Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

The Good News: We Agree. The Bad News: There's a Catch

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco's SEIU 1021, the city's biggest labor union, is not on board with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's "consensus" pension reform measure.

    California experts are usually described as divided over how to fix the state's governance and budget challenges.

    But in a new report, the public policy firm Kersten Communications looked at a wide variety of plans and writing about constitutional reform -- and found a striking amount of agreement.

    In particular, those who have written on reform (full disclosure: my own book, California Crackup, is among the documents quoted) agree on the major areas that need to be addressed, according to Kersten: the initiative process, the relationship between state and local governments, legislative term limits, the consolidation of power in the executive branch, and election reform.

    "Experts may differ somewhat on the specifics of each proposal, but have found an extraordinary amount of common ground in most of the major reform issue areas," Kersten concluded.

    So if California's would-be reformers agree generally on what needs to be done, why haven't we done it? 

    Kersten's answer: There's no one with the money and political influence to lead the effort.

    "California lacks reform champions with the ability to provide or raise the resources to get the job done," Kersten concludes.

    Any leaders out there?