Splitting the state up into six parts is the latest initiative from venture capitalist and San Mateo’s Draper University founder Tim Draper.
Draper announced Thursday he planned to submit a just more than four-page initiative to the state’s attorney general in the form of a ballot proposition proposal called Six Californias. The proposal was submitted and received yesterday by Attorney General’s Office. The attorney general then assigns it a title and summary. Next, it enters circulation. The proponent then has 150 days to gather signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. If it is a statute change, 5 percent of the total votes for governor in the 2010 general election are required to get it on the November 2014 ballot. For a constitutional amendment, 8 percent of the 2010 general election is required to get it on the ballot. The initiative has to qualify by June 26, 2014, to make it on next November’s ballot.
In the proposal, Draper writes his idea is not unprecedented. The 1859 Pico Act proposed splitting off the region south of the 36th parallel north as the Territory of Colorado.
“It is not surprising that efforts to divide the state have been part of its history for over 100 years,” he wrote. “In fact, voters overwhelmingly approved the splitting of California into two states in 1859, but Congress never acted on that request due to the Civil War.”
Recently, rural counties in Northern California and Southern Oregon have been pushing to create of a new state called the State of Jefferson because of frustration with lack of representation at the state Capitol and overregulation. Back in September, the Siskiyou County and Modoc County’s Board of Supervisors voted for secession.
Draper adds the citizens of the whole state would be better served by smaller state governments, while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns.
“The legal processes for division of the state will take time,” he writes. “In the interim, we the people desire to empower local governments and lessen the role of Sacramento over every aspect of our lives, to encourage regional cooperation, and to begin the process of new state identification.”
The six new proposed states would be called Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California and South California. The first includes Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama and Trinity counties. The second includes Amador, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. The third includes Alpine, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties. The next encompasses Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey. West California would include Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and Ventura. The last would include Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.
According to the proposal, on or before Nov. 15, 2017, the voters of any county, pursuant to the initiative power or upon action of the Board of Supervisors placing a measure on the ballot, may enact an ordinance to become part of a contiguous state other than the state assigned pursuant to this section. Within 30 days after certification of the vote approving the ordinance, the boards of supervisors in the state to which the county seeks to be re-assigned shall vote to approve the reassignment and if a majority of those county boards approve, the reassignment shall become effective and the registrar of voters shall transmit the certification and ordinance to the governor.
A website is up and running at sixcalifornias.info and allows you to enter your email address to get notified when the initiative has launched.
Draper is not commenting on the initiative until Monday when he will hold a press conference 2 p.m. Dec. 23 at Draper University of Heroes, 55 E. Third Ave. in San Mateo.
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