Every state has its own state government – common knowledge to some, a revelation to many. In California, the state government is modeled after the federal government – a bicameral legislature. In other words – there’s the general assembly, and there’s the Senate. Let compare and contrast it for simplicity, with an hastily made T-chart:
Democrats are dominating the California State Government, and they have been since 1997. The only difference, is the governor. Sometimes California has a republican governor, sometimes a democrat governor – but the California State Representatives are ALWAYS majority democrat. This likely is a reflection of the Immigration Act of 1990, which greatly increased the level of immigration from Mexico and other countries, into the United States.
Anyways – To run for office you have a pile of paperwork to complete…
- Issue a statement of intent to run for office,
- Declare all your economic interests,
- And pay a fee to actually be on the ballot
There is one caveat! You can escape the required fee if there’s a petition of citizens who support you candidacy.
But paperwork isn’t all! According to Article IV of the California Constitution, the candidate MUST
- Be a United States Citizen,
- Be a resident of California for three years,
- Be a resident of the legislative district for one year
- Be a registered voter in that district by the time nomination papers are filed
According to Prop 140, The members of the state Assembly can serve no more than 3 two-year terms in the state Assembly.
However, Prop 140 permits a politician to serve in either or both chambers of the legislature for a maximum of 12 years. So THEORETICALLY you can serve 6 years in the California Assembly and 6 years in the Senate. The truth is, The Senate has 4 year terms! So unless you start your political career in the senate, you’ll only be able to serve ten years in total.
And lets not get ahead of ourselves, signing papers alone will not get you into office! You’ll need to align yourself with either The Democratic Party or the Republican Party of your state. From there you’ll be tasked with numerous speaking engagements like being invited to Universities to speak for College Republicans clubs. If you’re a skilled orator, this will be a walk in the park! Get the potential voters jazzed up and excited, and hopefully turnout will weigh in your favor! Although, a word to the wise, young people tend not to vote as much as older people! Although speaking for College Republicans SOUNDS like a smart idea, you have to wonder if your time may be better spent elsewhere…
So that’s the scoop! The California State Government meets up in Sacramento, and you’ll be paid $104,000 a year. Of course, getting into office will be impossible without the support of your preferred political party, but its definitely a worthy goal to reach towards. Go ahead and get out there! And if you become an important big-wig, remember the guy who summarized this path, and helped you reach the top! I’d like a gift card for itunes, please and thank you. Bye!