Rockefeller Institute Holding March 25 Con Con Seminar

Still Time to Register!

Can a NYS Constitutional Convention Strengthen Government Ethics?

With so much talk about the erosion of integrity in government, can the problems with elected officials that so frequently dominate our headlines be fixed statutorily or are they more appropriately addressed through constitutional change? As November 2017 and a statewide referendum on whether or not to call a constitutional convention nears, this and other questions will be increasingly on the minds of the voters. This forum will address these important issues.

Friday, March 25th

1:30-4 p.m.

Albany Law School

80 New Scotland Avenue

Introductory remarks will be by former NYS Comptroller H. Carl McCall. Mr. McCall served as a former three-term New York State senator, ambassador to the United Nations, commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and as commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights. He is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY).

The keynote address will be by Richard Briffault, Joseph P. Chamberlain professor of legislation at Columbia Law School, former assistant counsel to Governor Hugh Carey and a member of, or consultant to, several NYC and NYS commissions dealing with state and local governance.

Panelists include:

  • Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the New York State League of Women Voters; 
  • Richard Brodsky, senior fellow at Demos and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, and a former 14-term member of the NYS Assembly;
  • John Dunne, attorney with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, former NYS senator, and former U.S. assistant attorney general;
  • Blair Horner, executive director of the NY Public Interest Research Group;
  • Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program; 
  • Richard Rifkin, special counsel to the New York State Bar Association, former counsel to Governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer, and former executive director of the New York State Ethics Commission; and
  • Karl Sleight, attorney with Harris Beach PLLC, and former executive director of the New York State Ethics Commission.

The event will be moderated by Henry M. Greenberg, attorney with Greenberg Traurig LLP, former assistant U.S. attorney, former counsel to the attorney general, and chair of the NYS Bar Association’s Constitution Committee.

This program is part of a multiyear educational campaign of the Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY, the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, the League of Women Voters of NYS, and the Siena Research Institute to promote understanding and awareness of essential issues pertaining to the NYS Constitution leading up to the 2017 NYS Constitutional Convention referendum. It is, additionally, being sponsored by the NYS Bar Association.

 This event is free to attend and open to the public, but registration is required. Attorneys licensed in NYS will receive 2 credit hours of CLE, free of charge, for attending. Free parking is available for all registered attendees.

 To register, please e-mail Amy Gunnells at

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