We just submitted an initiative entitled “California’s Future: A Path to Independence,” which outlines a pragmatic, legal approach by which California might become independent or more autonomous.

Edit 2017-07-25: The California Attorney General has released a title for our initiative, “California Autonomy from Federal Government,” as well as a ballot summary, which you can view here. If you’d like to help gather signatures, please email gather@cafree.org, or check out this page to learn more.

The initiative’s proponents are board members Steve Gonzales, Cindy Sheehan, Shankar Singam, and Timothy Vollmer, as well as Dave Marin, our Director of Research & Policy, who worked with Dr. Vollmer to craft most of the initiative’s language. We filed the initiative in person at the California Attorney General’s office, and were joined by about 10 other people from all over California, including California National Party chair Theo Slater.

While we recommend everyone read the initiative for themselves, here is a brief summary of the initiative’s four parts:

The Manifesto (Sections 1 and 2 of the initaitive) explains:

  • how California is essentially a nation in its own right already
  • how most of the problems California encounters with the U.S. can be traced back to a deficit of democracy
  • how although democratizing the U.S. would address some of these issues, this is largely out of Californians’ hands, while seeking more autonomy for California and thinking of ourselves as a nation is not

The Path to Independence (Section 3.1 and Article XXXVI, sections 1 and 2(b) in Section 3.2 of the initiative) makes it legally possible, under the California Constitution, for California to change its relationship with the U.S. (including a Compact of Free Association, or becoming an independent country). This would still of course require consent of Congress.

The Autonomy Engine (the rest of Section 3.2) amends the California Constitution to create a legal framework by which California’s elected officials can work together over time to negotiate moving power from Washington to Sacramento (or to local governments or individuals), and to make California more nation-like.

The Alvarado Commission (Section 4) amends California law to fund a commission in the state government, modeled after the successful Little Hoover Commission, to study everything related to autonomy or independence.