Government, Law, Politics, Elections, Civil Liberties - LPC Library Research Guide

California Political Information

California Official Voter Information Guide. Links to Propositions, Ballot Measures Summary, Other Information, and PDF Versions of Full Voter Information Guide in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Cal-Access lists who has filed as a candidate in California elections, as well as information about campaign contributions, funding for political advertising...

California League of Women Voters - encourages informed political actions including voting, communicating with your elected representatives, or running for political office

California Legislation - track Senate and Assembly Bills, or access full-text of California laws

California Research Bureau Reports - provides research on various topics, including ethnic studies to education to computer usage reports to proposition and election information. Useful for California demography and issues.

Capitol Resource Institute - conservative Christian perspective on issues such as television, abortion, welfare, and taxes, as well as on upcoming California legislation.

League of Women Voters - "is a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League's enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels."

Rough & Tumble: A Daily Snapshot of California Public Policy and Politics - a daily digest on California politics - "Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October of 2006, is a "one-stop-shop" for election related information. It provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information ..."


California Voter Registration

California On-Line Voter Registration - the deadline to register to vote for an election is 29 days before election day

California Voter Registration FormPDF Icon - instructions and registration form to fill out and mail (California Secretary of State's Office).

Calfornia Secretary of State: Elections and Voter Information

California Voter Foundation - an independent, nonprofit organization applying new technologies to provide the public with access to the information needed to participate in public life in a meaningful way

Easy Voter - California nonpartisan information about voter registration, choosing a political party, and voting, including statewide parties, candidates, ballot measures...

Government Information

Alameda County

ABAG Online - Association of Bay Area Government which features links to earthquake information, counties, cities and colleges

City of Dublin

City of Livermore

City of Pleasanton

City of San Ramon

City of Tracy

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - information and statistics on health and diseases from the CDC, an agency of the U.S. Public Health Service, in the Department of Health and Human Services whose mission is "to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability"

California Institute for County Government (CICG) - includes county profiles with financial, economic, and demographic statistics for each county in the state

Community Information by Zip Code - links statistical data on population, education, health, environment, business, and politics which can be retrieved by entering a zip code

Counting California - Information, Facts, and Data about the Golden State from the California Digital Library, University of California

U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators- provides access to current U.S. Federal economic indicators

EDGAR Online & EDGAR Archives (SEC) - corporate filings and annual reports on publicly-traded companies. Click on the EDGAR Database for corporate information

Federal Agencies on the Internet

Fedforms - easy access to the forms of the 500 most popular government services, including IRS, social security, small business, passport, immigration, military ...

FEDSTATS - statistics provided by more than 70 agencies in the United States

Google Search: Unclesam - search from this screen and you find United States federal, state, and local government maintained Web pages only (the red, white and blue stars and stripe Google logo is the only indication that this is a site specific search)

GPO New Electronic Titles (NET) - assists in locating new electronic federal government information titles

Occupational Employment Statistics - "...employment and wage estimates for over 700 occupations. These are estimates of the number of people employed in certain occupations, and estimates of the wages paid to them... These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual States, and for metropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available."

Population Reference Bureau - Provides information on population, health, and the environment, focusing on Reproductive Health and Fertility; Children and Families; Population and the Environment; and Population Futures—Aging, Inequality and Poverty, Migration and Urbanization, and Gender. Also emphasizes two Strategic Approaches: Building Coalitions and Mobilizing Civil Society.

POTUS - Presidents of the United States: "background information, election results, cabinet members, notable events, and some points of interest on each of the presidents"

Social Statistics Briefing Room (SSBR) - provides access to current U.S. Federal social statistics

Statistical Abstract of the United States


U.S. Census Bureau

Bay Area Census - provides "2000 Data by Population, Race, Sex, Age & Housing" for California and places, counties, cities, and areas throughout the Bay Area

California County Population for 1990 and 2000 - PDF file

Census 2000 Data Access and Use - "The Census 2000 Data Access and Use web pages augment the information on Census 2000 provided by the Census Bureau by adding other types of information, news, and perspectives focused on data access and use."

