Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
You may have heard of “Cal Exit,” the push for California to secede from the union and gain independence.
While many people look at those efforts and laugh, the California Chamber of Commerce has released the results of a statewide poll that could portend a true Cal Exit underway.
In its third-annual Calchamber poll, slightly more voters said that California is headed down the wrong track (52 percent) than in the right direction (48 percent). It is the first time in the poll’s history that a majority said the state was in trouble.
Don’t even ask about the direction of the federal government. Twice as many voters have a negative outlook on the country’s direction than a positive one.
Perhaps most disturbing — of 28 percent of voters with children living at home, 61 percent agree that their children will have a better future if they leave California. Reasons include high cost of living, high taxes and job worries.
More results from the poll:
While Bay Area voters are more likely to say they are seeing “a lot of new jobs” in their area, Coastal Southern California residents see a moderate number of new jobs, while Inland Empire and Central Valley residents are downright pessimistic, with only 5 percent seeing “a lot of new jobs,” and fewer than 2 in 5 even seeing “some” new jobs.
About 86 percent of voters agree that elected officials in Sacramento are not spending enough time on reducing crime, and 66 percent believe they are not expanding police powers to limit panhandling, homelessness and public drug use in city parks.
About 81 percent of voters have a favorable view of California’s landmark Proposition 13, which set limits on property tax increases. This cuts across whether they own or rent, or whether they are Republicans or Democrats.
This is no surprise to Central Valley business owners, but 82 percent of voters feel the Legislature is out of touch with voters. Another 63 percent feel Gov. Jerry Brown is out of touch.
Our elected leaders in Sacramento would be wise to memorize this list of issues that voters care about but believe the Legislature is not spending enough time on: crime, job creation, keeping energy prices low and building more highways.