San Luis Obispo County

Six Californias Initiative Sparks Conversation Among Scholars

Six Californias Initiative Sparks Conversation

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The Six Californias Initiative got the green light from election officials to begin gathering signatures from voters statewide to qualify for the November ballot.

The last time the United States added another star to our flag was in 19-9 when Alaska and  Hawaii joined the states. .

Political scientist, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo professor,  Michael Latner, said California has a rich history of trying to break itself up.

Now a wealthy investor, Tim Draper, hopes to pull it off  by campaigning to carve the state of California into six  separate states.

"This is certainly a radical proposal and many constitutional scholars are skeptical about that happening," said Latner.

Latner said, "One of the positive aspects of a reform like this would be to grant more accurate representation in the US senate," however he added the downside is the initiative would get rid of California and there would be fragmented representation.

So this reform, Latner said would end up over-representing rural areas and under-representing more populous areas of the state.  

According the legislative analysts office, a non partisan policy advisor, the proposal comes with plenty of challenges. Assuming voters approve the measure, California won't be split unless the federal government enacted a law that allows separation.

"Mr. Draper is of the opinion and he may be right that a smaller state called Silicon Valley could be run efficiently by tech savvy representatives, and that would end up being the richest state in the United States, but it would also create some of the poorest states in the US," Latner said.

Tim Draper will be holding a press conference on Monday, February 24 at 3:00 pm PT at Draper University of Heroes in San Mateo regarding the Six Californias Initiative.

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