Submitted by dianajeong on September 25, 2012
Issues Referenced in Study:Initiative and Referendum
Positions Referenced by the Study
Initiative and Referendum Process Update Study
Studies are a wonderful way to learn more about important issues, the League, your community, and your own values.
In accordance with the approval of delegates at Convention 2011, the LWVC is undertaking an update study of the Initiative and Referendum Process in California. Members of the committee are responsible for developing study scope, timeline and budget; providing study materials and consensus questions; preparing community education materials on the initiative and referendum process in California; participating in reviewing/tabulating all of the responses submitted by participating Leagues; and based on those responses, recommending position language to the Board.
Newsletter and Web Site Articles for Your Use
- An introductory article for your Web site and newsletter
- An article about some very preliminary thoughts from the committee
- Promote the LWVC Initiative and Referendum Facebook Group to your members and potential members
- An article about some of the ideas from the legislative interviews
- An article promoting the study to League members
- Consensus Questions
- Study Guide
- Leader's Guide: available for League members
- Consensus response form: available for League members
- Charts and Graphs from the Study Guide for Download
- Lifecycle of Legislation (through the legislature)
- Consensus Questions on 4 pages -- for newsletter and/or meeting handouts
- LWV San Diego panel discussion on the initiative process in California: Do We Need This Much Initiative?
- A sample letter you can use to let legislators and their staff know about the study, and invite them to join you
- A statement by the LWV Minnesota opposing initiative and referendum in their state; this can be used as a good summary of the arguments against initiative and referendum
Book Club in a Box
- A study guide you can use as basic reading material on the initiative and referendum process in California
- An annotated bibliography on the initiative and referendum process
- A cover letter for the Book Club in a Box
These are Email messages that the LWV North County San Diego is sending to their members as background material for the I&R Update Study. Local Leagues are welcome to use these, adapting them as appropriate, to help your members prepare for the consensus discussions.
- Week 1 - Introduction to Initiatve and Referendum
- Week 2 - Current LWVC Position
- Week 3 - Historic Perspective
- Week 4 - Current Context
- Week 5 - Ideas for Reform
- Week 6 - Failures of I&R
- Week 6 - extra resource - list of flawed initiatives
- Week 7 - Principles & Attitudes about Reform
- Week 8 - Prioritizing Reform Ideas
Materials from Past LWVC Studies
LWVC members studied the initiative and referendum process twice in the past:
- 1983 study guide (broken into pieces to make download easier):
- 1997 study guide
Additional Study Materials
- There is a Facebook group for the Initiative and Referendum Study for members and the public.
- Do We Have To Take This Much Initiative: LWVC’s Senior Director for Program, Trudy Schafer, led this discussion of the future of initiative and referendum in California as part of the Zócalo Public Square discussions celebrating the 100th anniversary of the initiative and referendum process in California. The discussion asked whether the initiative process advanced the cause of good governance in California, or just contributed to governmental dysfunction? The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles cosponsored the program, thanks to a generous donation from Martin Kellner in honor of his wife, Dorothy Kellner, who was president of the LWV Beverly Hills and LWV California. Photos are on Flickr, you can watch the full video, and you can read about it on the Zócalo page.
- Matthew Enger, a student at UC Berkeley, volunteered with the League in the summer of 2011. He prepared an annotated bibliography and a paper on identified problems and suggested reforms on the initiative and referendum process.
- Natalya DeRobertis-Theye, a member of the LWVC Initiative and Referendum Study Committee wrote her senior thesis in history on the Lincoln-Roosevelt League in California while a student at UC Berkeley.
- The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center is a Washington, DC-based think tank. It focuses solely on the ballot measure process, conducting in-depth, multi-state research to understand the ballot measure process, inform smart strategies, and measure success. Their resources include Ballot Integrity: A Broken System In Need of Solutions.
- The Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California has a variety of resources available, including the final report from the Speaker’s Commission on The California Initiative Process (the “Hertzberg Commission”).
- The Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) is a Los Angeles-based think tank with a focus on creating innovative political and media solutions to help individuals participate more effectively in their communities and governments. Their resources include Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California's Fourth Branch of Government, 2nd Edition.
- The California Voter Foundation advances the responsible use of technology to improve the democratic process. Kim Alexander, President, wrote a report on Initiative Disclosure.
- The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) serves elected officials and their staff. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. Their reports include several on the initiative and referendum.
Workshop Handouts from LWVC Leadership Council 2012
- Workshop Power Point
- Draft Speakers List
- I&R Reform Ideas
- I&R Process Update Study: Where to Find What
Contacts for the Study
The LWVC Initiative and Referendum Study Committee can be contacted at irstudy [at] lwvc [dot] org.
The members of the study committee are:
- Natalya DeRobertis-Theye, LWV San Francisco
- Wanda Ginner, LWV South San Mateo County
- Amy Hjerstedt, LWV San Diego
- Barbara Inatsugu, LWV Santa Monica
- Xandra Kayden, LWV Los Angeles
- Joyce Tavrow, LWV Palo Alto
- Mary Thompson, LWV North County San Diego
- Helen Hutchison, LWVC Board Liaison