

Illinois voters will be asked whether Illinois should hold a constitutional convention (Con Con) to rewrite Illinois’ governing document. The last time voters were asked if a Con Con was needed, they overwhelmingly rejected the proposal by a 3 to 1 margin. We must do the same this year.

There are many reasons to vote NO:

* PENSIONS: A Con Con would open up the entire document to significant changes, threatening the pension guarantee in the current constitution. This guarantee is the only thing that keeps politicians from reducing the pension benefits that we earn and are entitled to as teachers and public employees.

* COST: A Con Con would cost Illinois taxpayers as much as $100 million - money that would be better spent on education funding and critical public services.

* DELAY: A Con Con could take years to complete and would only give legislators an excuse to further delay acting on important issues facing our state.

* AMENDMENTS: The state constitution can already be changed by amendment. In fact, Illinois voters have amended the current constitution 10 times since 1970.

We need your help to get the word out and to assist in this effort by using the resources in the IFT’s Con Con Toolkit.

In the toolkit you’ll find a PowerPoint presentation that explores the issues surrounding this year's call for a constitutional convention and the implications of a Con Con for IFT members; an informative video featuring IFT members, leaders and opponents of the proposed constitutional convention to discuss the importance of voting NO on Con Con; an online application that will allow you and your members to send emails to friends and family encouraging a NO vote in the Nov. 4th General Election; and a downloadable worksite flyer. If your members prefer to be contacted by regular mail, the IFT also has postcards that are available in quantity by contacting the IFT’s Legislative Office at 217/544-8562.

These materials are for use by IFT members and will not be available on the IFT’s public website. Please save the link to the Con Con Toolkit by adding it to your “Favorites” list in your web browser.

You can learn more about this issue by visiting the special Vote No on Con Con section of the IFT website or by visiting the Alliance to Protect the Illinois Constitution (APIC) website. APIC is a broad coaltition of citizens and organizations, including the IFT, all working together to oppose a constitutional convention.

A constitutional convention would be costly and unwise.


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