Citizen Control

Very few governments have escaped "blowing up" fiscally. This site explores ways that citizens can bring stability to governance.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

California Constitutional Convention "Summit"

The California Constitutional Convention (CCC) "Summit" yesterday in Sacramento was revealing on several levels. First, as Joe Mathews has already stated, the politicians in attendance pleaded for inclusion as Convention Delegates. The most persuasive argument for not including them was that voters wouldn't trust such a convention and would vote down the initiative calling the convention. A person who was on a board or commission pleaded that no provision be incorporated that would automatically sunset boards and commissions.

Second, the constitutional fixes most often mentioned missed the reasons the problems exist. At the top of everyone's list of things to fix were 1) 2/3 majority required for budget, 2) term limits, and 3) the Initiative process. However, voters like these features if only because they don't trust the CA legislature. The problem to address is the credibility of the CA legislature, which requires structural reform. Every idea presented at the summit was "inside the box," offered by people mentally if not physically inside the system. No one suggested anything that would give voters something that would make them feel comfortable with the three citizen controls listed above.

My previous post on a Continuous Referendum Assembly, a riff off of Steven Hill's work on Citizen Assemblies, is such a comprehensive suggestion. Steven Hill's approach would be an excellent basis for the make up of the CCC membership, as he presented during the summit.

It appears that the Bay Area Council will hold a similar summit in Southern California. There were less than a dozen people from the south-land at the Sacramento event. We have a long way to go.



At Thu May 28, 02:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Cheryl's Office said...

Californians are angry! We believe California’s system of government is fundamentally broken. Our prisons overflow, our water system teeters on collapse, our once proud schools are criminally poor, our financing system is bankrupt, our democracy produces ideologically-extreme legislators that can pass neither budget nor reforms, and we have no recourse in the system to right these wrongs. It's time to get involved


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