There is a campaign afoot to dissect the State of California into six smaller states: Jefferson, including the northernmost rural areas of California; North California, including Sacramento and areas east and west of that City; Silicon Valley, comprised of San Francisco, San Jose and the “tech corridor”; Central California, including most of the east-central region’s agricultural area; West California, comprised of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Santa Barbara; and South California, including San Diego and Orange Counties.
The proposal for a constitutional amendment splitting the state is expected to appear on the November 2016 general election ballot, provided its supporters have the requisite 807,615 signatures of registered voters to qualify for the ballot. Supporters claim to have more than a million signatures and expect California voters to address the proposed amendment in 2016. The final 44,000 signatures were reportedly delivered to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters on July 15, 2014. Authorities then have 8 workdays to see whether the campaign submitted enough valid signatures and possibly months for a thorough inspection of the signatures.
Supporters claim that California is a dysfunctional state with an unduly large, unresponsive government. The proposed amendment will supposedly provide a “fresh start” in which Californians will be free to create their own states with their own governments and elected state and federal representatives.
Detractors claim that “Six Californias” is a transparent attempt by conservatives to create more Republican representatives by achieving statehood for the more sparsely populated, conservative areas of California. Opponents also claim that the measure is “a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy and money that will hurt California’s brand” and harm its “ability to attract business and jobs.” A final objection focuses on the huge mess that will reportedly occur if California’s 150+ years of interdependence, agreements and fiscal structure are split six ways: cutting a body into six parts yields six body parts; not six new, well-functioning bodies.
There are several barriers to actually splitting California into six states. If California voters approve of the measure in the November 2016 election, it will still require approval by California’s state legislature – currently controlled by Democrats – and approval of the U. S. Congress. To date, a San Francisco Chronicle poll indicates that 59% of voters oppose the measure, so it will apparently have a tough time clearing even the first step. Absent massive, expensive effort and a seemingly significant change of heart by California voters, I have a better chance of starting a women’s basketball franchise in Iraq than California has of splitting six ways.
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