Ending Minority Rule in California: One Sentence Can Do It

California is in deep trouble because
it has a dysfunctional system of government. Much of the problem can
be change by one sentence.

I have sent to the Attorney General
a ballot proposition for the 2010 ballot called The California Democracy
Act, whose content is the following:

All legislative action on revenue
and budget must be determined by a majority vote

It would change two words in the Constitution,
turning "two-thirds" to "majority" in two places. It is simple,
understandable, and it is about democracy.

I will be speaking on this in Los Angeles
tomorrow (Thursday) night. (See below.)

As I see it, democracy is the main
issue in the governance of our state. The two-thirds rules have an anti-democratic
effect. Our legislature is currently
under minority rule. One-third plus one - only 34% -of either
the Assembly or Senate can block the will of the majority until their
demands are met. This is undemocratic.

Minority rule is why we have gridlock
in the legislature. Minority rule has brought our state to near bankruptcy,
causing crises throughout the state.

A majority of California voters have
elected a majority of the state legislators, and that majority is responsible
and, so far as I can tell, overwhelmingly dedicated to sane fiscal management
and to serving the needs of our citizens. But they are handcuffed by
minority rule.

Democracy can work in California.
What the majority of voters want, a majority in the legislature will
enact. And it only take a majority of voters to enact that one-sentence

Changing the vote requirement to a majority
for budget and revenue will ensure that California's budget can meet
the state's needs and be passed on time. One sentence can end economic
uncertainty and provide for an improved credit rating, for payment of
our bills with money instead of IOUs, and will bring stability to our
schools, nursing homes and universities. One sentence can make California
a well-run state again.

How does minority rule happen? By trickery.
Don't be fooled. The way a minority of one-third plus one comes to
run the show is by imposing a 2/3 rule. It may sound more democratic,
but it is less democratic. It allows a minority to rule by gridlock,
by thwarting the will of the majority in the legislature, and hence,
a majority of the voters in the state.

No other state is run by such a minority.
In no other state can a ruthless minority cause the chaos, disruption,
pain, and near-bankruptcy that our state has suffered. A majority of
the voters, can end the tyranny of the minority.

Democracy means majority rule. One sentence
will do the job.

Of course, there will be a blowback.
Conservatives will say, as they always do, that this is just a ruse
to raise taxes.

But this is about democracy, not about
how or whether revenues are raised. What the majority of citizens want,
a majority of elected representatives will enact. The question is simple:
do you want democracy?

Here's what government is about in
a democracy. Government has two sacred moral missions: to protect and
empower its citizens.

Protection starts with police and public
safety and extends to protection for consumers, for our food, for workers,
for the elderly, for those sick and helpless, for the environment, and
for investors.

Empowerment is what allows us to earn
a living and live decent lives: public roads and buildings; a working
power grid; water; a basic educational system; a system of public health
and nursing homes; a system of higher education with advanced research
in medicine, computing, and agriculture; banks and insurance companies
you can trust, and court system that works.

No one earns a living in California without
protection and empowerment by the government. No one makes it without
all of these things. Without them, the California Dream becomes
a nightmare. Without revenue and a sensible budget, there can be no
protection and no empowerment, and the world's seventh largest and
richest economy starts to look like a third-world country.

Minority rule is closing California.
State parks: closed. Schools: closed. Fire departments: closed. Nursing
homes: closed. Medical clinics: closed. Libraries: closed.

We do not have to stand for it.

The majority of voters choose the majority
of legislators. That's simple democracy. When the majority of legislators
rule, the majority of voters rule.

Can this work? It can, with strong support.
What is needed is a serious campaign making the case for democracy,
and allowing the voters to see that minority rule is the root of the

Since the minority is a strongly conservative
Republican minority, progressive Democrats running for the legislature
in 2010 can run on a pro-democracy platform, placing the blame for gridlock
where it belongs, on their opponents.

The main question is whether we can run
such a campaign successfully. That is simply a matter of organization,
commitment, support, and funding. None of those is trivial. But we know
how to do them.

If you want to join the movement, go
to: www.camajorityrule.com or www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52600734142.

We have begun raising funds for a poll.
To contribute, go to: https://www.actblue.com/page/georgelakoffmajorityrulepoll.


I will be speaking Thursday night
at 7 pm to a coalition meeting of a wide variety of organizations dedicated
to ending the 2/3 rules.

SEIU 721

500 S. Virgil Los Angeles, CA 90020

Auditorium (Located on the first

R.S.V.P.: susieanneshannon@ yahoo.com

or call (323) 939-5475

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