CensusScope: Your Portal to Census 2000 Data - " easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends... With eye-catching graphics and exportable trend data, CensusScope is designed for generalists and specialists"

Census 2000 Resident Population and Apportionment Counts - "Census 2000 results are available for the resident population of the 50 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; congressional apportionment; and U.S. overseas population, consisting of federal employees (military and civilian) overseas and their dependents living with them"

Housing Topics - 1997 data on the nation's housing, including apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, and vacant housing units with household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, and recent movers

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey - provides "acomprehensive body of information on the employment and unemployment experience of the nation's population, classified by age, sex, race, and a variety of other characteristics" from the Bureau of the Census for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

State of the Cities Data Systems - "...provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs," with access to specific cities' historical census data, current employment statistics, county business pattern databases, and FBI crime data

U. S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census Data - "profiles the US economy every 5 years, from the national to the local level"

U. S. Economy at a Glance - key economic data, including unemployment rate, average hourly earnings, consumer price index, producer price index, U.S. import price index, and productivity for the past six months; state economic data charts and links to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports

U.S. Government Information on the Web Subject Index - valuable reference tool linking government documents indexed from government documents library Web pages

White House: Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - presents Federal government information on budget, legislation, reform, grants, statistics, financial management, procurement, and information policy; a link to the current Budget of the United States Government



California Courts Self-Help Center - "this site is intended to help you find legal assistance, learn about California law, work better with an attorney, and represent yourself in some legal matters. This site does not provide legal advice"

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - includes the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, the Budget, Census information, Federal Laws and Regulations, and more

Findlaw: California Case Law - California Court of Appeals and Supreme Court case lawfrom 1934 to the present

FindLaw Cases and Codes - find legal information on the Internet from online code, case law, U.S. Supreme Court decisions back to 1893, consumer and business law, and more

Guide to Law Online: U.S. States and Territories - links to legal resources for the U.S. states and territories; including executive, legislative, judicial branches (bills, laws, acts, decisions, state constitutions)

JURIST: The Legal Education Network - legal information designed for people needing to learn, research, or teach legal subjects

Official California Legislative Information - for California Codes, click the button California Law to find the 29 codes, covering various subject areas

Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database: - provides information about major constitutional cases heard and decided by the Supreme Court of the United States including digital recordings of the Court's proceedings

Supreme Court Decisions - contains all opinions of the Court issued since May of 1990, as well as some of the most important historical decisions of the Court and general information about the court system

Supreme Court of the United States - Provides general information on the Court, as well as access to the Court's term slip opinions, term orders, argument calendar, schedules, rules, bar admission forms and instructions, case-handling guides, special notices, and press releases

Thomas - use this service from the Library of Congress to track Federal Legislation and follow the activities of Congress

WWW Virtual Library-Law - extensive links to legal information



California Ballot Initiatives and Propositions

McPherson, Bruce. "Ballot Measures Defined." Official Voter Information Guide, California General Election: Tuesday, November 7, 2006. Sacramento: Secretary of State of the State of California, 14 Aug. 2006. 13.

Ballot Measures Defined


"An amendment to or a revision of the constitution, bond issues and acts amending or repealing initiative acts (proposed by the Legislature) and initiative and referendum measures (proposed by the people) must be approved by the electorate before they become effective."* Issues that are placed on the ballot by either the Legislature or the voters are numbered and listed as propositions.

*Driscoll, James D. "Chapter III. Elections. Measures on the Ballot." California's Legislature.

[Sacramento]: California Legislature Assembly, March 1984. Ref JK8766.A3 1984.


"Elections." California's Legislature. (p. 37, pdf file). 21 Oct. 2003.


