In 1911, in an effort to wrestle control of the legislature away from the railroads, California was one of the first states to introduce the initiative process. 

Allowing citizens to place policy directly on the ballot with an initiative is an “experiment” in direct democracy that the citizens of the Golden State still seem to hold dear.

The system has its pluses – citizens can address issues their lawmakers cannot – and its minuses – almost any special interest with sufficient financial resources can get something on the ballot.

One of the challenges, however, is that voters must make decisions on complicated public policy issues with a simple yes or no answer.  Some initiatives may not have been drafted carefully and result in unintended outcomes. Finally, crafty but misleading campaigns can lead to poor decisions.

Staying informed and understanding Catholic teaching when making policy decisions is critical, but it can also be time consuming.

That is why the Conference continues to provide a succinct analysis of each of the propositions – along with relevant Catholic teaching – despite the fact that the Conference has not taken any positions on the 2018 primary ballot initiatives.

You can find the analysis here along with general resources on Faithful Citizenship, guidelines on approved political activity in parishes and general discussions on important Catholic themes.

Full story at California Conference of Bishops.