California Neighborhood Legislature Constitutional Amendment Filed

February 23, 2017

Sacramento, CA – San Diego businessman John Cox today filed a constitutional amendment aimed at the November, 2018 California ballot that would, in his words “end the corrupting influence of special interest money in California.” The measure was drafted by the Neighborhood Legislature committee, a group that has been working on a solution for nearly five years. The committee is headed by Cox.

“We’ve worked for five years on crafting a measure that would take away the need for legislators to constantly be begging for campaign cash from special interest,” he said, “and by far the best solution was to make campaigns inexpensive. We do that by reducing the population of a Senate district from nearly a million people down to just ten thousand. It was inspired by the New Hampshire model where their smaller district campaigns only cost around $600, and they routinely produce an on-time balanced budget.”

Under provisions of the amendment, each of the current 120 legislative districts would be divided into 100 neighborhoods, each with its own elected representative. Those 100 local representatives would then choose one of their number to go to Sacramento and serve on either the Assembly or Senate

“Working Committee”, which would operate much the same as in the current legislature.

“The big difference,” said Cox, “is that those 40 Working Committee Senators members and those 80 Working Committee Assemblymembers got elected in a small, neighborhood district where they spent a few hundred dollars on their campaign. And their re-election campaign won’t cost any more than that, so the need to raise millions disappears, along with the corrupting influence of the special interests who currently finance elections.”

Neighborhood legislators will be paid $1 a year, while those who are selected to go to Sacramento to be part of the Working Committees will be paid 120% of California’s average household income. The “Low Cost New Hampshire Style Neighborhood Legislature” initiative is projected to save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars over the current system.

Cox is the first donor to the campaign, personally contributing $1 million to kick off the signature drive. The measure must will be reviewed by the Attorney General’s office which will write a short “title and summary” that will appear on petitions once it is approved for circulation. At that point, it will need 585,407 valid signatures to appear on the November, 2018 General Election ballot.

It’s entitled the “Low Cost New Hampshire Style Neighborhood Legislature” initiative and the committee website can be found at NeighborhoodLegislature.com.

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