The boundaries that separate US states from one another have been set for decades now, and in some case for more than two centuries. The last time a state was added to the United States of America, it was the island territory of Hawaii, and it required no redrawing of American boundaries. Recently, however, a billionaire in California pushed for the nation’s most populous state to be broken up into six smaller states.
You can see a number of depictions of the so-called “Six Californias,” here’s one map and another map, and look at the intriguing concept behind this movement. In this post, you’ll learn about the individual behind the change and how it proposed to break up one of the largest states in the nation.
Silicon Valley Billionaire
Tim Draper is a billionaire resident of Menlo Park, California, who believes the state has outgrown effective governance. While the vast majority of the state’s residents live in and around Los Angeles, and in the Central Valley of the state, California’s government struggles to exercise effective power from its seat in Sacramento in the far northern region of the state.
Six Californias Proposal
Draper fought to get a measure on the ballot in California in late 2014 that would redraw lines across the state to break up one California to create six different state governments. Arguments in favor of Draper’s movement suggest that smaller state governments with localized populations will do a better job of providing services to the populace than the current state government.
The New States
Draper, and his supporters, want to create a new set of states out of California that breakdown as follows:
- North California
- Central California
- Silicon Valley
- West California
- South California
The division of California looks random to those unfamiliar with the current makeup of the state, but the movement did have some merits. The state of Jefferson would include the mountainous, forest-covered stretches of the state. Population levels in this state are low, and none of the state’s major cities are located throughout.
North California would include the San Francisco Bay Area, and stretches eastward through the Sacramento Valley (including the present capital city) and connecting to the Nevada border near Reno, NV.
Silicon Valley consists of roughly one-fifth of the state’s coastline, and includes the cities of Palo Alto and San Jose. Here, the rich and famous tech moguls of the nation live and work on a daily basis. The largest new state would be Central California. This region includes the vast majority of the state’s farmland, and would be anchored by Fresno.
West California stretches along the coast from San Luis Obispo down to Los Angeles, encompassing most of the LA metro area. However, Anaheim and many of the LA area’s major suburban areas would be placed in the state of South California with San Diego.
Draper’s initiative failed to gain traction, and California is destined to remain one massive state. But like other maps, Draper’s dream for s ix Californias is interesting to look at and analyze on a map.