Last year, Venture Capitalist Tim Draper’s Initiative to divide California into six states failed to make it to the November 2016 ballot. I posted before how this would impact San Diego. Undoubtedly, the knowledge that this would not pass a partisan Congress contributed to its demise. Now the sixcalifornias.com website asks for ideas to fix California. Is there something salvageable in the Six Californias idea?
Certainly, splitting California would be good for those of us tired of the Bay Area dominating our politics or a Sacramento ignoring our inland areas. Let’s not forget the disparity on water policy between the North, South, and Central California. Draper is right in that regard, California is too unwieldy to be ruled by a Sacramento elite dominated by a too close Bay Area.
I sincerely hope Draper believes in better, smaller Californias and not just creating Democratic Senate seats. If he is, he should look at de-centralizing California without pursuing new statehoods. Break California’s state government into six. Theses statelets, a new Mission system if you will, each with their own governors, legislatures, and constitutions would replace the large out of touch one we have now. Counties and cities will continue as they are but with a “state” capital closer to home. Californians would come together to vote for Senators and President but make their own congressional districts in their statelets. The eastern areas would manage their own affairs and likely prosper without the burden of coastal taxation and regulation. The coastal counties would not subsidize eastern ones. Without a central coastal commission the citizens would manage their own coasts and make them more beautiful as well as help with the persistent water crisis. These statelets would be independent in tax, energy, environmental, and labor policy. Each being able to set them up to best meet their needs instead of the high bar set by Sacramento we see today. It’s a realistic solution for a California which is divided in so many ways but in name.
Edit: I made an error earlier in saying that they gathered enough signatures this week when I saw a repost of an old USAToday story. I have since corrected it and regret the error.