Synopsis: This is a rather complicated topic which will take several reports to unfold fully, but today we’re just going to start by plugging a petition mounted by citizens of 23 northern California counties who are petitioning President Trump to allow these counties to split off and form a new state, to be called Jefferson, the 51st state.
If 100,000 signatures are gathered by March 22, then President Trump has to take a serious look at this idea. Although the President would not decide the issue, he could certainly inject a hearty boost to this long-sought remedy.
The idea is nothing new, in fact, it has been done 4 times already in U.S. history. Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution spells out how a state split is to be accomplished.
“1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
The process, known as a state partition proposal, has been used effectively 3 times:
– in 1792 when Kentucky split off from Virginia
– in 1802 when Maine split off from Massachusetts
– in 1863 when West Virginia split off from Virginia
In California, the most populous state in the US, and the third largest after Alaska and Texas, has been the subject of more than 220 state partition proposals since 1850.
Southern California attempted three times to separate from Northern California, in 1855, 1859 and in the later 1800s discussions were held over a number of years because of the difficulty of traversing the mountains above Los Angeles. This was finally solved with the creation of a highway across these mountains which later became Interstate 5.
But the issues are entirely different today. Today the issue is over the lack of representation created by not expanding the number of state assembly persons and senators to match population growth. This originally was a plot to deprive the burgeoning Chinese population of having proper representation in California decades ago, but it has subsequently morphed into the counties surrounding the Bay Area – San Francisco, and those surrounding Los Angeles now completely dominating the legislative process.
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