Remaking California: Reclaiming the Public Good

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Overview

California is locked in a constitutional crisis. Its schools are in decline, its water system near collapse, and its prisons in disarray. It is unable to avoid a yearly budget crisis, maintain its public facilities, or care for its sick. Nor can its citizens remedy these ills under present arrangements. A land once known for its beauty and abundance is now characterized by abandoned properties and a shortage of homes, jobs, and opportunities.

In Remaking California: Reclaiming the Public Good, leading writers and scholars probe the roots of this crisis, trace its effects on people's lives and the environment, and propose reforms to remedy problems and restore the state's democratic promise. They conclude that only a systemic overhaul will shake California out of its paralysis, and they debate the promise and pitfalls of a new constitutional convention for remaking the Golden State.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597141345
  • Publisher: Heyday Books
  • Publication date: 4/12/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface ix

Part I California's Constitutional Crisis

1 California at the Edge R. Jeffrey Lustig 3

2 Decline and Fall Dan Walters 23

Part II Causes of the Crisis: How State Government Currently Works

3 Proposition 13: Tarnish on the Golden Dream Lenny Goldberg 41

4 The California Legislature and the Decline of Majority Rule Christopher Witko 60

5 Reforming the Executive John Syer 78

6 Voting, Elections, and the Failure of Representation in California R. Jeffrey Lustig 99

Part III Effects of the Crisis: A Changing California

7 Immigration, Diversity, and the Challenge of Democratic Inclusion Ronald Schmidt 121

8 The View from East L.A. José G. Arias 140

9 California's Water Crisis: The Delta and Beyond Osha Meserve Erik Ringelberg 154

Part IV Remedies for the Crisis: Overhauling State Government

10 Remapping the California Electorate Mark Paul Micah Weinberg 175

11 A People's Convention for California R. Jeffrey Lustig 192

Epilogue: "If I Ran the Zoo" Proposals for Constitutional Reforms

How California Can Solve Its Budget Crisis: Form a Bank Ellen Hodgson Brown 215

Education and the State Constitution John F. Burns 217

Publicly Funded Elections for Public-Interest Government Ernest Callenbach 219

There's No Time to Waste: An Educator's Approach to California Governance Reform Sheila Jordan 221

State Constitutional Reform: A Primer Barry Keene 223

Change How We Appoint Judges Rodney F. Kingsnorth 226

Two Asymmetries David W. Lyon 228

Change Needed, Convention Not Necessarily the Answer Jean M. Ross 230

Towards a Politics of Place Gary Snyder 233

Reestablish Cross-Filing Kevin Starr 235

California: The Perfect Storm John Vasconcellos 238

Needed: An Education in Governance William T. Vollmann 241

Notes 243

Index 263

About the Editor 273

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