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Should California Be Broken into Six Separate States?

Backers of an initiative to do just that will be collecting signatures at 143 locations statewide this weekend.

Graphic credit: Tim Draper
Graphic credit: Tim Draper

By STEVEN HERBERT
City News Service

Backers of an initiative that would divide California into six states will gather signatures at 143 locations throughout the state today and Sunday in an attempt to put the measure on the November 2016 ballot.     

"California has grown ungovernable -- be it Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jerry Brown as governor -- (and) the problems we face are too ingrained to be fixed in Sacramento," Anna Morris of Six Californias told City News Service.

"We need to reboot and the Six Californias initiative would bring government much closer to the people."

Venture capitalist Tim Draper said he wrote the initiative because he "wanted people to have a choice, to be local to their state government and to be able to get a refresh so that schools, streets and waterways could improve, poverty would decrease and businesses would want to keep jobs here."

Joe Rodota, a co-founder of OneCalifornia, a committee opposing the initiative, said "it has negative implications that could cost California's businesses and taxpayers tens of billions of dollars."

Rodota estimated the cost of documenting and dividing the assets and liabilities of California into six pieces would cost billions of dollars and take decades.

"That would be the greatest single misuse of time and money in the history of California," said Rodota, a cabinet secretary under then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

Rodota said effects of splitting the state would include forcing families with children attending a University of California campus that is not in the new state which they would be assigned to pay out-of-state tuition and businesses having to file multiple state income tax returns if they had operations and employees in various states that were previously all part of California.

If voters approve the Six Californias initiative and Congress agrees to admit five new states, West California would consist of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

South California would consist of Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino and Imperial counties.

The eight coastal and adjacent counties from Monterey County to San Francisco would form Silicon Valley.

The 14 inland counties from Kern to San Joaquin, Calaveras and Alpine would form Central California.

The 13 counties from the Pacific Ocean to the Nevada border from Marin and Sonoma counties to Sierra, Nevada, Placer and El Dorado counties would form North California.

The state's 14 northernmost counties would form the state of Jefferson, taking the name from the proposed state under a short-lived 1941 effort that would have combined California's Del Norte, Siskiyou and Modoc counties with four in Oregon.

(County voters could approve reassignment to a different new state if the second state approves.)

The initiative's backers need to submit valid signatures from 807,615 registered voters -- 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 general election -- by July 18 to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

"We are well on our way to getting there," Morris said.

The locations of the signature-gathering sites can be found on the initiative's website, sixcalifornias.info.

--City News Service


Marcus July 20, 2014 at 02:59 PM
I'm saying don't split our State but reform what needs to be better. Just splitting up states won't resolve anything for middle class/working class people. I'm more interested in new legislation originating from the people as opposed to lobby groups or rich billionaires. But here's the question: what's corrupt? is it really corrupt or just voting in a way you don't like? Too many Tea party types shout anarchy or corruption when it doesn't suit them politically.
Steve M July 20, 2014 at 03:07 PM
A windfall for more politicians to implement then they get a pension for life. They should experiment with Texas.
Deanna July 20, 2014 at 03:22 PM
I like with Marcus. We recently drove up to Oregon to look at some colleges and visit friends. We actually saw a Sign along the I 5 that said welcome to the state of Jefferson. Wimpy though the sign was it smacked of people voted against their own best interests.
Lynn Moore July 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Totally off the subject: But why is this online newsletter called the AgouraHills Patch? I though this was Imperial Beach.
Penny Arévalo July 21, 2014 at 04:49 PM
This story got posted statewide, as it's a statewide story. But for commenting purposes, you are directed back to the original Patch which first posted it, which is in Agoura Hills.

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