There is a growing movement in the state of California among rural communities to split and become the 51st state known as “New California.” The New California movement announced its independence formally with a written declaration. The New California movement released its statement on January 15th at a ceremony in Marysville, California.
The statement was read by the founders of the New California movement, Robert Paul Preston, and Tom Reed. “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to seek a constitutional remedy to the abuse of powers,” the statement read, “We the people of the Counties of New California solemnly publish and declare these counties are, and of Right ought to be, a free and Independent State.”
The group has cited the state of West Virginia as an example of what they are trying to achieve. The new state would essentially be the majority of California with most of the coastal counties left out. New California declared on its Facebook page that it is “a new state in development by egregiously aggrieved Californians exercising our Constitutional right to form a new state separate from the tyranny and lawlessness of the state of California.”
The New California movement has a list of grievances with the entire state, chief among them being “over taxation, regulation, and mono-party politics.” Reed said that the movement would not be working with California’s state legislature, as they “have to demonstrate that [they] can govern [themselves] before [they] are allowed to govern.”
Though the members of the New California movement are serious about this declaration of independence, the idea of them becoming the 51st state is not exactly being taken seriously by anyone else. The odds of New California becoming a state are fairly low, as the entire state of California would have to vote for it, then have the decision approved by Congress.
Twitter users from California shared their doubts about the movement’s likelihood of success. “the longest of long shots. having grown up there, both the urban and rural areas need each other,” said @CGDurant. A tweet from @cuppingmaster read, “This seems like all the bad CA secession ideas rolled into one.”
Of course, this is not the first time that there has been a proposal for a new state. As many as six proposals for new states have been made, including one to combine parts of California and Oregon into a new state called “Jefferson.” There was also a proposal in 2015 for upstate New York to become its own state called “New Amsterdam.”
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