Western Journalism has covered the desire among disillusioned citizens in a number of states to form a separate state – or nation – as a response to the current political climate. While these plans remain in the abstract realm for the majority of such proposals, voters in California have already begun the arduous process of forming what could be the 51st state.
With officials in four northern counties having already voiced their support of plans to create what would be known as Jefferson, voters in two more counties – Del Norte and Tehama – will have a chance to weigh in on the proposal on June 3.
Among the concerns expressed by secession proponents is a perceived lack of representation by state leaders. Residents of the rural, largely conservative northern counties complain their values are not embraced by the much more powerful leftist politicians elected in the more populous areas of the state.
“We have 11 counties up here that share one state senator,” said Del Norte County resident Aaron Funk, while the more metropolitan greater Los Angeles area has 20. “Essentially, we have no representation whatsoever.”
The upcoming vote is designed to serve as a call to the region’s officials to look further into the possibility of forming Jefferson. In total, supporters of the initiative say 16 counties could ultimately join.
Nearly a half million residents occupy the seven states that have either already voted or will be able to vote on the proposal within the next few weeks. The area of land represented by these counties is about twice the size of New Hampshire.
Among those within these northern counties who remain opposed to the idea are members of the Del Norte County Board of Education. Since the local school system receives an overwhelming majority of its funding from the state, many remain concerned about a potential new state’s ability to fund such programs.
Others simply feel existing issues could be better handled through other channels.
“It’s a lot of broad promises about things being better and representation being better,” said local resident Kevin Hendrick. “But the more they talk, the less clear it becomes about how that’s actually going to happen.”
According to Funk, however, the area has the resources to exist and thrive independently from California.
“We have the water, forests, timber,” he said. “We have the minerals. We have unspoiled agricultural land. We would be the wealthy state if we were allowed to go back and use our natural resources ourselves.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom