The Rhode Island State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Information on Rhode Island's constitutionally mandated Nov. 5, 2024 constitutional convention referendum, including news, opinion, and history



In recent decades, the quality of public deliberation about periodic constitutional convention referendums in Rhode Island and elsewhere has been low.  In particular, there has been a lack of historical, comparative, and normative information to help people understand this important democratic institution. and its accompanying website, The State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse, seek to rectify this problem.   In particular, seeks to elevate the quality of public deliberation on issues relevant to Rhode Island’s November 5, 2024 referendum on whether to convene a constitutional constitution, and, if voters pass the referendum, issues relevant to subsequent stages in the constitutional convention process.


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.

He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, New America (a DC-based thinktank), the 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.  

Rhode Island Op-eds (2024 Cycle)

Snider, J.H., and Gary Sasse, It’s past time for RI to prep for Nov. 5 constitutional convention, Providence Journal, May 12, 2024. A copy of the article as published in the print edition can be found here.

Rhode Island Op-eds (2014 Cycle)
Constitutional Convention records speak for themselves,Warwick Beacon, November 4, 2014.

Constitutional Convention and the out-of-state-money bogeyman, Providence Journal, October 24, 2014.

Constitutional Convention purpose? Democratic reform , Valley Breeze, October 21, 2014.

1787: Vote No Against Convening a National Constitutional Convention (a satire), GoLocalProv, October 17, 2014.

R.I. handbook shows blatant bias, Providence Journal, September 25, 2014.

R.I.’s poor preparation for conventionProvidence Journal, August 2, 2014.

‘Dark money’ drives R.I. constitutional convention votesProvidence Journal, June 13, 2014.

R.I. needs a constitutional convention, Providence Journal, March 21, 2014.

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