New California Declares Independence

Madeleine McNamara

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Divided California

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Divided California

On January 16, 2018, the founders of “New California” took the first step towards gaining independence from California by publishing their own Declaration of Independence. The mission of New California is “to initiate New California Statehood bringing about civic betterment and social improvements”. The leaders of New California claim that California is currently “governed by tyranny” and the only solution is for rural areas to split from the urban coastal communities and form their own state (USA Today).  So far, seven counties in California have joined the movement to become the 51st state.  

With California’s current “decline in essential basic services,” such as education, health care, and law enforcement, the leaders of the movement view the state as “ungovernable.”  Unlike movements in the past, New California hopes to separate by the book, using Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S Constitution, “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress”.

The New California movement is not the first to try to separate the state.  In 2014, a wealthy capitalist, Tim Draper attempted to divide the state into six parts.  However, his plan was brought to a vote.  The supporters of New California hope that unlike Draper, their plan will succeed based on their “40 Grievances” as to why they cannot live under the current conditions.

Beginning next year, the group will attempt to convince the California Legislature to agree to the split before introducing their plan to Congress.