Yesterday in Siskiyou County, California, the board of supervisors voted to issue a declaration of secession from the rest of California. The far-northern county wants to be known as the free state of Jefferson, a land removed from "loony California" and uniting non-loony counties now languishing there and in Oregon (see map at right, not including the Southern California and Nevada counties they'd like to recruit).
Seceding from a state and forming a new one requires the approval of the both the original state and the U.S. Congress. It's almost impossible. Siskiyou County supervisors voted 4-1 to get out of California anyway. The Redding Record-Searchlight relays this from the meeting:
"Many proposed laws are unconstitutional and deny us our God-given rights," said Gabe Garrison of Happy Camp. "We need our own state so we can make laws that fit our way of life."
The State of Jefferson would be our 52nd state, the 51st being the now-aborning North Colorado. In both cases, organizers say their desire to secede stems from the conviction that rural values and rural needs are not represented well in state capitals they consider urban-centric.
It's apparently an appealing frustration. The map for the Colorado-based 51st State Initiative has been growing. Marked in blue below are counties where leader Jeffrey Hare says citizens or officials have shown "significant "support. Yellow is for counties where people are actively working on secession. Green is for counties that already have some kind of popular vote scheduled or have joined the working group. White is for counties in Kansas that might want to come over. And red is for Boulder and Denver, a/k/a not interested.