California uses the direct initiative process, which enables voters to bypass the Legislature and have an issue of concern put directly on the ballot for voter approval or rejection. An initiative is a legislative proposal to change statutory law or the California Constitution. There are two types of initiatives that can be placed on the ballot:

Initiative Statute: Petitions proposing initiative statutes must be signed by registered voters. The number of signatures must be equal to at least 5% of the total votes cast for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.

Initiative Constitutional Amendment: Petitions proposing initiative constitutional amendments must be signed by registered voters. The number of signatures must be equal to at least 8% of the total votes cast for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.

"Initiative Guide." Elections & Voter Information. California Secretary of State. 2000.

18 Oct. 2003 <>.


California Ballot Initiatives Database - "comprehensive, searchable source of information on California ballot initiatives from 1912 to the present;" contains "the full text of the initiatives, accompanying material relating to their filing and qualification, related legal and legislative history, and digital images of pertinent documents."

California Ballot Propositions Database - A comprehensive, searchable source of information on California ballot propositions from 1911 to the present. The database contains the full text of the propositions, accompanying material contained in the voters' pamphlets, related legal and legislative history. If the proposition type is listed as an Initiative Statute, it is an "initiative" placed on the ballot by people who collected enough voter signatures.

Los Angeles County Law Library, California Ballot Propositions - includes information on California propositions from 1884 to the present with updates. If the proposition is placed on the ballot by California voters and not the legislature, it is listed as an Initiative Statute in the description column that includes the proposition number. It is easy to scan the description columns to find those propositions which are INITIATIVE STATUTES. Bill numbers are included for ballot measures created by legislative efforts.

A History of California Initiatives December 2002

PDF Icon - "This historical study of initiatives from the year 1912 through December 2002 offers a concise history of initiatives and the initiative process." The approval of the initiative process in 1911 provided citizens with a method to place measures on the ballot. Instructions on how to begin the initiative process:Initiative Guide

California. Secretary of State: Initiative Update - official ballot initiative information, including which initiatives are in circulation, have qualified for upcoming elections, and are pending at the state's Attorney General's Office; links to 1996 to current complete text and pro and con positions of the propositions that make it to the ballot


U.S. Politics

Campaign Disclosure Project -a project "designed to bring greater transparency and accountability to the role of money in state and federal campaigns."

Center for Voting and Democracy - concise overview of current electoral issues, research and analysis of election-related topics such as instant voting runoff, redistricting, voter turnout, and more; frequently updated -

Common Cause - a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Contacting the Congress - 1,000 e-mail addresses and links to Web sites for members of the 106th United States Congress; including office staff, political profile, committee assignments; and a very brief personal biography - Election Informtion You Need (League of Women Voters' Education Fund) - public interest site for election information. Enter your zip code to find out who's running for offices on your ballot and where the candidates stand on issues you care about.

Election Resources - listing of sites for federal, state, and U.S. territories election resources - "a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding." Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Federal & State Election Resources - lists sites for federal, state, and U.S. territories election resources. "All include some level of basic information about the upcoming ballots, as well as voter registration and filing for office. Many also provide databases of lobbyists, political action committees, and campaign finance disclosure reports. Some even offer online access to vote tallies as they come in on election nights."

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Resources - links to resources with information on national GLBT issues including organizations, coming out, GLBT health, politics, civil rights, etc. [GLBT Student Support Services, Indiana University-Bloomington]

On the Issues - gives the positions on major issues for major federal and state offices, such as president and governor, by candidate or issue; includes biographies of each candidate, charts showing the candidates' position on issues, links to candidates' Web sites, and election schedules.

Politics - published as a non-partisan public service to promote fully informed decision-making by the American electorate - "independent survey of trends affecting elections, government, and business," updated whenever a new poll is released, which means almost daily. Includes Gallup, Harris, Yankelovich, Princeton Survey Research Associates, network news polls, more.

Presidential Debates - Includes transcripts of the U.S. Presidential debates from 1960, and 1976 to the present. Includes Vice-presidential debates from 1976, and 1984 to the present.

