TechCrunch has learned about noted technology investor Tim Draper’s plan to split California into six separate states, including a Northern California slice appropriately named “Silicon Valley.”
Draper shared his vision with TechCrunch tonight. He says he’s submitting a polished version to the state’s Attorney General in the form of a ballot proposition proposal within the next 48 hours. “Six Californias” already has a campaign website up and is eager for an army of volunteers.
We’ve pasted the full ballot initiative below, along with the redrawn map of California. Essentially, the idea is to section off California into six horizontal slices, with Silicon Valley getting its own region stretching from the Sierras to the Bay Area beaches.
Southern California would also get its own slice of isolationist glory, with the new state “West California” consisting of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, among other areas.
In an email, Draper tells me there are five key reasons he’s pushing the initiative:
“1. It is about time California was properly represented with Senators in Washington. Now our number of Senators per person will be about average.
2. Competition is good, monopolies are bad. This initiative encourages more competition and less monopolistic power. Like all competitive systems, costs will be lower and service will be better.
3. Each new state can start fresh. From a new crowd sourced state flower to a more relevant constitution.
4. Decisions can be more relevant to the population. The regulations in one new state are not appropriate for another.
5. Individuals can move between states more freely.”
Getting such a measure on California’s wacky ballot will be no easy task. Attempts to get initiatives on the state ballot can cost millions of dollars, and often fail. That said, California has a long secessionist history, and there are a number of folks who want to split the West Coast into smaller territories. And Tim Draper, who recently announced plans to
step down skip the next fund from his investment firm and has been dedicating more of his time to educational initiatives, certainly has the clout and financial resources that can be helpful in turning political visions into reality.
It is an out-of-the-box idea, to say the least. But it’s in line with Silicon Valley’s recent history of hyper-ambitious ideas.
Facebook Investor Peter Thiel is funding a floating, sovereign libertarian utopia island. Investor Balaji S. Srinivasan infamously called for a separate “opt-in” territory for radical experimentation. Google’s Larry Page hinted at the same techno-utopian island.
We have asked Draper for more details and will let you know as soon as we get them (and verify that the Attorney General will, in fact, accept such a proposition.) For now, check out the proposal for yourself in the documents below.