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CALEXIT- Independent California

California California is home to more than 10 percent of all Americans and a central element in the American cultural fabric. Although more than two-thirds of native-born Americans live in their state of birth, fewer than half of all Californians were born in the state. Rather, California has been an important destination for US internal migration in nearly every decade since 1850.

By most of the criteria used in the definition of regions, California is not a single unit. The agricultural population of the Imperial Valley in the southeast is quite different from the urban population of San Francisco. The striking flatness of the San Joaquin Valley is in sharp contrast to the ruggedness of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. There are broad areas of desert in the southern interior and heavily forested slopes along the coastal north. The lowest and highest elevations in the conterminous United States, Death Valley and Mount Whitney, respectively, are almost within sight of each other.

California's dramatic and varied physical environment has played a strong role in the state's settlement. Most of the state's population today is crowded into a small part of its territory, constricted by expanses of rugged topography and a widespread lack of water. In fact, this mecca for America's worship of the outdoor life surpasses every other state in its level of urbanization. Several factors account for this, but the restrictive aspects of the physical environment are certainly important.

California's economy is larger than Russia’s and smaller than Brazil’s. California’s gross domestic product (GDP)—the value of goods and services produced here—totaled $2.2 trillion in 2013. World Bank data indicate that California’s economy is slightly smaller than that of Brazil (the world’s seventh-largest national economy), but bigger than Russia’s. California's economy is larger than some of the Group of Eight (G8) industrial economies, such as Canada and Italy.

There are several methods by which international GDP comparisons can be constructed. The World Bank’s estimates convert GDP in countries’ home currencies to dollars based on exchange rates that prevailed in a given year. As such, changes in currency exchange rates can affect these rankings noticeably from year to year. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are among those that rank national GDPs using methods similar to, but a bit different from, those of the World Bank. In 2013, based on CIA and IMF data, California’s economy would rank about seventh or eighth in the world.

An alternative international GDP comparison uses purchasing power parity (PPP) instead of exchange rates to attempt to adjust for differences in living costs across countries. Using PPP, California’s economy—adjusted for cost of living—would rank eleventh in the world, according to World Bank data. Using the PPP measure, China’s economy is nearly as large as that of the entire U.S. Both India and Indonesia’s economies are larger than California’s by this measure due to their lower costs of living.

California's Democratic political leaders enthusiastically battled Donald Trump and his administration with lawsuits, legislation and fiery public rhetoric, particularly about immigration and the environment. The the "Under2" coalition of states and other "subnational" actors, named after the Paris accord's goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, had grown to 170 jurisdictions representing more than a third of the global economy over the past two years - including 10 states in the United States.

With Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord, China and California signed an agreement 06 June 2017 to work together on reducing greenhosue gas emissions. The governor's office said the two pledged to expand trade between California and China with an emphasis on so-called green technologies that could help address climate change. The agreement between California and China's Ministry of Science and Technology created alignment between the world's second-largest economy — China — with California, which has the largest economy of any US state and the sixth largest in the world.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed sanctuary state legislation 05 October 2017 that extended protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally — giving the nation's most populous state another tool to fight Trump. Brown's signature meant that police will be barred from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities.

California is a unique place - the home of forty million people with the resources, and the economy to make it as an independent country. California is the sixth largest economy in the world [soem say eighth] based on its Gross Domestic Product. At more than $2.6 trillion, our economy is larger than the French or Russian economies. That means an independent California could be a major economic player on the world stage and be deserving of a seat in the Group of Eight (G8), a political forum of the world’s eight major industrialized countries.

The dream of independence for California was not imagined by the Yes California Independence Campaign. It is a dream that has lived deep within the hearts of many Californians for a long time. The red star on California's flag traces its roots back to 1836, when Californians revolted against the Mexican government for independence. The bear on the flag traces its roots back to the bear flag revolt in 1846.

The California National Party, modelled on Scotland’s SNP, sees itself as part of a proud Californian independence tradition. “We’ve just always had an independent streak,” Jay Rooney, California National Party press secretary, told The New Daily. “California really is a nation unto itself. Californians share a common history, culture, ecology, and values – which are markedly different from the rest of the country’s.”

