Just an hour south of Berkeley, in Silicon Valley, there are talks of dividing California up into six separate states.
Wait … what?
Venture capitalist Tim Draper proposed splitting California in his “Six Californias” plan. He is currently trying to garner the required 807,000 signatures by mid-April in order for his initiative to appear on the ballot in November.
Why do people even want this?
Draper argues that by splitting up California, each separate state could focus on its own regional issues and differences. For instance, water is a huge issue in the Central Valley, but people in Silicon Valley care more about technology.
That’s crazy. What would they all be named?
The six states would be named Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California, starting with the northernmost state.
Would the states even be equal?
Draper divided these states by the varying issues in each region, but there are many differences and inequalities in each region. Silicon Valley, although not the largest of the proposed states, would be the wealthiest and most liberal, while Central California would be the poorest. West California would have the largest population with 11.5 million people, but Jefferson would have the smallest population size with fewer than a million residents.
Who is for it and against it?
There are not a lot of people who support the idea — at least publicly. The people who would be most likely to support it would be those in the wealthier states such as Silicon Valley, which is where Draper is from. Republicans are also more likely to be for his proposal. Judging from how the states are divided, two would vote red, two would vote blue and two would be undecided. Now, California as a whole votes blue, so if the state is divided, it would be politically advantageous for Republicans. They would gain more seats in the Senate and have more political power overall. Political analysts and politicians have called it interesting at best, but most think it would be a bad decision to divide California up.
Do you think it will actually pass?
Most political experts say the idea sounds appealing, but in the end, it will not pass. It would cause a huge overhaul of California’s infrastructure, which would be time-consuming and expensive. It would also add 10 more senators to the formerly Californian states, which other states would not be too pleased with. If Draper gets the initiative on the ballot and it passes in California, it would have to pass through Congress as well, but it is unlikely to even get on the California ballot.
Contact Chloe Tarrasch at [email protected].