Recently, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s “Six Californias” plan was given permission by the California Secretary of State’s Office to begin collecting the 807,000 signatures required to qualify for this November’s voting ballot. Draper has been trying to gain support on this plan for a year now.
According to Draper’s plan, the division of California would result in the following six states: Jefferson (Redding and Eureka areas), North California (Sacramento area), Central California (includes Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton), Silicon Valley (includes San Francisco and San Jose), West California (includes Los Angeles and Santa Barbara) and South California (San Diego and Orange counties). Its purpose would ultimately be to “provide interim relief to the people by empowering local government and promoting regional cooperation in recognition of the new states proposed herein”, according to Six Californias Proposal.
Draper said in his plan that California is the nation’s third largest state by geography, full of diverse populations and economies. He said that this, in part by other socio-economic factors, has led to various portions of the state to be poorly governed and even poorly represented.
“Six Californias allows us a refresh,” said Draper in a recent interview with New York Magazine’s reporter Kevin Roose. “It allows the various states to have a sort of cooperative, competitive relationship with each other. It allows us Californians to have an easier way… it forces those states to compete for us and for our counties.”
Despite Draper’s efforts to convince the people of California, many are left unconvinced of the practicality of Tim Draper’s plan for several reasons.
“The effects would have massive repercussions at every level of government, from Congress all the way down,” said junior social work student Natalie Ewing, who resides in what Draper would call Central California. “Even adding five more stars to the [American] flag would be a huge hassle.”
On the legislative scale, if this proposal is followed through (first with voters, then with Congress), the addition of 10 more senators will be necessary. However, the division of California would create a vast juxtaposition between state resources and wealth. If the plan were to come into fruition, Silicon Valley would be the richest state in the country as the center of technology and water importation, while Central California would hold all of the food, prisons, and low-income households.
According to a recent online poll conducted by Southern California Public Radio, approximately 65% of the 3,000 voters don’t think that Draper’s plan makes sense while approximately 20% believe it’s a great idea. The remaining approximate 15% either believe that California should be split through a different plan or have no opinion on the matter.
“ I think there would be a lot of confusion because this is what we’ve been raised with,” said junior nursing student Megan Telfer, who currently resides in what Draper would call West California. “I really can’t see this plan passing through Congress.”
Despite American voters seeing this plan as impractical, Draper continues to grow his support.
“We are the government. We the people, are the government. And we need to create a system that works,” said Draper in an interview with Time’s Katy Steinmetz.
“I think this could be the start of The Hunger Games with the districts being split up, but in real life,” said Telfer. “This could get ugly.”