California: After 100 years, does CA’s initiative process need a tune-up?
Paul Jacob, president of Virginia-based Citizens in Charge Foundation, may be the fiercest defender of direct democracy in America. He’s helped organize more than 150 petition drives in 47 states, and feels so strongly about the righteousness of the initiative process that he risked going to prison by defying an Oklahoma law prohibiting the use of paid signature-gatherers in that state.
When Jacob comes to California, he feels right at home. He gives the state’s initiative process an A grade.
“The essential thing is that there be a chance for people to represent themselves,” Jacob said. “Most states get a D or an F. California has a very robust process.”