An initiative calling for a 2019 vote on whether California should secede from the United States was filed Monday with the Attorney General’s Office.
Backers are seeking to get what they have dubbed “Calexit: The California Independence Plebiscite of 2019” on the November 2018 ballot.
If the initiative is approved by voters, it would force a vote on March 13, 2019, the election date for local, odd-year elections, on whether California should become a “free, sovereign and independent country.”
Signature gathering cannot begin until the Attorney General’s Office prepares a title and summary for the initiative. Backers expect to begin signature gathering in the spring, according to Louis J. Marinelli, president of the Yes California Independence Campaign.
Backers would then have six months to gather valid signatures from 585,407 registered voters — 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election — to qualify the measure for the ballot.
Marinelli said the “secession campaign is not just about protesting” Donald J. Trump’s election as president.
The campaign is also about “the flawed fiscal system in which California has lived for decades subsidizing the other states … while we lack adequate funding for health care, education, social services, infrastructure, and other quality of life issues here in California” and “the flawed political system in which California has lived for decades, one where nothing gets done and progress is held back by hundreds of millions of non-Californians who do not share the same worldview as us, and who have a different culture, a different set of priorities, and different plans for the future,” Marinelli said.
“We in California could get so much more done if we could free ourselves from the shackles of statehood,” Marinelli said.