Jefferson Secession Movement Drawing Interest up North
A proposed 51st state would include 20 northern California Counties and contain 1.7 million people.
The state, which would be named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, has already gotten support from eight of the desired counties, which include Modoc, Siskyou, Glenn, Tehama, Yuba, Sutter, Lake and Lassen counties. The movement most recently came through El Dorado County hoping to convince the Board of Supervisors to issue a declaration saying that the county intends to join the new state.
For Jefferson activists, representation is the core issue that Jefferson would address. Noted above, the 20 counties being sought after amount to a population of 1.7 million people, roughly the size of Idaho. Combining state senate and assembly members, the 20 counties are represented in Sacramento by only six lawmakers.
Jefferson organizer Mike Thomas added “We have 11 counties up here with one state senator, L.A. County has 11 senators so you can see the mismatch. Our founding fathers never envisioned that a state would actually do that.”
Northern California has a history in dealing with secessionist ideas. In 1941, an Oregon mayor advocated for seven Oregon and California Counties to split off and form Jefferson. More notably, in 1992, an advisory vote put on the ballot in 31 California Counties by State Assemblyman Stan Statham. The vote asked if the state should be split in two and all of the proposed counties of Jefferson voted in favor. Statham introduced legislation to split the state, but it died in committee.
The modern Jefferson movement has proposed Redding as its capitol city, however the Redding City Council rejected a proposal to support the creation of Jefferson back in 2013.
The full story on Jefferson can be found here.