California activists have now taken a very important advance towards what they refer to as a “Calexit.” According to reports, the group received approval on Thursday to begin a petition that would put the vote for their secession on a special election ballot in 2019.
Although California has been discussing the prospect of secession for some time, Donald Trump’s victory may have sealed the deal. One poll, that was taken earlier this month indicates that one out of three citizens of California support this move. Now, with a petition in place, and more people believing that secession is possible, we could see these numbers increase until the 2019 ballot.
The proposal was presented to the California state government back in November after the election. Now, months later, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved the motion to begin collecting signatures. If they are able to obtain 585,407 signatures before July 25, the vote could be placed on the 2018 ballot. If their vote succeeds, a special election will follow in 2019.
According to the Sacramento Bee,
“The proposed measure would strike language from the California Constitution defining the state as ‘an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.’ If it passed, there would be a statewide special election in March 2019 to ask voters if they want California to become an independent country.”
It has been obvious for quite awhile that California residents often hold different opinions than the rest of America, and it’s nothing new to hear jokes about California leaving the U.S. And it isn’t just the rest of America that feels this way, either. California residents seem to be in agreement, as well.
“America already hates California, and America votes on emotions,” Marcus Ruiz Evans, one of the group’s founders, told the Los Angeles Times. “I think we’d have the votes today if we held it.”
In a recent post on their website announcing their progress, they wrote:
“In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.”
Part of their reasoning behind this move is due to various systemic problems.
“Although charity is part of our culture, when you consider that California’s infrastructure is falling apart, our public schools are ranked among the worst in the entire country, we have the highest number of homeless persons living without shelter and other basic necessities, poverty rates remain high, income inequality continues to expand, and we must often borrow money from the future to provide services for today, now is not the time for charity.”
“However, this independence referendum is about more than California subsidizing other states of this country,” they write. “It is about the right to self-determination and the concept of voluntary association, both of which are supported by constitutional and international law.”
“It is about California taking its place in the world, standing as an equal among nations. We believe in two fundamental truths: (1) California exerts a positive influence on the rest of the world, and (2) California could do more good as an independent country than it is able to do as just a U.S. state.”
It’s increasingly obvious that Yes California does pose a variety of reasons behind their interest in leaving the United States. But, it would seem that the majority of those who wish to leave have probably based their reasoning on Donald Trump and his victory in the 2016 election. As a highly democratic state, they had the majority of Hillary’s popular vote within just one state. While it isn’t obvious as to whether or not their petition will receive the necessary signatures as of now, we will know by July if we can expect to have one less state in 2019.