Auros (auros) wrote,

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Help fix California's broken legislature.

A significant portion of what is wrong with California can be traced to the fact that essentially all action on our budget requires a two-thirds vote. As a result, a minority can stymie the will of a substantial majority, and there is no way to truly hold the majority accountable. If a majority could actually enact their priorities, you could judge their performance based on the outcomes of their actions (or their choice to avoid hard choices, if they went that way). As things stand, nothing ever gets done to fix our pressing problems, and you can't entirely be sure whether that's only because of the hardline minority, or whether some of the majority are perfectly happy to have the excuse.

Californians for Democracy is circulating an initiative, the relevant portion of which reads, "All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote." (Unlike the many corporate-backed initiatives that get circulated by paid signature-gathering firms, this one fits, in its entirety, on a single standard sheet of paper; other than the basic declaration, the rest is boilerplate; read it for yourself.) Note that this only affects legislative action -- it does not touch property taxes, because the limits on those were based in voter action. Again, you can read the detailed text yourself; it's pretty straightforward.*

If you think that we ought to end the practice of letting a nihilistic one-third minority shut down our government and destroy services -- everything from parks, to schools, to police and fire protection, to streetlights, to libraries, to treatment and education programs that would help reduce recidivism (and thus overcrowding) in the prisons -- then please download the petition, sign it, and mail it in. If you'd consider getting the four-signature version, and getting a few friends to sign, that'd be even better. Note that the four-signature version on the CA4Democracy site is legal size; if you'd like a letter-size version, I made one and stored it here. ETA: If you want to use the four-signature version, it's apparently legally required that you print it at the font size given in the original PDF, on legal size paper (8.5" x 14"). My letter-size version apparently would be rejected if turned in. (I guess they're concerned for people with poor eyesight?)

Pass it on. Getting signatures from 8% of all registered voters is not easy; normally it costs about a million dollars to hire paid gatherers to do the legwork. CA4Democracy only has the determination of good citizens.

* I still think a split roll, and/or a shift to a Georgist land tax, rather than a property tax, would be a good idea. But it's not the subject of this initiative.

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