Breaking: Referendum to Split Calif. Into 3 States Will Be on Ballot


One of several proposals aiming to split California into multiple smaller states has reportedly reached an important new goal thanks in large part to the efforts of its billionaire champion.

According to a press release this week, the CAL 3 initiative surpassed the number of signatures needed to present the measure to voters in this year’s election. If state officials determine the documents are genuine, it would then qualify as an initiative to be added this November.

Tim Draper, a venture capitalist whose idea would see the state’s population roughly split into thirds to create a trio of new states, celebrated the feat that he says will allow Californians to weigh in directly at the ballot box.

“This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create three state governments that emphasize representation, responsiveness, reliability and regional identity,” Draper said.

The CAL 3 chairman went on to call the receipt of more than 600,000 signatures an “unprecedented milestone” in the advancement of the plan.

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As explained on its website, the initiative would separate the state according to a number of socioeconomic factors in an attempt to level out disparities that currently exist.

Under the proposal written by Draper, “Cal” would consist of a much smaller area of land comprising densely packed areas including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.

With 12.3 million residents, it would have a population nearly as large as the much more expansive “NorCal” and “SoCal” and the highest median household income of the three.

The southern portion of the state, consisting of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Madero and Mono counties, would be combined into a second state.

Do you think California should split into three different states?

A third state would include the 40 counties remaining in Northern California.

If successful, the final names of the resulting states would be chosen by their residents following their formation.

Supporters of the plan say the new states would be able to build economies on industries unique to their geography and population.

In its press release, the initiative cited “failing school systems that impact more than 6 million kids, highest-in-the-nation taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government” as issues plaguing the entire state that could be improved under the proposal.

“The unanimous support for CAL 3 from all 58 of California’s counties to reach this unprecedented milestone in the legislative process is the signal that across California, we are united behind CAL 3 to create a brighter future for everyone,” Draper said.

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He is scheduled to share additional details about the recent achievement in a press conference Thursday afternoon from his office in San Mateo.

CAL 3 has competed with other plans for the division of the state or secession from the nation from Californians disaffected for a number of reasons.

Each of these proposals would require legislative approval even if supported by voters, and they all have their own set of vocal critics.

For CAL 3, Draper has encountered opposition from Democratic political consultant Steven Maviglio, among others.

Maviglio previously led the charge against another Draper-led plan to split the state and told reporters of the latest proposal that “creating three new governments does nothing to solve our state’s challenges other than tripling them.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
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