A state divided cannot stand


Provided by Six Californias Information

The Six Californias proposal website displays a map of prospective divisions.

   California is a state of considerable size; it’s no new concept to suggest its division into multiple new states. The past has shown a split into two states to be the most common project. However, venture capitalist Tim Draper has recently announced his intention to propose California’s division into “Six Californias,” as he so aptly named his campaign.

  Draper has substantial credits to his name: he holds an engineering degree from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard. His venture capital investment firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, has been functioning since 1985, which has been successful enough to make him a billionaire.

           His most recent project involves the split of California as we know it,  founded on the principle that Californians “would be better served by six smaller state governments,” according to the plan Draper submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. Draper formed this idea based on a decline he saw in the state’s success; prison spending has grown, schools are struggling, and many of our infrastructure systems are outdated.The most populous state in the country would become Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, South California, and West California. Here’s the breakdown:

  Jefferson encompasses the northernmost part of California, including Eureka, Chico, and Redding.

  North California is the next region, right below Jefferson. Most notably, it holds the current capital, Sacramento.

  Central California, nearest to neighbor state Nevada, takes up a large area, including Stockton, Fresno, and Bakersfield.

  Silicon Valley, the smallest proposed state, covers most big business’ centers of operation (Apple, Facebook, etc.) and San Francisco, San Jose, and Monterey. It was drawn using county lines, and is coincidentally the home of project mastermind Tim Draper, and his business. Interesting.

  South California’s largest city is San Diego, alongside Irvine and Riverside.

  Finally, West California (along the west coast, of course) holds Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. Santa Clarita falls into this category, which is

  Similar proposals have been made before, including one to split California between San Diego and Los Angeles that was voted on and even reached Congress. But Congress refused to act on it, labeling it unfeasible.

  In order for it to be placed on the ballot, Draper’s plan would have to receive roughly 808,000 signatures from California voters, which comes out to 8 percent of the total population. He mentioned the possibility of delaying the campaign, noting to the Associated Press, “I want to make sure there is enough time.”

  AP US History teacher Laura Arrowsmith’s immediate reaction to just the mention of this proposal was, “It’s stupid. It’s never going to happen.”

  Upon further questions as to why she felt so strongly about this division, she said, “The state of California is not a business. It shouldn’t be run like a business, it should be run like a state.”

Many business giants attempt to apply business principles to government operation, and it doesn’t always work. Government doesn’t have the luxury of being selective, she believes, while business are allowed to choose who they serve and who they don’t.

 Arrowsmith believes “The unintended consequences would be astronomical.”

  Aside from that, splitting California into six states would give it ten more seats in the Senate. And while the idea is nice, there is a slim chance that the rest of the Senate would allow such a large shift in the balance of power.

  “We would have a bunch of liberal representatives,” said junior Miguel Samano of the possible division. “We would have a bunch of liberal senators as well, which would probably help solve gridlock.”

  Though it’s unlikely to be adopted, the division of California would be unhealthy for residents’ pride.

  “Being a Californian means that Mammoth is yours, and San Diego is yours, and the Gold Country is yours,” said Arrowsmith. “It’s a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and the people can’t be bought.”

  As of now, Draper is still attempting to gain momentum for his proposal, but due to complexities that the split will cause, it is unlikely to be put into action.