Per Capita Representation – Have enough elected officials to truly represent California’s diversity!

California currently has the lowest per-capita state representation in the United States, for both the State Assembly and the State Senate.  That means very little representation for you and me!

The number of seats in the California state legislature was set in 1879 when California’s statewide population was approximately 865,000. Today, more people live within a single State Senate District than lived in the entire state in 1879. As of 2017 the state population is over 39 million — almost a million people per State Senate district – and yet the number of seats – only 40 in the State Senate and 80 in the State Assembly – have never been increased.

Having a small number of seats makes it very expensive to run for office, limiting who can get elected – and placing enormous legislative power in the hands of very few people.

A small legislature also makes it difficult to reflect California’s rich diversity – political, social, economic, racial, ethnic and more. It also makes it hard to meet the goals of the California Voting Rights Act, because too few seats means conflicts among multiple, traditionally under-represented groups, each trying to get a seat at a table with too few chairs.

A larger legislature – especially combined with elections by proportional representation – would make it much easier to represent California’s rich diversity –and spread political power more widely, expanding the base of our democracy.

A larger legislature will also lower the cost to get elected, reducing the corrupting influence of big money in politics, and empowering more grassroots voices.