The founders of New California took an early step toward statehood Monday with the reading of their own Declaration of Independence from California, a state they describe as “ungovernable.”
Their solution: Take over most of current-day California — including many rural counties — and leave the coastal urban areas to themselves.
“The current state of California has become governed by a tyranny,” the group, led in part by vice chairman Robert Paul Preston, declared in a document published online.
The split would look something like this, per the group:
“After years of over taxation, regulation, and mono-party politics the State of California and many of it’s 58 Counties have become ungovernable,” the group said in a statement, citing a “decline in essential basic services” including education, law enforcement, infrastructure and health care.
The group, organized with a council of county representatives and various committees, hopes to model their split after the state of West Virginia. That’s according to CBS, whose Sacramento affiliate filmed the reading in a sparsely crowded conference room.
Claiming the authority of Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the aspiring 51st state plans to convince California’s legislature to split the state before submitting the resolution to Congress.
The effort remains, to be clear, a long shot.
A California venture capitalist named Tim Draper sought in 2014 to split the Golden State into six parts, including the “State of Silicon Valley.” It failed to make the ballot.
New California’s work with regular California’s state legislature won’t likely start in earnest until later this year or early next year, organizers told CBS.
“We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” Tom Reed, a founder, told the network.