The rivalry between Northern California and Southern California seems as old as the state itself. The Northern half of the state contains San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and liberal use of the word “hella.” The Southern half contains Los Angeles, San Diego, and a surplus of aspiring actors and actresses. Both share an amazing climate, easy access to stunning nature, and a struggling economy.
Because of the state’s slow recovery from its economic troubles, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper has created a proposal to separate California into six different states. According to the plan, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara would become part of West California, San Diego and most of Orange County would be part of South California, Fresno and the majority of the current state’s farmland would be part of Central California, Napa would be part of North California, and everything north of Santa Rosa would be the state of Jefferson. Unsurprisingly, Draper’s plan calls for the creation of the state of Silicon Valley, which would include the central coastal region as well as San Francisco, San Jose, and the current Silicon Valley. West California would be the state with the highest population, at 11.5 million. Jefferson, in contrast, would have a population of 947,526.
Draper argues that California is too big to be properly governed, and that many of the current state’s areas are unfairly represented and underserved. Put simply, in Draper’s own words, “California is not working.”
Although Draper’s plan seems highly unlikely, it was recently given approval to advance further along in the legislative process. Draper received approval from the current state’s government to collect petition signatures in an attempt to include the proposal on a ballot, ABC News reports. In order to reach this November’s ballot, Draper needs over 800,000 signatures.
Although that may be an attainable task, Draper still faces several hurdles before his project would be approved. Most significantly, the federal government would have to comply, and adding 12 Californian Senators to U.S. Congress (as well as five additional stars to the flag) might not be such a simple as Draper thinks and/or hopes.
Despite its numerous issues, USA Today reports that the state of California is one of the world’s top 10 economies.