Former CA GOP Gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon endorses the Neighborhood Legislature amendment.

March 22, 2017

Sacramento, CA – Former 2002 California Republican nominee for Governor and current co-chairman of the William E. Simon Foundation, Bill Simon today endorsed the Neighborhood Legislature amendment.

In his endorsement Mr. Simon noted, “The high cost of campaigning has turned our legislators into full-time fundraisers. That’s not just a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. That’s a problem for all of us. The only way to solve it is to design a system where elections are inexpensive and the power of special interests is eliminated. That’s the genius of the Neighborhood Legislature initiative. This gives power back to the voters.”

The measure was drafted by the Neighborhood Legislature committee, a group headed by San Diego area businessman John Cox that has been working on a solution to today’s broken system for more than five years.

Under provisions of the amendment, submitted to the Attorney General late February for “Title and Summary,” 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 will function much the same as in the current legislature.

Under this constitutional amendment, future legislators would only run in small, neighborhood districts, where election campaigns will cost a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, not millions. 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 median household income. The “Low Cost New Hampshire Style Neighborhood Legislature” initiative also cuts spending on the legislature itself by a third, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars over the current system.

Following review by the Attorney General’s office it will be ready for petition circulation and needs 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

Additional biographical information on Mr. Simon: Bill Simon is co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC., which he co-founded in 1988 with his brother and father, former United States Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon, Sr. He is also a visiting Professor at the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Department of Economics and a Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Simon was the 2002 Republican Gubernatorial nominee in California where he came within five points of unseating Gray Davis, despite being outspent three to one.


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