SACRAMENTO, California — Hundreds of Northern Californians packed the El Dorado County Supervisor’s chambers in Placerville on Tuesday afternoon to petition in support of what would be America’s 51st state, “Jefferson.”
— Patriotic America (@SFTPCIA) August 12, 2015
According to local NBC affiliate KCRA, Jefferson organizer Mike Thomas said the people in El Dorado County and those who support the creation of a new state “want more representation” and are frustrated by the lack of it.
“We have 11 counties up here with one state senator, L.A. County has 11 senators so you can see the mismatch,” Thomas reportedly said. “Our founding fathers never envisioned that a state would actually do that.” The region in question is reportedly represented by just six lawmakers, whereas the rest of California has 114.
If Jefferson becomes a state, it would hold a population of 1.7 million people and consist of California’s 20 northernmost counties, KCRA notes.
A group called Keep it California also presented at the meeting. Organizer Jamie Beutler told KCRA that while representation is a major issue up north, splitting the Golden State up is not the answer. “It’s much easier to work with what we have… than form an entirely new state [and] start all over again.”
— Terry in the Hills (@UpInTheHills) August 12, 2015
The last time anything resembling a Jefferson-style new state was created was in 1820, when Maine split from Massachusetts. KCRA notes that the move would require a majority of votes in both California’s legislature and the U.S. Congress.