One in every three California residents supports the state’s peaceful withdrawal from the union, according to a January 2017 Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, many of them Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s ascension to the country’s highest office. The 32 percent support rate was sharply higher than the last time the poll asked Californians about secession, in 2014, when one-in-five or 20 percent favored it around the time Scotland held its independence referendum and voted to remain in the United Kingdom. In the November 2016 election, the state broke nearly two-to-one in favor of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The campaign to establish California as an independent country ultimately aimed to put an independence referendum on the ballot to give the people of California the chance to exercise the right of self-determination. In 1945, the United States ratified the Charter of the United Nations, a treaty that guarantees peoples the right to self-determination in Article I. Thus, by ratifying this treaty, the United States adopted the right of self-determination as the supreme law of our land. And the principle of self-determination has been supported by the United States since the time of Woodrow Wilson, who once said that “self-determination is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of actions which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril”.

The US Constitution says that each state in the Union shall retain every power which is not by the Constitution given to the federal government. The Constitution does not give the power of secession to the federal government in the enumerated powers, nor does it expressly prohibit the states from exercising this power. Therefore, the power of secession is reserved to the states, or to the people, per the Tenth Amendment.

The California Nationhood, Constitutional Amendment And Statute Initiative of 26 January 2017 repeals provision in California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States and that the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Places question of whether California should become a separate country on a future ballot. Treats result of such future vote as declaration of independence from the United States if 50 percent of registered voters participate and 55 percent of those voting approve. It requires Governor to request California admission to the United Nations if voters approve independence. The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1795. The proponent of the measure, Marcus Evans, had 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by July 25, 2017.

Its leader, Louis Marinelli secured a “California” embassy in Moscow shortly after the election. Yes California did not have an embassy in any other country, and its Moscow office was provided rent-free by the Anti-Globalization Movement in Russia. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Louis Marinelli, leader of the movement, said the embassy will not deal with diplomatic issues, but will act as more of a cultural center that will educate Russians about California's history, boost trade ties and promote tourism.

“We're not requesting military assistance from Russia,” Marinelli explained. “We're certainly going to request recognition of our independence and recognition of our [2019] independence referendum result, as we're going to request that the entire international community recognizes the results.”

On 26 February 2017, Marinelli gave a television interview to MSNBC host Alex Witt. “Do you think people might grow skeptical and concerned that this movement is just part of a bigger strategy by the Kremlin to destabilize the West?” she asked. “Sure, we believe that’s certainly a reasonable skepticism for people to have,” Marinelli said.

The Yes California Independence Campaign faltered 18 April 2017 after its president, Louis Marinelli, revealed ties to Russia. Marinelli said in a lengthy message to supporters Monday that he is seeking permanent residence in Russia because of his "frustration, disappointment and disillusionment with the United States." The secretary of state's office confirmed that Marcus Ruiz Evans, the group's vice president, withdrew the California Nationhood ballot measure. In September 2017 Marinelli gave up the effort, and announced he was settling permanently at his home in Yekaterinburg in Russia. Marinelli’s wife is a Russian national, and he lived in Russia teaching English.

The California Freedom Coalition, a grassroots organizing effort that evolved since the 2016 election, planned to file its own ballot measure, without the baggage of Marinelli's Russian ties. Steve Gonzales, the new group's secretary-treasurer and board member, said "It prevented Yes California from getting any serious money, I can tell you that," noting that he is a native Californian who has never been to Russia.

One of the benefits of independence is the ability to spend less on weapons of war and more on quality of life issues that matter to the people of California in their daily lives. Spending three percent of California’s $2.6 trillion Gross Domestic Product (or 16% of the annual budget) on military defense would give us a military defense budget of about $70-80 billion a year.

Why spend $70-80 billion a year to maintain a military apparatus in North America where Canada defends itself with just $18 billion a year? In fact, California spending even $70 billion a year on defense would afford us a military larger than Russia’s - and Russia is 40 times larger than California. By reducing military expenditures while adequately providing for defense, California could save about $50 billion a year.

