Thirty years ago this week, California voters started a taxpayer revolt that quickly spread to other states, helped set the stage for President Ronald Reagan's income tax cuts
and inspired an entire generation of die-hard opponents of big governmen
California's ballot initiatives have been making laws and national headlines since 1911. Designed by Governor Hiram Johnson to take politics directly to the people and over the heads of a corrupt legislature, the initiative process often focuses on populist issues. California voters have used their votes to spotlight issues across the political gamut from environmental concerns (Proposition 65) to property taxes (Proposition 13) to immigration (Proposition 187) to affirmative action (Proposition 209), campaign finance reform (Proposition 208), and legal gambling (Proposition 5) .