As of Jan. 15, 2018, parts of California have declared their independence from the large state and want to become the 51st state in America, calling themselves “New California.” This is an idea with a surprising amount of backing to it.
This is not actually the first time that a portion of California has claimed that it is succeeding from the larger state. A little over 20 serious proposals have been made to split it into separate parts since it became a state in 1850. Obviously, none have been successful, but there is definitely some cause for this action considering the amount of tries that there have been.
This time, the people that are proposing the split off are claiming that it is constitutional because the state government has become unfit for overseeing the proceedings of their parts of the state. The main activists want to separate the rural areas of California from the urban ones to fix the issue. They want this to both even out the electoral college vote and to create their own state government. The founders of New California wrote up their own form of a Declaration of Independence to secede from the bigger state. Furthermore, they wish to do things by the book and even sited the United States Constitution in their efforts to split off. They also are planning to work with the state legislator to find a mutually beneficial outcome. This method is actually very similar to the successful method West Virginia used to break off from Virginia in the 1860s.
The founders want to make it so that the counties containing coastal cities, where the current state government is, be separated form the rural counties which would become New California, taking most of the land, but only a portion of the population. The thing with California is that a great portion of the population is focused into the more liberal coastal cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Malibu. and the more conservative rural counties are spread out around them in the remaining parts of the state. In every presidential election since 1992, California has voted Democrat by a seeming overwhelming majority. However, the split is actually near 50-50. It’s just that the left-leaning voters are the overwhelming majority in the bigger voting areas so they’ve gotten their votes through as if there was no competition. So, if California was split up, there could be a more balanced vote for the state.
There is also the proclaimed issue of a terrible government in California as one of the main reasons that New California wants to split off. The taxes in California is one of the biggest and most frequently talked about problems for rural counties, but there are also issues like housing shortage, unemployment, bad education, and poverty. The government of California has transitioned over the years to reflect the larger cities needs and less those of rural counties. This has understandably prompted people in some of the more rural parts of California to want a more fair government so as to suite their needs better.
All in all, the idea of the formation of New California is a great one. If California was split up, it would make a more fair system of voting between the two states than just the one, and the more rural areas could make a government that is much more suited to govern them.
Jacob Allen // Staff Writer