Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 20, 2009

Contact: Steven Ochoa, 323-222-2217

Leaders Call for a California Constitutional Convention

Collapsed System and Massive Financial Deficit Requires New Vision for State

(Los Angeles, CA) - Today, the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) joins the call for the creation of a new California constitutional convention to fix California’s broken fiscal and governance systems. With the failure of all the significant California budget propositions in yesterday’s Special Election to help close the estimated over $20 billion dollar budget deficit, California is engulfed in a financial crisis that could ruin the state and is left few mechanisms to allow state problems to be responsibly addressed.

“California is now ungovernable. Our state should be a paradise given its natural resources, higher education system, rich cultural diversity, geographic location, climate, and diverse economy, yet Sacramento is tied in knots by special interest-serving laws and policies. A constitutional convention is indispensable to return us to our rightful place as a state that leads America and the world in achieving opportunity and prosperity for all,” said Antonio Gonzalez, WCVI President.

This issue began to be addressed at a California Constitutional Convention Summit held in Sacramento, California on February 24, 2009. The Summit, co-sponsored by WCVI and hosted by the Bay Area Council, brought together 400 Californians to discuss the possible convening of a Constitutional Convention, at which delegates would revise or create a new California state constitution.

In response, WCVI recently convened a Southern California organizing committee (list attached). The organizing committee is set to conduct a townhall in Southern California, tentatively set in Los Angeles on Friday, June 12, 2009. This townhall will be an opportunity to gather input from the community on solutions for the broken system and the process of convening a Constitutional Convention. Location to be determined.

Added Gonzalez, “Latinos, African-Americans, and Asians need to be included in the planning stages to make sure that our communities are heard. Together, we are a majority of the state, and soon to be over 70% of the state’s population. We are more vested in fixing California, ensuring a future of opportunity and prosperity, than any others.”

Additonal Information:

Organizing Committee List: The committee includes representatives of Courage Campaign, Advancement Project, California Forward, Center for the Study of Los Angeles, Power PAC, New America Foundation, KPFK, Bread for the World, MAPA, NALAAC, and MALDEF.

From The Economist

Bay Area Council Release 5/20/09:

New Site: http://www.repaircalifornia.org/index.php

 About WCVI

The William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) is a tax-exempt, non-profit, non-partisan public policy analysis organization chartered in 1985. The purpose of WCVI is to: conduct research aimed at improving the level of political and economic participation in Latino and other underrepresented communities; To provide information to Latino leaders relevant to the needs of their constituents; To inform the Latino leadership and public about the impact of public policies on Latinos; To inform the Latino leadership and public about political opinions and behavior of Latinos.

 

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