A petition drive to divide California into six separate states was active on Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles, aimed at getting the plan on the ballot in 2016.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Timothy Draper, a venture capitalist from Menlo Park, is spearheading the current effort and has injected $2 million dollars into the project so far. The optimistic Draper argues that a truncated California will dissolve bureaucratic gridlock in Sacramento and will be more conducive for business. Draper told the Times back in April that “California has become the worst managed state in the country… It just is too big and too ungovernable.” He believes the states should be divided like this:
South California — San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange counties.
West California — Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.
Central California — The San Joaquin Valley east over the Sierra to the Nevada line. This would be the poorest state in the nation based on personal income.
Silicon Valley — Monterey though San Francisco counties, including most of the Bay Area. This would be the country’s richest state.
North California — Sacramento extending east and west, up the Sierra to Lake Tahoe, and across through the delta and the Napa-Sonoma wine country to Marin and the ocean.
Jefferson — Practically everything north to the Oregon border. Lots of redwoods, rice paddies and rivers.
George Skelton, a reporter and political columnist for the Times, called six Californias “crazy” and “really crackpot.” However, he admitted the idea has been around for some time and confessed it would be amusing to see the idea put to a vote: “Go ahead and put this thing on the ballot… We could use some fun.”