More than a year ago, a group of business leaders called the Bay Area Council became so fed up with dysfunction in Sacramento that it called on California to start over. At the time, its plan struck many as a bit extreme. Sure, the state had some problems governing itself. But a constitutional convention? It sounded like a circus in the making.
As the months rolled by, and party ideologues vilified lawmakers who dared to compromise, and budget deadlines passed unheeded, and the government issued IOUs, and elected officials unraveled the fabric of human services meant to protect people in need in just such hard times, and California's remarkable achievements began to look like ancient history, it became clear that the sad circus was already in progress. A limited convention no longer appeared to be a distraction from real solutions. It began to look like the best option. This page embraced the idea.
Today, a convention moves an important step closer to reality as Repair California -- the coalition spearheaded by the Bay Area Council together with organizations of various philosophies across the state -- files its language for two measures to appear on the November 2010 ballot.
Voters will be asked first to amend the Constitution to permit themselves to call a convention, then, second, they'll be asked to actually call it. A convention can work. It can give the constantly evolving state an updated government that better serves its restless people.