Project Vote Smart - "For reliable, meant-and-potatoes political information, research experts nearly all recommend Project Vote Smart

Smart Voter - designed to help voters understand their choices better including local contests; offers extensive background information on candidates in participating counties as well as information on state and local ballot measures

Voting and Registration Data - provides statistics from the Current Population Survey on U.S. voting and voter registration by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics


Youth Vote

Declare Yourself - This "is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign to energize and empower a new movement of young voters to participate in the 2004 presidential election," provides information about voter registration, absentee ballots, and locating polling places; brief information about presidential candidates, video clips promoting voting, and links to related sites.

Punk Voter - "Punk bands, musicians, and record labels have built a coalition to educate, register and mobilize progressive voters," featuring political and election news and columns, political cartoons, and information about voting, aimed primarily at 18-24 year olds.

Rock the Vote - "is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1990; [it] engages youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities." The site includes information about registering to vote and kits for organizing voter registration drives, links to information about selected issues, and a blog. - "Youth04 seeks to synthesize the best of the political Internet and the best of traditional grassroots organizing to transform the role 18-25 year olds will play in the 2004 election." This young voter site encourages involvement in all aspects of politics, from national to local efforts.


U.S. Patriot Act and Civil Liberties

Check the electronic print resource, CountryWatch. Use the Country Review/Political Overview Chapter. Due to a heightened interest in global security, CountryWatch has added the National Security Section which provides an overview of Security issues facing the 192 countries covered by the database in the following areas: External Threats, Crime, Insurgencies, and Terrorism.


Center for Democracy and Technology: Government Surveillance - Background information, news, analysis, policy papers, legislation, and other information about government surveillance issues on topics, including the USA PATRIOT Act.


Hot Topics: USA Patriot Act - "Information about the USA PATRIOT Act, intellectual freedom, civil rights and social justice;" and "provide access to the USA Patriot Act text and offer a variety of resources for education, government information and activism."


Impact of the USA PATRIOT Act on Free Expression - Argues that "libraries remain more important than ever to ensuring the right of every individual to hold and express opinions and to seek and receive information....But just as the public is exercising its right to receive information and order to understand the events of the day, government is threatening these very liberties...."


Not in Our Name (NION) - An organization of "people of conscience who cannot stand silent as our government wages war without limits of time and space," which was founded in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in concern about curtailments of civil liberties and U.S. military actions.


NOW with Bill Moyers: Chuck Lewis on a New Patriot Act - February, 2003 television trascript of interview with Chuck Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, about the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, also known as "Patriot Act II" includes a response from the Department of Justice, a later interview with civil libertarian Nat Hentoff, a timeline, and related links.


People for the American Way (PFAW) - An organization "fighting to maintain and expand 50 years of legal and social justice progress that right-wing leaders are trying to dismantle" explains its stands on such issues as public education, religious freedom, and civil liberties; search by state to find current highlighted issues and activities.


Stop the Abuse of Power: Restore the Rule of Law - "...tracks the ACLU's fight to stop the war on terrorism's growing infringement on our civil liberties." Includes fact sheets on the Patriot Act, pamphlets, press releases, related news, and more.


A Stake in Civil Liberties: The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) - Helps local community members "support repeal of parts of the USA PATRIOT Act and Executive Orders that infringe on Constitutional rights" by passing resolutions at the local government level.


USA Patriot Art: Cartooning and Free Speech in War Time - "Political cartoonists questioning the [actions of the United States] government" in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Includes work and commentary of cartoonists Mike Marland (whose cartoon was banned), and Todd Persche (who was fired from his job).


More information may be found using LPC electronic print resources, such as: Academic Search Complete (EBSCO), CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints (Thomson Gale), and America's Newspapers (NewsBank) from the Library Homepage.


Last Updated: September 11, 2009

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Page last modified: July 03, 2014