California Reform Summit at SJSU

The campaign to hold a statewide constitutional convention fizzled out last February. That’s when Repair California, the bi-partisan organization behind the bid, ran out of funds and announced their efforts would have to be put on hold.

This Saturday, statewide leaders from both sides of the aisle will be coming together at San Jose State University to discuss fixing California’s broken government. Titled “Reviving California Community Summit,” the public event will focus on re-building momentum for comprehensive reform.

Bruce McPherson, the former State Senator and Secretary of State, has been holding onto the convention torch. A liberal Republican and longtime publisher of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, he will be speaking out on Saturday in support of serious changes to how Sacramento does business.

“Things are badly broken here in California. The root cause is a flawed budget system,” McPherson said during a March 22 joint legislative hearing.

Fred Keeley, the treasurer of Santa Cruz County and a former Democratic assembly member, will also be sharing his ideas at the event.

Other speakers will include Jim Mayer, the Executive Director of California Forward, Betty Yee of the California State Board of Equalization, Kathay Feng of California Common Cause, Anu Natarajan, a program director at Reviving California and Thad Kousser, a political science professor and Hoover Institution fellow.

The free public event will take place from 9am to 1:30pm at the El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez and the 7th Street Plaza at SJSU.
There will be a continental breakfast and box lunch provided for participants, as well as dessert and live jazz by J.P. and the Rhythm Chasers after the event.


  1. I know that the hidden text behind the constitutional convention stuff was to repeal term limits and prop 13, and probably go to majority only votes on the budget.  That’s thinking too small to really fix our problems.

    How about dissolving the state, becoming a U.S. Territory and then applying for readmission as two states (Northern and Southern California.)  It would increase our power in DC as we’d get two more Senators and would open the door for massive federal aid (deficit dollars from the bottomless well?)

    And let’s have some fun, trying something interesting in at least on of the new states, like parliamentary rule (and maybe proportional representation and party lists where even small political parties could get at least a few seats in the legislature and coalition building would become important.)  If it sounds too radical and dangerous, just try it in the other have first and keep the traditional forms in our half.  Personally, I doubt the new system would yield results any worse than what we currently get, so the incentive to not change is low.

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