Only one country has ever invaded California - the United States. Modern-day California doesn’t have military enemies and in fact, there are 23 countries in the world, including Iceland and Panama, that do not have a regular military and yet they manage to remain free from invasion.

CaliforniaThe campaign states that "... an independent California will be more secure and at less risk of attack simply because we will no longer be involved in all of America’s military activities that actually perpetuate and instigate terrorism around the world. When the United States and other western powers drop bombs on villiages in the Middle East, it encourages surviving family members to become radicalized and seek revenge against those countries responsible for the death of their family members.

"California as an independent country will not be responsible for the drone strikes or theft of natural resources in other countries because California will be a peaceful country and therefore we will no longer be a primary target of “terrorism”. Likewise, North Korea is at war with South Korea and the United States. There will be no reason for North Korea to launch a nuclear missile at California if we are not part of one of the countries they are at war with and consider their enemies....

"The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is just that - an alliance established by treaty between several North Atlantic countries. California will be a Pacific country and therefore will not join this alliance between North Atlantic countries even if just for simple geographic reasons. Beyond that, joining NATO will keep California too entangled in Washington’s military affairs, which would be counterproductive to our campaign for independence."

California would negotiate a military base agreement with the Americans. These military base agreements would require the Americans to lease the land their bases are on just like they do in many countries around the world. These leases would bring in revenue each year that can be used to subsidize California’s defense and national security budget.

Being independent of the United States means Californians would have a government that we choose – and a government of, by, and for Californians that always puts the people of California first. Never again would public policy be decided by a congress comprised mostly of non-Californians. Never again would Californians have a president who claims a mandate and yet lost the popular vote. Never again would Californians have laws struck down by judges from outside California appointed and confirmed by non-Californians. Never again would we have a government we didn’t elect rounding up immigrants, or banning them from coming to California based on their religious beliefs, or building a wall along California's southern border with Mexico.

California’s electoral votes haven’t affected a presidential election since 1876 and participation in Congress has only affected the balance of power in 1930 and 1952. Since California became a state in 1850, it participated in presidential elections 41 times. Erasing California’s Electoral College votes from history, the United States would have had a different president only once. In 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden lost to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes 185-184 in the Electoral College. In that election, California cast its six Electoral College votes for the Republican Hayes, helping him win the presidency.

On top of that, presidential election results are often known before Californians votes are even counted. So, why should Californians keep subjecting themselves to presidents they play no role in electing, to 382 representatives in the House and 98 senators they can’t vote for, and all the government officials and federal judges appointed by those very same people they don’t elect?

Most of the time, California doesn’t get the national government we choose. They have voted for a Democratic majority in both chambers of the California Legislature since 1971 and have elected Democrats to the United States Senate since 1992. Clearly California leans left but by the time of the 2016 election they had a Republican-controlled House for 19 out of the last 24 years and a Republican controlled Senate for 15 out of 24 years.

Never again would Californians have a government they didn’t elect withdrawing from important international treaties – or force Californians into ones that conflict with our needs and values. Never again would a Californian die on the field of battle while serving in an unwelcome occupying military force in war they don’t understand.

The federal government’s own figures show in 2014, the last year for which data is available, that Californians collectively paid $369.2 billion in federal taxes and received federal payouts totaling approximately $355.8 billion. That’s a loss of more than $13.5 billion in a year when California was still working its way out of the great recession. Since 1995, California has lost about $16 billion each year. To put that in perspective, California’s entire state budget in 2014 was $156 billion. California as an independent country would have about 10% more money available without any new taxes and before adjusting our budget priorities.

An independent California may eventually have its own currency but that is a question to be answered in future elections, not by an independence referendum. The day California becomes an independent country, it can continue using the US dollar because it is a “fully-tradeable” international currency, which means any country can use it if it wants to without the United States Government’s permission.

Many countries have already done away with or never established their own currency and instead use international ones like the US dollar. In fact, seven countries besides the United States use it as their official currency. These countries include East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and Zimbabwe, and the African country of Liberia once used it as its official currency.

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Page last modified: 19-10-2017 15:23:42 ZULU