This winter the California Calexit Campaign under Yes California is submitting a new, updated version of our independence referendum ballot measure to give you the chance to vote for or against the independence of California from the United States. It is a short, simple, and to the point. We had earlier talked about a larger, more comprehensive hard-hitting ballot measure, however, after polling the Calexit community, we decided to remove controversial aspects of the measure in the spirit of building the biggest tent possible. Now our ballot measure is a California version of Catalonia’s Self-Determination Law that established and governed their recent independence referendum held on October 1.
WHY WAIT UNTIL WINTER TO FILE?
We are waiting until late-January or early-February to file our ballot measure because there is currently another initiative on a similar theme circulating petitions for signatures and we don’t want to intrude on their efforts to collect signatures for their ballot measure. There is also another independence-related ballot measure which is set to start collecting signatures soon. By filing this winter, we will avoid creating confusion among the public, or stepping on any other pro-independence groups’ toes.
WHEN WILL THE INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM BE HELD?
Since we are waiting until winter to file our new ballot measure, we unfortunately will not have enough time to collect the signatures we need to qualify it in time for the 2018 ballot. That means the earliest our initiative can be put on the ballot is November 2020. If the voters approve our ballot measure on Election Day 2020, an independence referendum will take place in California six months later on May 4, 2021.
WHY WON’T WE HAVE TIME TO QUALIFY FOR 2018?
In order for the State of California to have enough time to count and verify petition signatures, the Secretary of State says April 24, 2018 is the last day to file petitions. Theoretically it would be possible to submit our initiative in January and start collecting signatures in March, but that would leave us just weeks to collect the signatures we need to qualify instead of the six months permitted by law.
HOW MANY SIGNATURES DO WE NEED TO QUALIFY?
Here’s some good news. In the past we had a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution and therefore required 585,407 valid signatures to qualify. The autonomy initiative which is currently circulating requires that many signatures because it includes a constitutional amendment. However, our new initiative does not amend the state constitution and therefore only requires 365,880 signatures.
WHAT DOES THE INITIATIVE ACTUALLY DO, IF IT DOESN’T AMEND THE CONSTITUTION?
It simply requires the California Secretary of State to conduct a statewide vote on May 4, 2021 asking voters if they want California to become an independent country in the form of a republic. The results of the vote are binding insofar as the Legislature is required to take action to implement the results if there are more affirmative votes than negative ones.
WHY SHOULD SOMEBODY VOTE FOR THIS IN 2020?
The best reasons are because you love California and want her to excel and be all that she can be; because you know California is more than just a state and can do more good in the world as a country; and because you support the right to self-determination and self-government. But we also understand that California’s electoral votes have not changed the outcome of an election since 1876, so our votes don’t matter. We voted against Trump and we got stuck with Trump. This campaign believes Californians deserve to always have a president we voted for, never one we just got stuck with. So, what we are telling people who are unsure or noncommittal about Calexit is this: hedge your bets: vote against Donald Trump for President in 2020, but down ballot vote for our initiative, too. That way, whether he is reelected or not, we will have already proactively voted to schedule an independence referendum. Then you’ll have six months to decide how to vote in the referendum — but at least you’ll get to vote in one!
WHAT IF [INSERT POPULAR PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE HERE] WINS THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?
Well, if your support for Calexit ends with the election of a particular candidate to the presidency, then you can vote no in the independence referendum on May 4, 2021. But let’s work to qualify and pass the initiative so the independence referendum at least gets scheduled. After all, what happens if Donald Trump is reelected? Can you imagine what he’ll do in his second term? You have nothing to lose by voting for our ballot initiative in 2020.
I WANT TO HELP, WHERE CAN I SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER?
Great! We’re organizing volunteers to get ready for our signature collection campaign. You can sign up here.
I WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, WHERE CAN I MAKE A DONATION?
Thank you so much for your generosity. If you would like to make a financial contribution, you can donate here.