Creating state propositions in California.
To my friends in the occupy movement,
I was going to tell you your strategy is wrong except that I'm the one that's in the wrong because you're out protesting, getting to know each other and making your feelings known while I'm sitting behind my computer.
Our government is enormously and flagrantly corrupt. Our legal system is largely for sale. The banks, corporations and the wealthy have more resources to buy our political leaders than we will ever have and our corrupt political leaders in both the Republican and Democratic parties have every intention of keeping it that way.
The point is to at least to some extent reform our system. To take on the banks, corporations and the wealthy and even with their overwhelming resources still find a way to regulate or prevent some of their worst behaviors.
The only way I can see us in the occupy movement succeeding with the implementing of real reforms is through the use of state propositions. With five hundred and four thousand signatures we can get propositions on the state ballot. With 25 signatures and contact with the state attorney general's office we can legally begin collecting signatures with the payment of 200 dollars and the collection of 25 signatures.
If we word the propositions correctly and directly prohibit things that irritate the greatest number of people we have a chance of getting them passed by the majority of voters even when very expensive campaigns are run to discredit them.
For example a proposition to protect consumers from current banking practices.
Predatory lending law:
1) Fees for rejecting a bad check may not exceed five dollars or ten percent of the value of a check whichever is less. Bad check fees may not be assessed if they were caused by a hold on a deposit which subsequently clears.
2) Fees for accepting a bad check or overdraft may not exceed ten dollars or ten percent of the value of the check or overdraft whichever is less in addition to interest not to exceed eighteen percent compounded annually.
3) Fees for withdrawing money from an atm may not exceed two dollars per withdrawal.
4) All money received by a lender must be credited to the highest interest part of a loan first. If a depositor has a line of credit at the same institution as the depositor has a savings or checking account all deposits must be credited to the line of credit first.
5) A bank may not charge more than eighteen percent compounded annually for any loan.
6) All loans on real property must be fixed rate for the first seven years.
7) There may be no prepayment penalties for any loan.
8) A lender may not unilaterally change the terms of any deposit or credit agreement for the first two years of the agreement and after that only once a year and must give 90 days notice of any changes.
9) No loans may be made for a term of less than 90 days.
9) A lender may not cash a postdated check earlier than the date on the check.
10) A bank may not charge prepayment penalties for any loan.
11) A back may not charge any monthly or any other periodic fee for a checking or savings account. If the bank does not wish to keep the account it must be refunded in full.
11) Fees may be adjusted for inflation from the date the proposition is passed.
12) Any loans that violate the terms of this proposition after this proposition is passed will be rendered legally uncollectable. Any interest and fees charged after this proposition is passed in violation of this proposition shall be subject to triple damages and reasonable attorney's fees.
Here's a proposed state proposition to directly attack corruption of our elected officials.
Conflict of interest law:
1) The state legislature or any elected body in the state of California may not exempt itself from any law which applies to the general public.
2) Any member of the state legislature or any elected state body or their spouses who accepts campaign contributions, legal fees, consulting fees, commissions, privileged access to stock purchases, board memberships, money or any item of value in return for influencing any law or state or local contract shall be immediately dismissed from office. They shall be charged with a felony and sentenced to up to 8 years in a state prison.
3) Any lobbyist, lawyer, member of a corporation or private citizen who contributes campaign contributions, legal fees, consulting fees, commissions, privileged access to stock purchases, board memberships, money or any item of value in return for influencing any law or state or local contract of substantial value to the giver shall be charged with a felony and sentenced to up to 8 years in a state prison.
4) Any member of the state legislature or any elected state or local official or their spouses who has voted on or had major influence over any law or state or local contract which is of direct and substantial value to any individual or corporation may not accept legal fees, consulting fees, commissions, privileged access to stock purchases, board memberships, employment, money or any item of value during their term of office or at any time after they leave office from the party that benefits or their agents. The value of all improperly earned benefits shall be subject to triple damages and reasonable attorneys fees.
Here's the url on the California government website that gives the process on how to qualify for an initiative and the phone number of the office that needs to be contacted:
Here's a url that shows a sample petition to collect signatures on:
If you have time to help or wish to contact me I have an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and also an occupy_sc facebook account which I have almost nothing set up on. I live in Santa Clara. occup_sj and other more famous ones were taken.