Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley investor, has been arguing for California to be divided into six new states, possibly being voted on as early as November. California has the largest state population at 37,679,000 inhabitants, with the 3rd largest state size of 158,706 square miles. The golden state has more counties that England, with major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and its capital Sacramento. California has 1,000 miles of Pacific ocean coastline with large forests, deserts, farmland and mountains throughout the state. Mr.Draper believes California’s massive size and resource diversity are conducive to his reasoning that California should be divided into six new states.
Tim Draper is the founder of a venture capital firm known as Draper Fisher Jurvetson and first introduced his proposal to split the state six ways in December 2013. However, this week when his ballot initiative receives permission from the California government to begin collecting signatures in petition. This could inevitably lead to a state-wide vote on the split as early as November, it takes 100,000 signatures for a petition to be recognized by the federal government as well. Debra Bowen, California’s Secretary of State, announced earlier this week, Mr. Draper may start galvanizing voter signatures to support his six state split. Draper was promised a grass-roots campaign and is required to amass 808,000 signatures before mid-July to have his measure on the ballots.
If California is to be divided into six new states, it is Draper’s belief that the people will be closer to their state governments, possibly benefitting all these new states. He believes the states can get a refreshed connection to the social issues in various California regions. Draper argues that it is too difficult for Sacramento to keep up with these social issues as it is, saying California is “ungovernable.” The six new states, he believes, will lead to healthy co-operation and increased economic competition between all regions. He also states that “California” would have more pull in Washington, with more representatives in Washington representing the new states.
Mr. Draper’s vision of the new California includes a new state named Silicon Valley, encompassing San Francisco, San Jose and the region between the two cities; this allows the Silicon Valley state to harbor the best tech-firms like Apple and Google. His plan also calls for San Diego and Orange County to break off and become South California, while Los Angeles would become West California, containing regions stretching as far as Santa Barbara. The farmland abundance of Fresno, Bakersfield an Stockton would be formed into Central California, compared to North California which has Sacramento and most of the California’s wine country. Lastly the most upper regions of California, just below Oregon, would be renamed Jefferson.
Mr.Draper is not the first person to suggest the Silicon Valley secede from California, nor was he the first to believe California should be split into several smaller States. Although experts agree it seems unlikely that California is to be divided into six new states, the proposition still represents possibly reinventing the United States. Los Angeles alone is home to 10.6 million people, a larger population than Georgia, Ohio and Michigan, with some of the country’s most influential cultural attributes.
Editorial by Zane Foley