A plan to split California into six states has gained enough signatures to make the November 2016 ballot.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper said his campaign, “Six Californias,” has gathered 1.3 million signatures, far more than the required 808,000 required.
The plan would split the Golden State into six states. Turlock, along with Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton would become “Central California,” the Sacramento area would become “North California,” Redding and the far north would become “Jefferson”, the Bay Area would become “Silicon Valley,” San Diego and Orange County would become “South California,” and Los Angeles and Santa Barbara would become “West California.”
The initiative contends “political representation of California’s diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable.”
California has more than 38 million residents, the largest of any state in the country.
Critics of the plan contend that even if passed by California voters, the U.S. Congress would still have to approve the plan, which would add 10 more senators to the U.S. Senate, require various other electoral college adjustments, and necessitate a revision of the U.S. flag to add five additional stars.
California State Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), in a debate with challenger Harinder Grewal last night at California State University Stanislaus, said she understands the growing frustrations California residents are feeling.
“I think the fact that it gained enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, shows the challenge we’re facing in regions that right now don’t feel unified and connected,” said Olsen. “We have a growing divide between our inland communities and our coastal communities, to some extent between north and south, and so I understand the interest and the desire to separate regions because I think people would feel more that they’d have more influence on their government, but on the other hand I think that it would be better to vote in leaders who are more interested in bringing the regions together instead of pitting them against one another.”
Grewal also commented on the proposed split.
“I think we can do a better job keeping California together,” said Grewal. “Splitting up is not the answer to anything; better management is the answer to everything. I think that is the best way to go — how to manage California resources, finances better than what is happening now.”
According to the USA Today, a poll by the San Francisco Chronicle met resistance from the majority of California residents with 59 percent surveyed opposed the plan.