By Kelsey Williams, SFGate.com
The red region would become “South California” according to Stone’s proposal.
The south will rise! Southern California that is—according to a plan by one Riverside politician.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone says that he wants as many as 13 counties in Southern California to secede from the state.
CBS Los Angeles reports:
Stone said in a statement late Thursday that Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono counties should form the new state of South California.
The new state would therefore encompass almost half of California’s landmass, leaving out the strip of Southern California counties along the coast including Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
This is not the first time California has dealt with plans for secession, but until now most of the proposals have come from the rural counties of northern California where counties have tended to get left behind with state funding.
In fact, in 1941, a campaign to create the new state of Jefferson from several counties in northern California and southern Oregon was on the brink of success. The counties, frustrated from their lack of adequate roads and funding put together the movement, and Jefferson looked to be on track to be the 49th state (Alaska and Hawaii weren’t on board yet).
By December, a “Proclamation of Independence” had been circulated and the residents had even elected a governor. But, on the week the Jefferson statehood movement was to make its national debut, the attacks at Pearl Harbor quashed all plans as residents went to work for the war effort.
Since then, every few years these and other northern counties have mounted several more secession attempts, but none have come quite so close to success as the Jefferson movement.
Now, Stone seems to hope to revive a similar rebellious spirit in the hearts of southland residents.
Stone said that the new state of South California would “allow officials to focus on securing borders, balancing budgets, improving schools and creating a vibrant economy.”
Stone’s proposal comes in the wake of the state budget proposal signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would reallocate $14 million in 2011-12 vehicle license fee revenue from the new cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar in Riverside County.
According to Stone, who plans to submit his proposal to the Board of Supervisors on July 12, the new state would have no term limits, only a part-time legislature and limits on property taxes.
Other officials and experts believe the move is more symbolic than anything, and South California is not likely to come to fruition any time soon.
“A secessionist movement? What is this, 1860?” Brown spokesman Gil Duran told The Press-Enterprise.
Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster called Stone’s proposal a “crazy distraction.”