L.A. Area Chamber joins Gov. Schwarzenegger, Mayor Bloomberg to Urge Californians to Change Sacramento by Supporting Prop. 11

October 15, 2008 2:15 pm

Los Angeles – Governor Schwarzenegger, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, AARP, the League of Women Voters of California, California Common Cause, law enforcement representatives and other supporters of Prop. 11 today joined forces to urge Californians to change Sacramento for the better and to lead the country by voting YES on Prop. 11 – redistricting reform.

“Right now big problems get debated and debated at the Capitol, but they rarely get solved.  We saw the dysfunction on the budget that was three months late,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “The current system is rigged.  It rewards legislators for rigid partisanship.  It’s time to bring accountability back to state government and to solve problems.  I ask all Californians to join us in voting YES on Prop. 11 on Election Day.”

As a national advocate of redistricting and other reforms to put power back into the hands of the people, Mayor Bloomberg has endorsed Prop 11.  The Mayor lauded the initiative and asked Californians to lead the way for other states to enact similar reform.
“If we want legislators to spend more time reaching across the aisle and solving problems, we have to stop allowing them to draw districts that promote ideological extremes,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Proposition 11 will take the power of redistricting away from legislators and give it to a neutral and nonpartisan group of qualified citizens.  I am here today asking the people of California to do what you so often do best - lead the way for the rest of the nation by voting yes on Prop. 11.”
Prop. 11 was carefully crafted by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of California, AARP, California Common Cause, voting rights attorneys and other groups and associations through a collaborative, non-partisan process.

“The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce worked with AARP, the League of Women Voters of California, California Common Cause and many others to develop Prop. 11 because we believe Sacramento is stuck in partisan gridlock and that we can do better for the people of California,” Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce said. “It is not every day that you see the type of support we have for Prop. 11- the ACLU of Southern California, NAACP, businesses, individuals and community groups from across the state support this initiative.”

“The current system allows the politicians to virtually guarantee their own re-election, whether or not they do their jobs in Sacramento,” said Jeannine English, President, AARP California.  “We don’t have to look any further than the last legislative session to see that the big issues are not getting addressed in our state.  Prop. 11 is a major step toward changing the status quo and setting a new direction for California.”

Prop. 11 will create a 14-person independent citizens commission to draw fair legislative districts – keeping communities, cities and counties intact.  The commission will be comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans and four individuals from other parties.  Under Proposition 11, the redistricting process will be open and transparent with opportunity for public input.

“The conflict of interest inherent in our current redistricting process is completely unacceptable. Prop. 11 will get rid of this and put the power to draw district lines where it belongs – into the hands of voters,” said Janis Hirohama.  “The League of Women Voters asks Californians to join us in making our government work for US by supporting Prop. 11.”
Prop. 11 will take away legislators’ power to draw their own district lines and guarantee their own re-election – whether they do their jobs or not.  

“Prop. 11 is the right change for California at a time when we are experiencing record dysfunction in our state government,” said Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. “Nearly 75 percent of Californians disapprove of the job of our Legislature because the issues we care about go unaddressed year after year.  Prop. 11 will go a long way toward putting an end to this status quo that the people California are clearly sick and tired of.”

“More than 110,000 men and women who work day and night to keep Californians safe and to ensure justice is served have endorsed Prop. 11 because it will help restore accountability in Sacramento,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.  “We need a system we can rely on so that our priorities are those of our representatives in Sacramento.”

Since its inception, momentum behind this reform effort has continued to grow. To date, a broad and bipartisan coalition of nearly 2,000 organizations and individuals has formed to support Prop. 11.


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Media Contacts:
Molly Weedn (Prop 11) 415.209.4217
Julie Soderlund (Gov. Schwarzenegger) 916.806.1409
Gwen Oldham (L.A. Area Chamber) 213.580.7532