California is earthquake country but one seismic shift rumbling through the state won’t require bottled water and a three-day food supply.
That would be the political and demographic groundswell toward challenging elements of Proposition 13, the property tax measure passed by California voters in 1978 by a landslide and which has been considered untouchable ever since.
“Prop. 13 has been a contentious part of the political landscape for 40 years,” says John Kim of the Advancement Project, one of the organizations comprising Make It Fair, a coalition of 22 statewide organizations and 200 endorsers seeking Prop. 13 reforms.
The watershed initiative became synonymous with protecting the little guy after homeowners’ property tax rates grew so high in the 1970s that people on fixed incomes couldn’t afford to pay them. But from the start, a piece of the measure has protected the not-so-little-guys.