Our Principles

Responsible. Open. Inclusive. We believe in Common Sense state and local policies that enable all Californians to achieve their highest personal, educational and economic success.  Our formal platform will be developed by our growing membership, but generally the Common Sense Party will focus on increasing voter participation, and encouraging pragmatic problem-solving and fact-based decision-making in our state and local governments.

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**Important voter information**

The COMMON SENSE PARTY has adopted the following rule:

The COMMON SENSE PARTY is a non exclusive political organization. Membership and participation shall be open to all registered voters. Persons who express their party preference as the COMMON SENSE PARTY as allowed under California law shall not be so considered until such time as the COMMON SENSE PARTY is determined to be a certified political party by the Secretary of State. Thereafter, participation in any COMMON SENSE PARTY primary shall be open to all voters who have not expressed a preference for any other certified political party.

The Common Sense party will seek to promote policies and candidates who are:

  • Supportive of political reforms to increase access and participation of all Californians
  • Socially tolerant and inclusive in matters of race, gender, religion, age and sexual orientation
  • Vigorously protective of the environment
  • Compassionate for Californians who can’t take care of themselves
  • Willing to make long term investments in education, healthcare, and transportation and water infrastructure necessary to keep California innovative, productive and competitive in global markets, and
  • Prudent in spending and thoughtful about creating new taxes and regulations.

The Background

California inspires risk takers, visionaries, and entrepreneurs.

Our state used to take pride in our infrastructure, education, environmental preservation, health, and safety. For decades, these investments enabled mobility up the economic and social ladder for individuals and rapid growth for the State.

But an increasingly partisan environment has created bad public policy, stifling innovation, slowing infrastructure investment, jeopardizing public welfare, and compromising California’s status as a leader in the world. 

We resolve to elevate the interests of Californians above partisan politics so we can renew California’s full promise.

The Challenges

California no longer offers equality of opportunity for individuals, especially those in the middle and working classes. That's because our "solutions" have been driven by political talking points, not sustainable policy.

  • Housing supply is insufficient and prohibitively expensive.
  • Water and transportation infrastructures are aging and inadequate.
  • We are not good stewards of our environment, failing to protect and enhance it locally and globally.
  • Public places, universities, state parks, and state agencies serving the public have not kept been adequately maintained or improved.
  • Public K-12 education fails to provide adequate 21st century skills to too many, especially at schools in lower-income neighborhoods.
  • Higher-education costs and student debt climb relentlessly.
  • Millions of Californians lack access to basic healthcare.
  • The complex regulatory environment and high state taxes discourage investment and entrepreneurship.
  • Unfunded obligations for public pensions and overuse of general obligation bond financing burdens future generations with massive debt.
  • The sum total of these problems has resulted in a flight from California of businesses and those taxpayers capable of moving, while the middle class, unable to move out of state, are squeezed by higher costs of living. 

The Goal

Empower Californians, rather than career politicians, to make their own decisions about their families and their lives.

We can welcome growth, encourage innovation, and reward entrepreneurship, while giving the less fortunate an opportunity to realize the California dream.

The Approach

In order to empower all Californians to achieve these ends, we advance these principles in the belief that our Government must be:

  • Responsible: Every step government takes should be with an eye toward future generations and in the context of preserving our natural environment, improving global ecology, and ensuring public health and safety. Furthermore, we have a responsibility to care for those not able to participate in our economy for reasons not of their own making.
  • Reasoned: Functional governance exemplifies sound long-term policy decision-making, based on science and measurable facts. It must also vigorously enforce laws intended to keep the economy open and fair by preventing and ameliorating the concentration of power in the hands of a few large entities capable of exercising market power and suppressing competition.
  • Collaborative: We believe that collaboration is vital to good public policy. Californians with many differing needs, interests, and backgrounds should be heard in the State’s public policy decisions. Non-partisan governance should be promoted at all levels, moving away from “party rule” and towards collaborative, responsible action by elected officials. Every Californian should be free to affiliate with political parties, or no political parties, as each chooses.
  • Efficient: Government decisions should be made at the most efficient level of government closest to the people to allow for their review.
  • Prudent: With the understanding that taxes are necessary and proper, we believe Californians are taxed enough. Whatever needs we have should be covered by existing revenue sources, and we should make every effort to lower the tax burden of our state.
  • Transparent: Governments should be honest and open. Our legislative and executive branches should not allow legislation, budgets, and rules to be developed in the dark. Similarly, expenditures by and contributions to political campaigns by candidates, parties, and unallied entities should be completely transparent and readily disclosed.
  • Inclusive: We believe in the inherent value and dignity of every person and recognize that California’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths. California should never divide its residents on the basis of race, gender, religion, orientation, age, or national origin, or treat anyone differently because of those factors. We believe that decency, civility, respect, and tolerance should be exemplified throughout all levels of government.

Our Pledge

We have established the Common Sense Party in California, dedicated to the foregoing principles.
We pledge to promote candidates for local and state offices at all levels who embrace these principles and who are strong in their commitment to fight for them. We will support qualified “common sense” candidates who are have No Party Preference, and who are from the Democratic, Republican and Common Sense Parties.
We further pledge to support initiatives and measures for direct public adoption that will further the established principles.