The groups that sponsored a government reform conference on Tuesday left Sacramento with ambitions to sponsor two ballot measures in 2010.
The first would authorize voters to call a constitutional convention. (Only the legislature now has the authority to call a convention – and good luck with that. It hasn’t happened in 125 years.)
The second ballot initiative would then ask voters to call for a constitutional convention to draft reforms.
Many obstacles remain, however. Where will the reformers find the money to fend off the inevitable attacks from state lawmakers, the two political parties and other insiders? How would convention delegates be chosen? What would be the scope of the deliberations?
As speaker after speaker testified, everyone outside the confines of the state Legislature agrees that California government is broken, but not everyone agrees on what measures will be necessary to make government work again.
More than 300 people attended the California Constitutional Convention Summit, whose sponsors included Common Cause, the Bay Area Council, the League of Women Voters, and the Planning and Conservation League.
I’ll be writing more about the convention and the state’s crisis of leadership later this week. Meanwhile, if you want to know more about the reform effort, you can check the Web sites for repaircalifornia.org and California Forward.