What’s a Citizen Legislature?
Recently an individual came to speak to one of my political science classes at my university. They spoke about the money that controling elections, the underrepresentation that every Californian faces, and the lack of governmental accountability. These problems seem extremely prevalent in today’s society so I decided to learn more about this representative’s organization. He works for a group called Neighborhood Legislature and when I learned about their cause, I jumped on board. I am now a Field Organizer at Neighborhood Legislature, a non-profit committed to educating and empowering California citizens to create electoral reform.
Our goal is to put an initiative on the ballot to shrink electoral districts and create neighborhood representatives who will represent fewer people more accurately than the current system. Right now, each California representative represents about half a million people but after the reform, each representative would be responsible for five to seven thousand citizens’ interests. This increased representation would allow for a community feel in elections and would decrease campaign costs by localizing the election process. With such small elections, candidates will not have to rely on campaign funds from special interests or on exorbitant campaign costs or canvassers.
Additionally representatives would no longer be career politicians; rather, they will be active community members who care about their neighborhoods. 120 of the new representatives will work in Sacramento completing daily brunt work while the others will remain in their communities while holding the legislators accountable by voting on every initiative and bill. Their votes will keep the system accountable to the public’s wishes and desires and an individual’s voice will have the ability to be heard for the first time in California.
Other small states like new Hampshire have similar systems and have seen decreased campaign costs, higher voter turnout, and in increase in legislative productivity and participation. This plan would revolutionize California politics for the better and I believe that this is a step Californians should be willing to support in order to better our legislature and communities.
In order to place this initiative on the California ballot, we need to obtain 750,000 signatures by December. To do this, we NEED YOUR HELP! We are asking for interested individuals to give us their email to learn more about opportunities to help pass this plan. If you want to be a volunteer, all you have to do is commit to one 3 hour shift anytime after we mobilize in June and July. An Ambassador commits to two 3 hour shifts. This is a small price to pay for increased representation and a better California! These shifts will simply consist of collecting signatures and talking to people about the new initiative.
For more information, feel free to visit our website at neighborhoodlegislature.com. There is an about page, FAQs page, and an “understanding neighborhood legislature” page that should answer any questions you may have about the initiative. Additionally, contact me at Claire.email@example.com I would absolutely love to hear from you and am always available to talk. http://www.neighborhoodlegislature.com/