There is a widening breach between most of the 35 million people residing in California and the fewer than 9 million who actually vote. Seven million Californians are eligible to vote but for one reason or another don’t bother. A small group of frequent voters, who are richer, whiter, older and hold different opinions on education, social spending, Prop.13, and more compared to their nonvoting neighbors -- form the majority that decides which candidates win and which ballot measures pass.
Thus, two Californias have emerged -- a small group that votes and a much larger group that does not, with only one side is electing political leaders who divide up the pie. The crucial challenge for California’s future is, how do we open up our political system so that it turns the non-voters into voters, and appeals to the broad interests of all Californians? What political reforms will allow California to realize its promise? Will redistricting reform accomplish it? If not, what other reforms are needed?This event was held is in cooperation with the University of California Center Sacramento and the California Research Bureau. Video of the event is available at right, while an MP3 audio recording of Political Reform Program Director Steven Hill's presentation can be downloaded below.
- Steven Hill
Director, Political Reform Program
New America Foundation