The founders of New California read their own version of a Declaration of Independence on Monday. Claiming the authority of Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the aspiring 51st state plans to convince California's legislature to split the state before submitting the resolution to Congress.
“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” said founder Robert Paul Preston.
“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston said.
"After years of over taxation, regulation, and mono-party politics the State of California and many of it’s 58 Counties have become ungovernable," the group said in a statement, citing a "decline in essential basic services" including education, law enforcement, infrastructure and health care.
The state of New California would incorporate most of the state's rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.
According to a map provided by the organizers, San Diego would fall under the New California boundaries.
The founders are proposing working with the state Legislature and the U.S. Congress to make their vision of two Californias a reality.
The group says it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature though.
This is not the first effort to split up California. In 2014, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper submitted signatures to put a measure that would split California in six separate states.
Also, in 2017 supporters of the Yes California Independence Campaign organized to make the nation's most populous state its own country. The secession coalition dubbed "CALEXIT" faltered after its president, Louis Marinelli, revealed ties to Russia.