Tess Hemmila—Staff Writer
The New California movement is gaining support to sever California into two separate states. A large section of the coastal counties and the county of Sacramento have been selected to remain as California, while the rest of the state would become “New California,” and form the 51st state.
Robert Paul Preston and Tom Reed are the founders of the New California movement. According to the New California website, the current state of California has become “ungovernable” due to their large size and the resulting decrease of “essential basic services” including law enforcement, water resource management, education, and many more grievances.
“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time—high taxes, education, you name it…We’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” Preston said in an interview with CBS News.
The founders have called Article IV Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution into play as justification for their desire to establish a new state. This legislation will allow the state to split in a way that is similar to the way West Virginia was formed.
The campaign hopes to separate the largely liberal coastal counties from the more conservative inland counties of California. The state of California has voted “blue” for the last seven elections, according to Huffington Post. Conservatives in rural California are largely outnumbered by the massive liberal population in California’s major cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
“An important part of democracy is having representation for everyone,” said sophomore Tristan Verduzco, a resident of Los Angeles County. “If people have lived in California their whole lives and never felt represented, that’s a problem.”
Despite the need for representation of all citizens, many residents are displeased by the proposed splitting of their state.
“I understand the desire to be heard as a conservative growing up in California,” Verduzco said. “But this goes directly against unity, it would divide people even more.”
Even those who do not reside in the state agree that this proposition would not be beneficial to the country.
“When you live in a democracy, not everyone can get their way,” said Dordt History Professor Paul Fessler. “We’re built on compromise.”
“The New California” is just one of many efforts to divide the state. In 2014, an unsuccessful attempt to split California into six separate states was led by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, according to CBS News.
“There are movements like this that have popped up in different places and at different times,” said Fessler, “The last time it was successful was West Virginia during the Civil War.
Tess Hemmila—Staff Writer