FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2017
California Freedom Coalition
California Approves Autonomy Initiative for
San Jose, CA: The Attorney General of California has released the circulating title and summary for Initiative 17-0005, California’s Future: A Path to Independence. The state’s assigned title and summary is as follows:
CALIFORNIA AUTONOMY FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.
Repeals provision in California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States. Directs Governor, in consultation with those members of Congress who represent California, to negotiate continually greater autonomy from federal government, up to and including agreement establishing California as a fully independent country, provided voters agree to revise the California Constitution. Creates new state commission to research and make recommendations on ways of increasing California’s autonomy and independence.
The proponents now have 180 days to collect 585,407 valid signatures to qualify the initiative for the Nov 2018 ballot.
Proponents of the initiative argue that California’s relationship with the United States is almost a textbook case of taxation without representation. “The U.S. government siphons off billions of dollars a year from California’s economy with very little positive impact for its citizens. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are failing, and our tax dollars are instead being used to bomb people in other countries. It is time that Californians take back control of our own tax dollars and invest in our entire state,” said Steve Gonzales, President of the California Freedom Coalition (CFC).
California voters are more underrepresented now than voters in any state at any point in American history. The Electoral College, two Senators per state, and a strongly gerrymandered House of Representatives has had the cumulative effect of reducing the value of a Californian vote to a mere fraction of that cast by individuals in other states. “In very real terms we are second-class voters in the United States,” said Tim Vollmer, Chief Strategist of the CFC. “This was made vividly clear in the 2016 election when three million of our votes were deemed irrelevant and secondary compared with tens of thousands of votes cast in other states.”
In addition to calling for ever greater autonomy from the current U.S. federal system, the initiative calls for reforms within California’s own system of government. “This initiative will spur California to get its own act together and organize itself in a way that befits a modern democracy,” said Dave Marin, Director of Research and Policy. “Our elected officials in Sacramento and on the local level are the only real political representation that we Californians have. It is time for them to take this role far more seriously and to bring California into the 21st Century.”
“It is time that everyone recognizes that it’s not acceptable to discount Californians' votes. California is more than a state of the U.S.; it's a nation, and it should act like one. This initiative will direct the State to make further progress on this front,” said Neil Longhurst, Chief Financial Officer of the CFC.
The proponents of the initiative are adamant that it is not designed to politically antagonize or abandon other regions of the U.S. Rather, it is aimed to start a necessary reordering of a political process that no longer works. “Some people argue that the Electoral College is necessary to protect the political participation of small and rural states. However, the answer to that problem cannot be the near total disenfranchisement of voters in the larger states,” says Vollmer. “We need a national consensus to fix this growing crisis of political underrepresentation and we feel this initiative is an important and necessary step in that direction.”
About The California Freedom Coalition: The CFC is a not for profit, non-partisan organization that was formed to educate and advocate for the voting rights of California. We are a grassroots organization dedicated to ensuring that California and its nearly 40 million citizens and residents have a truly proportionate voice and vote in electing a national government that reflects their values, intentions and expectations. Please visit our website at calfreeco.org.