The 2020 #Calexit Independence Referendum

On November 3, 2020, Californians will go to the polls to elect the next president of the United States along with the California delegation to the District of Columbia. While voting, you will also answer the question: “Should California be an independent country?” We are waiting until the 2020 presidential election in order to ensure as high a voter turnout as possible so we have an honest referendum result.

This is a very important question. It is the responsibility of this campaign to explain what a yes vote will mean for you, your family, your community, our state, our country, and our world. As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other member states of the American Union.

In our view, the American Union represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued membership means California will continue subsidizing the other member states to our own detriment and to the detriment of our children.

Although charity is part of our culture, when you consider that California’s infrastructure is falling apart, our public schools are ranked among the worst in the entire country, we have the highest number of homeless persons living without shelter and other basic necessities, poverty rates remain high, income inequality continues to expand, and Sacramento must often borrow money from the future to provide services for today, now is frankly not the time for charity.

However, this independence referendum is about more than California subsidizing other member states of the American Union. It is about the right to self-determination and the concept of voluntary association, both of which are supported by the United Nations.

It is about California taking its place in the world standing as an equal among nations. We believe in two fundamental truths: (1) California exerts a positive influence on the rest of the world, and (2) California could do more good as an independent country than it is currently able to do as a subordinate of the District of Columbia.

You have a big decision to make. Yes California is here to help.


The Case for Independence in 8 Points


The District of Columbia spends more on the U.S. military than the next several countries combined. Not only is California forced to subsidize this massive military budget with our taxes, but Californians are sent off to fight in wars that often do more to perpetuate terrorism than to abate it. The only reason terrorists might want to attack us is because we are part of the United States so not being a part of that country will make California a less likely target of retaliation by its enemies.


California’s electoral votes haven’t affected a presidential election since 1876. On top of that, presidential election results are often known before our votes are even counted. So, why should we keep subjecting ourselves to presidents we play little to no role in electing, to 382 representatives and 98 senators in the District of Columbia we can’t vote for, and all the government officials and federal judges appointed by those very same people?


The District of Columbia maintains a burdensome trade system that hurts California’s economy by making trade more difficult and more expensive for California businesses. As long as California remains within this burdensome trade system, we will never be able to capitalize on the trade and investment opportunities that would become available to us as an independent country. On top of that, the District of Columbia may drag California into the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement which conflicts with our values.


Since 1987, California has been subsidizing the other member states of the American Union at a loss of tens and sometimes hundreds of billions of dollars every year. As a result, we are often forced to raise taxes on our own people and borrow money from the future to make up the difference. This is partly why California presently has some of the highest taxes in the country, and so much debt. Independence means that all of our taxes will be kept and invested here in California based on the priorities we set, and we will be able to do so while repaying our debts and phasing out the current state income tax.


California is the most diverse member state of the American Union and that is something we are proud of. This diversity is a central part of our culture and an indispensable part of our economy. As a member of the American Union, our immigration system was largely designed by the 49 other member states and the District of Columbia thirty years ago. This immigration system has since neglected the needs of the California economy and has hurt too many California families for far too long. Independence means California will be able to decide what immigration policies make sense for our diverse and unique population, culture, and economy, and build an immigration system that is consistent with our values and our time.


Certain minerals and other natural resources like coal, oil, and natural gas are being extracted from California below market value by private corporations with the permission of the District of Columbia. While a small portion of the revenue is shared with us, our share has been withheld during times of sequestration. That means the District of Columbia is paying their debts with royalties collected from selling off California’s natural resources. Independence means we will gain control of our natural resources and be the sole beneficiary of royalties collected when they are extracted.


California is a global leader in combating human-caused climate change. However, as long as the other member states of the American Union continue debating whether or not climate change is real, they will continue holding up real efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The truth is this country accounts for less than five percent of the world’s population yet consumes one-third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the world’s oil, 27 percent of the aluminum, 23 percent of the coal, and 19 percent of the copper. Independence means California will be able to negotiate treaties to not only reduce the human impact on our climate but also to help build global resource sustainability.


The Affordable Care Act was created by the District of Columbia to lower the cost of health care and expand health insurance coverage to the uninsured, yet millions of Californians still lack access to quality health care because they can’t afford it. For many, access to hospitals and medicine is a life or death issue. Independence means we can fund the health care programs we want and ensure everyone has access to the medicines they need because our taxes will no longer be subsidizing the other states of the American Union. Finally, California can join the rest of the industrialized western world in guaranteeing health care as a universal right.