In California politics, there has been a long-standing feud between rural voters and those from densely-populated cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. California is an unusually large state in terms of geography, and the policies of its equally massive government sometimes please one county at the expense of another. Rural voters often complain that their voices aren’t heard in the California State Legislature in Sacramento.
Eleven sparsely-populated rural counties of Northern California cover a land mass equal to many US states, but are represented by only one state senator, unlike the Los Angeles area, which is represented by 20. This has led many Northern California counties to consider secession, with a plan in place to create a new state called “Jefferson.” Some counties in the southern region of Oregon are also considering taking formal steps to join this movement to create a new US state.
According to The Washington Post, a majority of voters in Tehama County, California approved a non-binding resolution on Tuesday that would encourage local officials to look into seceding from California and joining in the process of creating the State of Jefferson. Voters in Del Norte County also considered the same measure on the same day, but rejected it. Additionally, Siskiyou County voters considered a proposal to create the Jefferson Republic, which failed.
In the past, county officials in the California counties of Glenn, Modoc, Yuba, and Siskiyou have approved measures to consider seceding from California. The movement to create a new state encompassing parts of Northern California and a few southern counties in Oregon has been building since prior to World War II. Though the failed votes in the counties of Siskiyou and Del Norte represent a hiccup in the plan to form a new state, Tehama County’s vote to look into the idea marks the fifth county to approve such a resolution, giving credence to the view that an increasing number of voters are growing weary of their lack of representation in Sacramento politics.
Additional California counties will vote on similar measures in the near future. According to Russia Today, citizens in 16 counties are considering joining this theoretical State of Jefferson. If the initiative to form a new state were to gain serious traction, it would also have to be approved by the California State Legislature and the US Congress. Given the nature of the under-representation of the counties in question in the California State Legislature, it would be challenging for supporters of the movement to get state officials to approve the plan.
Watch the video below by Russia Today for additional coverage on the California and Oregon secession movements and the plan to create a new 51st US state.