The proposal, which would also require approval by the Congress,
would split California into six new states called Jefferson, North
California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and
Under the plan, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara would be part of "West
California," while San Francisco and San Jose would be in "Silicon
"California, as it is, is ungovernable," proponent Tim Draper,
founder of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said in
a statement released by his office on Thursday.
"It is more and more difficult for Sacramento to keep up with the
social issues from the various regions of California. With six
Californias, people will be closer to their state governments and
states can get a refresh," Draper said.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said on Tuesday that the
proposal needs the signatures of 807,615 registered voters by July
14 to qualify as a ballot measure in November's elections.
Representatives for the Six Californias initiative declined to
comment beyond Draper's statement. A spokesman for Governor Jerry
Brown also declined to comment.
But political experts said that like most such break-up bids, such a
dramatic move faces major challenges in California, the most
populous U.S. state.
"This is really just a hypothetical question.
It's not going to happen," said Stanford Law School professor Nate
Persily, citing a likely resistance by Californians to being broken
into separate states.
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Persily also cited the cost and complications of establishing six
new governments, each with its own state capital and representatives
in Washington, D.C.
David Carillo, executive director of the California Constitution
Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law,
agreed, saying the U.S. Constitution could also be interpreted to
require approval of such a move by the California state legislature.
Carillo also said the U.S. Congress was unlikely to get on board
with the plan.
"One could wonder whether Congress would look favorably on adding
five new stars to Old Glory," he said.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Laila Kearney; editing by Amanda Kwan
and G. Crosse)
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