Which Of California's Six States Should You Live In? If Tim Draper Splits It, Here's Your Guide...
It's possible you've already heard of the greatest harebrained political scheme of the year: Venture capitalist Tim Draper's plan to break California into six states, which might actually face a statewide vote in 2016. It all depends on whether Draper managed to snag the necessary number of signatures — 807,615 according to SFGate — to get the plan on the ballot. He's claimed to have 1.3 million signatures, which would mean the residents of California would get to vote on the biggest breakup proposal in state history.
If this sounds a little crazy and a little disconcerting to you, take heart — Draper's plan probably isn't going to go anywhere. As a Constitutional amendment, it would also require approval from Congress and the Democrat-controlled state legislature to actually go through, which is very unlikely.
Still, however remote the odds, this legislation is still rolling along, and it never hurts to be forward-thinking. In the event the unthinkable happens, and you've suddenly got to decide which of six Californias you want to live in, you don't want to jump into a decision unprepared. Here are some of the pros and cons of living in the six brand-new California states – North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California, South California, and Jefferson.
- Home to beautiful, scenic counties like Amador, Marin, and the famed wine country of Napa.
- Incorporates Sacramento, the current state capitol, so there's already more of a governing apparatus in place.
- Nothing beats a summertime float down the Russian River.
- Some places, the Northern Bay Area in particular, are hyper-expensive — Marin County boasts a median value of over $850,000 for houses sold.
- You don't get any of San Francisco, only a few hundred feet of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- The Bohemian Grove is here — this is really a pro/con tossup, depending on whether you're a conspiracy theorist, or someone who tires of conspiracy theorists (I'm guessing you're the latter).
- Would be the wealthiest state in the country, according to a Legislative Analysis Office (LAO) report, consisting of its high-tech mecca namesake along with San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Cruz.
- The most likely place to cover itself in a sustainable, sci-fi style dome to let us outlive our climate's destruction, probably.
- You get California's two best baseball teams.
- Probably a daunting place to move, if you're not already signed onto a high-paying job in keeping with the high costs of living.
- The colossal tech companies that set the pace tend to have some problems with diversity.
- The worst state name in the Union, without question. It just doesn't sound right. "The great state of Silicon Valley." Why not just name it San Francisco? Or Santa Cruz, or even... Oaklandia? Whatever, just anything else.
- Like most of California, brimming with an abundant natural beauty, if a rather dry one.
- The base of California's agricultural economy, with farmlands stretching all throughout the valley — it here that Cesar Chavez organized the National Farmworkers Association in the 1960s.
- Political implications aside, the California Aqueduct is pretty cool looking.
- That aforementioned LAO report found that Central California would be the country's poorest state.
- Dependent on the underpaid, over-exerted migrant farm workers who pick and tend crops under the blazing-hot summer sun.
- The entire state of California is in the grips of a drought right now, and that's a huge problem for residents and landowners in the valley.
- Would be the entertainment and media hotspot of all the west coast states, encompassing Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles.
- It may seem obvious, but seriously: awesome beaches.
- You can visit the super-strange Museum of Jurassic Technology (be sure to stop by the tea room).
- You lose out on Disneyland. Damn Orange County!
- Los Angeles is basically a barren desert, irrigated by water piped in from other sources, a history that's steeped in controversy. How that would be impacted by breaking up the state isn't quite clear, but it's something to bear in mind.
- The pollution situation down here gets a little wheezy sometimes.
- You're a hop, skip and a jump from the Mexican border, so a short-notice vacation is always within reach.
- You do get Disneyland! They could run the state capitol out of Cinderella Castle if they wanted to.
- San Diego typically rates as one of the happiest cities in the U.S.
- Hot, hot, hot.
- While San Diego is pretty liberal by voting trends, that's not true all through South California — Orange County went for Mitt Romney by six points in the 2012 presidential election.
- You'll kind of always be living in Los Angeles' shadow. I'm sorry, but there's not easy way to say it.
- The northernmost state, and undeniably the most creatively-named. Includes Siskiyou, Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
- It already has a fascinating history of this kind of idea — the state of Jefferson was first proposed back in 1941, with Yreka as its planned capitol — so people might not be as jarred by the change.
- You're right in the Shasta Cascade, perhaps California's most breathtaking mountain range, and one of the few parts of the state that can get any snow.
- Along with Central California, Jefferson is a heavily-conservative region of the state — of the 14 counties it contains, 12 backed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
- The original plan for Jefferson was to nab some of southern Oregon, too, so you're kind of getting ripped off.
- The city of Weed, sadly, is not as fun as it sounds.