New California is a movement that is pushing for parts of the state to secede from the rest of California because its founders consider the state “ungovernable.”
“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” the “New California” founder Robert Paul Preston told CBS News.
The founders want to “model” their efforts after West Virginia, according to USA Today. They don’t want to secede from the United States; they want to create a new state and leave the rest of “Old California.” What is “New California”? What are the chances it could succeed? Feelings were mixed:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Most of California’s Rural Counties Would Remain in ‘New California’
Some are calling the efforts to secede from California “Cal-Exit.” The new California Republic would, to some degree, mirror the rural/urban divide that has played out in recent presidential elections. Indeed, the New California concept would “incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California,” CBS reports.
“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston told the network.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, “The new state, as envisioned, would exclude parts of California along the coastline from Orange north to Napa counties; New California would include all other parts of California, including San Diego County, leaving the coastal stretch as California.”
Some people thought the fixation on excluding the state’s urban areas smacked of racism. There were other points of view, however.
“The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny,” the group wrote in a statement.
2. The Founders Presented a ‘Declaration of Independence’
Some people thought the “New California” hype was just that. See above photo. Others thought it was just more evidence of vitriol toward urban America, although supporters say it’s the result of frustration over inept leadership.
How serious are the founders of “New California”? They unveiled a “Declaration of Independence.” You can read their statement in full online.
The statement reads, “The U.S. Declaration of Independence of 1776, the Alta California Declaration of Independence of 1836 and the Sonoma Proclamation of 1846 declared the Right of the People in the states of Alta California and California respectively (present day California) to throw off the bonds of tyranny.”
California is so big that New California would be even bigger than most states, its founders say. “New California will be the 6th largest State behind New York (bigger than Illinois and Penn),” they write. “It’s Estimated 25-27 seats in the US House of Representatives will go to New California. Old California will become the 2nd most populous state behind Texas and ahead of Florida, losing 25-27 seats in the US House of Representatives.”
The document lays out the process by which “New California” could be formed.
3. ‘New California’ Is Organized Into Committees & Would Start With the State Legislature
According to the CBS Sacramento, “The group is organized with committees and a council of county representatives, but say it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature.”
The group outlined what it believes is the process it would take to create ‘New California,’ acknowledging that the state Legislature would be the first step. “The process begins when a state’s legislature first votes to split the state. Once the measure in the form of a resolution passes both the California Assembly and Senate, it is submitted to Congress,” the New California declaration states.
New Californians recognize that they need to demonstrate that they have governmental organization. “No State has been brought into the Union who could not demonstrate their ability to govern themselves. New California will demonstrate a governance system as modeled by the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” the movement’s statement says.
Will it work? Probably not. “The initiative is a long shot, however. It follows several other failed attempts over the years at a similar proposition, and it would require a series of unlikely votes from state lawmakers,” reports Complex.com. Notes the Union-Tribune, “state lawmakers would have to vote to split up the state, then Congress would have to approve it.”
4. New California Has a Facebook Page & Launched in 2016
The Facebook page for New California calls it the “state of the future.” The page publishes events run by the “Tea Party patriots.” One recent event: “Jeanette Finicum, a stay-at-home mom of 11 children and wife of ‘LaVoy’ Finicum, an unarmed Arizona rancher ambushed and murdered by federal and state “authorities” will be our Special Guest Speaker Monday, December 18, 2018.”
The page has 744 likes. The page announces: “New California is a new state in development by egregiously aggrieved Californians exercising our Constitutional right to form a new state separate from the tyranny and lawlessness of the State of California.”
It continues: “That, whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its founda-tion on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” –Declaration of Independence. The only path to a new state is through the lawful process laid out in Article IV, Section 3, of the United States Constitution: ‘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 San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the group started in 2016 with little attention.
5. People on Twitter Had a Field Day With the ‘New California’ Concept
New California? Some people thought it was great. Other people thought it was just funny, propelling the theme into a Twitter trend. Some thought it was appalling. Here are some of the more entertaining responses: