Trying to Find California’s Virtual Constitutional Convention

Thought the idea of a state constitutional convention was abandoned earlier this year for lack of money?

Think again.

There’s just a few more days left in the one-month ratification period for the reCon, e-Con, short for the reConstitutional e-Convention.

The e-convention is part of reThinkCali.com, which was created by the New America Foundation.

According to its website, the foundation is a “nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.”

On the blog at reThinkCali.com describes itself as “using social media to harness the collective creative energy of all Californians, all Americans – anyone anywhere willing to create and share innovative solutions to fix California.”

A July 19 press release announcing the effort says it is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based social entrepreneur Anthony Rubenstein.

He is described in the release as a “veteran of California’s ballot initiative process.”

The release says he founded and led Californians for Clean Energy – Yes on Proposition 87 in 2006 and helped lead the “Coalition of Everyone Against Proposition 10” in 2008.

“We’re going to unleash the spirit of invention and out-of-the-box thinking that has made California the global engine of economic and cultural innovation,” Rubenstein is quoted as saying.

The site says it offers visitors a series of “challenges” the first of which is having e-delegates, using Twitter and other social media, draft the reCon e-Con.

The end result is supposed to be a “user-generated media campaign slated for next January when California’s new governor and legislators are sworn-in.”

(This may be why there seems to be like in the way of interactive activity on the site – the e-delegates are hurrying to finish ratifying reCon e-Con by the end of the month.)

Everyone who participates the reThinkCali process is a reThinker.

Anyone can be a reThinker, not just Californians, the site says.

However, you must be at least 13 years of age.

“reThinkers below the age of 18 will be required to provide a Consent Form signed by a parent or legal guardian before they are able to reDeem any reWards points.”

The site further explains:

“All reThinkers earn reWards. reWards come in two forms: rePoints (which is short for reputation points) and CaliBux. CaliBux are reWards for the quantity of your participation, and rePoints are for quality.”

It appears that CaliBux can be cash.

This process of drafting a new constitution has been going on for several months.

Voting on the reCon e-Con’s articles concluded September 15. Drafting occurred thereafter. And December is the ratification process.

That certainly isn’t apparent from the reThinkCali’s Twitter site where two of the eight Tweets were generated by California’s Capitol and none of the others said anything about a constitution or a convention.

Previously, there were 21 “People Who Like This” in the lower left-hand side of the reThinkCali Facebook page. The addition of the chief correspondent of California’s Capitol brings the total to 22.

A click on the page’s “Photo” tab leads to a series of 27 snapshots from the “Virtual Constitutional Convention.” The photos, however, seem to be showing a group of people in a room somewhere in, according to the page, San Francisco.

The reThinkCali website has a convention registration form but the start date is blocked.

(Editor’s Note: Perhaps it’s pilot error on the chief correspondent’s part but it appears there are no posts, other than the photos of the convention, on the page except the initial one launchiong the page in June. A draft of the reCon e-Con that is being ratified is also elusive. Perhaps during the ratification process no harnessing of the power of social media is allowed and the final product is simply posted in January. There is an urgent last minute appeal posted on December 21 at reThinkCali.com for $15,000 to match a challenge grant by December 30, however.)


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