Group wants independence from rest of California


Sarah Rogers

Is California breaking up? A group has designed a campaign to divide California into two states, splitting up the rural areas from cities. Unlike other campaigns before them, New California is not leaving the union, but about leaving “old” California. New California supporters agree that there are too much unsuitable things to fix, so they want to start over with a new Californian state. Last week, pro New California supporters gathered outside a government building in Sacramento to read their own Declaration of Independence from California. The new state would be made up of roughly 15 million people across 42 counties, leaving the state’s coastal urban areas like Los Angeles on their own.

Robert Paul Preston and Tom Reed, the founders of the New California Movement, claim that the large amount of liberal politics from elite coastals has left many citizens of the California without a voice, especially rural farmers. According to the group, present day California is currently “ungovernable. This ranges from taxation and regulation, to education, law enforcement, and housing. Now the New Californians’ main complaints are that they are taxed at too high a level.

“If California split up, this would create chaos across the state.” said, sophomore Aidan Peeples. “Voting to split California into two is a long shot, that probably won’t get passed onto upper administration.”

The group cites Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, giving it the right to form a new state but acknowledges approval needs to come from the California Legislature. However, New California leaders are determined to convince state lawmakers to split the state before pushing the campaign even farther. California citizens are questioning if lawmakers will actually review the campaign.

New California would not include Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Sacramento, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angele The line of division roughly follows the liberal versus conservative areas, as well as the coastal wealthiest from the valley middle class and poor.

“I think that California splitting up could be good for a specific type of people, including farmers and rural areas.” said, sophomore Alex Martin “Changing the tax laws, would benefit rural areas and farmers.”

To get this approved, lawmakers would have to vote to split up the state, then Congress would have to approve it. This is a long shot, but supporters are optimistic. A breakaway from California is highly unlikely. The last state to be created out of another state was West Virginia during the Civil War.