Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, July 15, venture capitalist Tim Draper is expected to file signatures in Sacramento, advancing his initiative to split California into six separate states. If the petition passes a review by officials, it will qualify for the 2016 ballot.
The chances of Californians actually voting in favor of this measure are slim. To call it a long-shot is rather offensive to long-shots. And even if a majority of voters suddenly woke up on election day and thought, “Sure, why not,” it would still require congressional approval.
But, theoretically, it COULD happen.
In Jarrett Bellini’s “Apparently This Matters” column, he wrote about the Six Californias proposal back on December 20, 2013.
Noted technology investor, Tim Draper, wants to turn California into six separate states
Silicon Valley would be its own state
Draper is submitting a ballot proposition proposal to the state attorney general
Growing up in Arizona, the common joke was that one day a giant earthquake would tear California out into the Pacific and then we’d all have oceanfront property.
It never happened. So we made a lake in Tempe.
Same thing. Fewer whales.
The truth is that California isn’t going anywhere, and, now, as it continues to grow as a political superpower and cultural trend-setter, some people want to figure out just what the hell to do with our nation’s weirdo West Coast uber-state.
I say we give it a funny hat.
But noted technology investor Tim Draper has a different idea that’s both bold and arguably insane. And he’s quite serious about it.
Draper wants to turn California into six separate states.
His initiative, Six Californias, quietly started bouncing around the Internet, but is getting more and more attention now that Draper’s actually moving forward, trying to make his dream a reality.
I’ve been told this phenomenon is called “follow-through.” I’d be inclined to try it some day, but it sounds like it requires effort. And pants.
That said, Draper appears up for the task, and he recently shared his big idea with TechCrunch writer Gregory Ferenstein, who reports that Draper is “submitting a polished version to the state’s Attorney General in the form of a ballot proposition proposal within the next 48 hours.”
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Theoretically, I could submit a proposal that requires all Californians to wear REO Speedwagon T-shirts on Wednesdays, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Mind you, it should. Because it would be awesome. But it won’t.
The reality is that trying to get an initiative on the state ballot is both difficult and expensive. And I just don’t hold the cash to push forward my REO Speedwagon plan.
However, Draper might just have the wherewithal to make the possibility of Six Californias an actual thing.
His major argument is that, currently, California isn’t represented properly in Washington – that two senators simply cannot speak for the massive population of the entire state.
Additionally, Draper argues that creating six Californias would encourage more business competition and allow the separate states to make decisions and regulations that are more appropriate to their respective populations.
“So, uh … who wants some weed?”
Of course, debating, here, the serious pros and cons of this initiative are far beyond my pay grade. I mean, I guess it makes sense. But, then again, so does the McRib.
Clearly, I’m not the man with the answers. Unless, of course, those answers pertain to Simpsons trivia. In which case, I’m your Huckleberry.
I really have no idea whether this would be good or bad, but, still, it’s easy to identify at least one of the major points of debate within Draper’s plan, which is turning Silicon Valley into its own state, stretching from the Sierra Mountains to the shores of the Bay Area.
Again, I’m not smart enough to truly understand the actual impact of something like this, but it seems that that particular state might be disproportionately amazing compared to the other five.
“Don’t mind us. We’re just going to take all the pretty and successful parts. But, hey, good luck with Los Angeles!”
In Draper’s plan, the other five states that don’t get to be Silicon Valley would be known as Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California, and South California.
Now, at this point, having shared the basics of Draper’s vision, I want to go firmly on the record as saying I absolutely, 100% disagree with this idea. It’s simply the worst. Not so much because of any sound political or social reasons, but because I’m terribly OCD and couldn’t, even for a second, fathom 55 states.
This would drive me crazy.
And what would we do with our flag? It would be chaos!
That said, I do support cutting the state in half. At least so long as we eliminate one of our current states to keep the stars on the flag just as they are.
In a perfect world, I suppose California would be divided into two states – Northern California and Steve.
And then we would combine North and South Dakota into just Dakota. Which, as a name, actually sounds quite pretty without the directional prefixes. And I’m sure all seven people who live there will learn to get along as one.
But more importantly, Jarrett gets to sleep at night.
Fifty stars. A beautiful thing.
And, really, dividing California is not a completely far-fetched idea. Draper notes in his proposal that, “Voters overwhelmingly approved the splitting of California into two states in 1859, but Congress never acted on that request due to the Civil War.”
No matter what happens – if anything – it’ll be a while before a vote actually occurs. These things take time.
But it’s fun to think about.
And I bet REO Speedwagon would play the big constitution-signing party in Steve.
Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter.