Plan To Divide California Into 6 States Advances - New York News

Plan To Divide California Into 6 States Advances

Posted: Updated:
Los Angeles, CA -

California has reached the breaking point, says Tim Draper. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist is pushing a proposal to crack the nation's most populous state into smaller pieces - six of them.

California has grown so big, so inefficient, it's essentially ungovernable, according to a ballot initiative that could reach voters as early as November.

It has to go, he says.

"Vast parts of our state are poorly served by a representative government," according to Draper's plan, which cleared a key government hurdle this week, part of the process to qualify for the ballot. California residents "would be better served by six smaller state governments."

In an interview Thursday, Draper said he has seen a state once regarded as a model slide into decline - many public schools are troubled, transportation, water and other infrastructure systems are overmatched and outdated, spending on prisons has soared.

A group of states could change that, he said, competing and cooperating with each other.

Without change "it will get worse," he warned. "California is not working."

No one would dispute that California, home to 38 million people, is full of rivalries and squabbling. Dodgers or Giants. Tacos or sushi. Where water goes, and how much of it.

But the state has proven reliably resilient against attempts to split it apart, dating to the era of its founding in 1850. Over the years, proposals have suggested California should be two states, or three, or four.

"It's certainly fun to talk about," said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. But "its prospects are nil."

Even if it were to be approved by voters, Congress would have to endorse the idea of creating six new states - and adding 10 senators to the chamber's political mix (as with all states, California currently has two). Congress, under the U.S. Constitution, must approve the creation or division of any states.

"I don't think anyone is going to give California 12 Senate seats," Sonenshein said.

Draper, in documents he submitted to the Secretary of State's Office, recommends dividing California regionally, including establishing a state called Silicon Valley, which would include San Francisco and nearby counties that are home to technology giants like Facebook and Apple.

Los Angeles would become part of the new state of West California, which also would include the coastal cities of Santa Barbara and Ventura. The state's farming heartland would become Central California. San Diego would be the largest city in the new South California.

Earlier this week, he received approval from the state to begin collecting petition signatures to qualify the proposal for the ballot - he needs about 808,000 by mid-July to make the cut.

It's also possible the proposal could be delayed until 2016. Facing a tight deadline to gather signatures and build political momentum, "I want to make sure there is enough time," Draper said.

The complexities of dividing a state the size of California, by itself among the world's top 10 economies, would be daunting.

What would become of the California State Water Project, which uses aqueducts and pumping stations to disperse water across the state? If the federal government approves the idea, tax collections and spending by the state would end, and its assets and debts would have to be divided.

Draper said the smaller governments would be more responsive to the needs of residents and communities, compared to Sacramento. There would be vigorous competition for residents among them, he predicted, again driving change.

Campaign veteran Matt David doubted the proposal would get far.

"California is as diverse geographically as it demographically, but ultimately we all take pride in the fact that we are Californians," said David, a Republican consultant based in Los Angeles. "Diluting that identity between six states will never happen."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Prison officers block news crew from tourist site

    Prison officers block news crew from tourist site

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-07-25 16:35:36 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    An upstate New York TV crew was threatened with arrest by corrections officers as they filmed at a public historic site on the grounds of an empty, soon-to-be-closed state prison.
    An upstate New York TV crew was threatened with arrest by corrections officers as they filmed at a public historic site on the grounds of an empty, soon-to-be-closed state prison.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-07-25 16:32:18 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:02 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:02:01 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Israel’s Consul General David Siegel: "We Asked The UN To Work With Us"

    Israel’s Consul General David Siegel: "We Asked The UN To Work With Us"

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:43:27 GMT
    Today marks the 18th day of fighting between Israel and Gaza. Also today Israel’s security cabinet meets to consider international cease-fire proposals. Joining us to discuss the situation is Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles, David Siegel.
    Today marks the 18th day of fighting between Israel and Gaza. Also today Israel’s security cabinet meets to consider international cease-fire proposals. Joining us to discuss the situation is Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles, David Siegel.
  • Gang Violence, Fears For Children Fuel Immigrant Rush To US

    Gang Violence, Fears For Children Fuel Immigrant Rush To US

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:38:35 GMT
    Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.
    Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.
  • President Obama Concludes Visit To LA With Fundraisers

    President Obama Concludes Visit To LA With Fundraisers

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:05:08 GMT
    President Barack Obama is set to conclude a planned 24-hour visit to the Los Angeles area today by participating in another Democratic National Committee fundraiser and speaking at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College about the economy.
    President Barack Obama is set to conclude a planned 24-hour visit to the Los Angeles area today by participating in another Democratic National Committee fundraiser and speaking at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College about the economy.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices