I would like to respond to Bob Balgenorth’s opinion piece casting cold water on a Constitutional Convention because the delegates would be California citizens and the Convention is risky.
From Sacramento, the idea of allowing the citizens to look at our governance rules with the state’s top experts, and recommend changes to be approved or rejected by the voters might seem scary. Insiders might fear what the people will decide after such a thoughtful process and being exposed to how Sacramento operates. But in a democracy, that idea is outrageous. Let us not forget that we are supposed to have a representative democracy, a government of the people – not rule by the elite, not some dictatorship of special interest groups, not some political aristocracy.
I would be very careful arguing that citizens shouldn’t be able to reform their government.
As for the risk, and the idea that small changes can get us back to full working order, remember that California is suffering from drastic dysfunction. We have the worst education system in the nation and a profound crisis nearly everywhere you look – water, prisons, transportation, healthcare, and more. Despite very well-meaning legislators, is Sacramento producing reforms in any of these areas? The system is broken and getting worse. 2.2 million Californians desperately want a job that isn’t there and state budget cuts will add tens of thousands more to the unemployment rolls. A Constitutional Convention may imply risk (what in life doesn’t?) but it’s the last and best chance we have. You can take the skeptic’s view and wait for the white knight that never comes, or you can help call a Convention, the tool our founder’s gave us for serious reform. Join us at www.repaircalifornia.org, tell us the reforms you want and get ready to fight like hell.