California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA

Jeff Lustig on why Repair California didn’t

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In an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee on Feb. 19, 2010, Cal State – Sacramento professor (and longtime Steering Committee member of the California Studies Association) Jeff Lustig discusses why the demise of Repair California, the group that last year was pushing for a constitutional convention to rewrite (much of) California’s constitution, was predictable, given that it was only an approximation of a popular, as in “peoples’”, movement.

From the article:

The Bay Area Council is to be commended for taking the lead in the call for a new constitution. We have outgrown the old one. And the BAC was right to conclude that if the problems are systemic, the solution needs to be systemic. But one suspects that the neglect of popular involvement that marked their delegate-selection plan also marked their capital-intensive and virtual movement.

There will be new calls for a constitutional convention. California governance is becoming more dysfunctional, and the victims of its failures are multiplying by the day. Californians can use the time until a real convention proposal emerges to good effect. They can use it to build the popular movements needed for a real convention, as in 1879, and to educate themselves better about state politics than they have done for key initiative votes over the last 30 years.


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