A campaign for California state’s secession from the US has got the approval to start collecting signatures for its ballot initiative, officials confirmed.
The state attorney general issued an official ballot measure title and summary on Tuesday, permitting the campaign to collect signatures.
The document was released not on the state attorney general office’s official website, but by Shankar Singan, the spokesman of California Freedom Coalition, who confirmed to Xinhua news agency on Wednesday that they are doing the preparation and will soon start the collection.
According to US law, the organization has six months to collect over 585,000 signatures in order to qualify for the 2018 ballot.
If it reaches the target, there will be a ballot in November 2018. If the ballot is passed, there would be a statewide special election in March 2019 to ask voters if they want California to become an independent country.
“If we can save $50 million of the tax and use them to our schools, hospitals and communities, that will make California much better than now,” Singan said.
He added that he believes California always needs immigrants, and once California is independent, the immigrants could have legal identities, which will bring more benefit to the state.
This is the second attempt to put a so-called Calexit measure on the 2018 ballot. An earlier attempt started in January was cancelled in April after the organiser quit and immigrated to Russia.
Another activist group called YesCalifornia is involved in the independent campaign as well.
Their spokesperson Marcus Ruiz Evans told Xinhua on Wednesday that once California is independent, the benefits for Californian people are both safety and money.
“People in California are diverse, and a third of them are immigrants, but they have been terrified since President (Donald) Trump came into power. If California gets the independence, the immigrants are safe,” Ruiz Evans said.
Economy is another major reason, Ruiz Evans pointed out.
“California trades with many countries, but if those countries don’t like America they would stop trading with California. We have Hollywood, Silicon Valley. Only if people buy our products, people in California can get rich.”