Supporters of the “State of Jefferson” have taken a major step to form their own state, formally submitting their “declarations of separation” – secession – to the California Secretary of State and the Assembly.
A crowd of 70 to 100 people representing Siskiyou and Modoc Counties rallied at the state capital and also confronted California state legislators, who would have to approve the request.
“We don’t need government from a state telling people in a county what to do with their resources and their children’s education,” secessionist leader Mark Baird told the crowd. “You are better equipped to educate your children than the state or federal government.”
After the rally about 10 secessionists walked into the state capitol and handed clerks petitions to form a separate state of Jefferson encompassing Siskiyou and Modoc counties in the Golden State’s far north. Separate boards of supervisors in both counties previously approved secession.
“We fully expect to be ignored,” Baird told the Associated Press.
Jefferson supporters may file a lawsuit demanding secession if legislators turn the petitions down.
Demanding Small Government and Freedom from Urban Control
“Government from 900 miles away is not working for us. Our children are leaving, our economies are decimated, hundreds of thousands of acres of forest land are on fire due to the failed practices of California,” Baird said.
The proposed state of Jefferson is one of the nation’s oldest secession movement, dating to 1941. At least one proposal calls for a state of 13 counties: Del Norte, Siskiyou, Modoc, Humboldt, Trinity, Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Plumas, Mendocino, Glenn, Butte and Lake.
Much of the resentment behind the movement is directed at California’s bloated state government. The petition’s goal is to create a small state with a limited government. Anger at interference in rural economies and rural lifestyles is also driving the movement.
“It would reawaken the rural economy if it were unleashed from urban control,” Siskiyou County Supervisor Brandon Criss said of secession. “California has over 500 government agencies micromanaging the people.”
Another Proposal: Six Californias
The Jefferson supporters were the second group that petitioned California’s state government for secession this year. Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper previously presented legislators with his Six Californias petition which would break the Golden State up into six smaller states.
Draper wants to divide California up into states called Jefferson, Northern California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.
North California represents the wine country, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento. Central California is the San Juan Valley and the region west to Nevada. Silicon Valley is the coastal region around San Jose. West California is Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura and Santa Barbara County. South California is San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Draper’s website is asking Californians to design flags for the new states and give names for them. The initiative will be on the 2016 ballot.
If the region in your state wanted to form its own state, would you support it? Share your thoughts in the section below: