'Six Californias' campaign: Plan to carve Golden State into smaller regions has enough support to be included on election ballot

The split would instantly create America's wealthiest state in Silicon Valley, and its poorest in Central California

Los Angeles

A radical plan to carve up California into six separate states has enough support to be put to a public vote, campaigners say. A petition backing the proposal, which was originally conceived by Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper, has collected the 808,000 signatures necessary to be included on the election ballot in November 2016. The non-profit “Six Californias” campaign announced via Twitter that it would submit the petition in the state capital, Sacramento, today.

California is the most populous state in the US, home to 38 million people and one of the world's top 10 economies. Mr Draper, the founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson - known for its investments in Hotmail, Twitter, Tesla and Skype - claims the state is so large and diverse as to be “ungovernable”. He first proposed a six-way split last December, and has spent almost $5m of his own money to promote the idea.

In a February interview with Time, Mr Draper said, “The strongest argument for Six Californias is that we are not well represented… Each region has its own interest, and I think California is ungovernable because they can't balance all those interests. I'm looking at Six Californias as a way of giving California a refresh and allowing those states to both cooperate and compete with each other.”

 

Mr Draper's redrawn map of California would include a new state called Silicon Valley, taking in San Francisco and many of the world's most successful tech firms, such as Apple and Google. The new mini-state would also include Draper's home in Atherton, which Forbes has ranked as the most expensive postcode in the US.

San Diego and Orange County would become part of South California. Los Angeles would become the capital of West California. The abundant farmland surrounding the cities of Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton would be known as Central California, while North California would encompass Sacramento and the nearby wine lands. The region in the far north of the state, abutting Oregon, would be renamed Jefferson.

According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, the state's non-partisan policy advisor, the split would instantly create America's wealthiest state in Silicon Valley, and its poorest in Central California. The scheme is likely to win support from local officials in Siskiyou, Modoc and Glenn counties, three of the state's northernmost counties, which have all previously voted in favour of seceding to form a 51st state named after Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the US.
However, political experts and the proposal's critics say Six Californias has almost no chance of succeeding. The Golden State has already weathered several attempts to split it into smaller pieces since its founding in 1850, and the Democratic majority in Sacramento is vehemently opposed to Mr Draper's plan. A Field poll conducted in February also found that 59 per cent of Californians were against the idea.

Tim Draper is known for investing in various web firms (Reuters) Tim Draper is known for investing in various web firms (Reuters)

Even if voters did back the proposal, it would then have to be approved by the US Congress. Given that each state in the Union has two senators, the plan would necessitate the election of 10 new California senators in Washington DC. Steven Maviglio, a Democrat strategist and co-founder of the rival campaign group OneCalifornia, told Reuters: “This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand… It has zero chance of passage.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Biomass Sales Consultant

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Java Developer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client are a successful software hous...

Senior Analyst - Financial Modelling

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...

MS Dynamics NAV/Navision Developer

£45000 - £53000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS DYNAMICS N...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game