Last week, in a sign that well organized people power can achieve significant change, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1107 into law, enabling the state and many local governments to establish public financing systems for elected officials. Passage of this law was never guaranteed, and would have been impossible without dozens of organizations rallying grassroots support, and a dramatic response from the public.
42,000 Californians and 50,000 Americans from outside the state signed petitions to the state legislature, accompanied by over 2,500 calls. This pressure succeeded at what many thought was impossible: convincing two-thirds of the Senate and Assembly, including five Republicans, to send the bill to the governor’s desk.
34,000 more petitions were emailed to the governor, who also received 1,650 calls in support and saw 3,000 people speak out on his website before Brown announced he would sign the bill into law.
People power works!
When voters speak out, real change with bipartisan support can be achieved. And California voters will have a far larger opportunity to speak out this November, when Prop 59 will give voters in the nation’s biggest state the choice to go on record in favor of overturning Citizens United.
Given the public’s demonstrated interest in fixing our broken system through reforms like SB 1107, Prop 59 seems like it’s on firmer ground than ever.