Three Californias

This is a serious proposal. Here are my thoughts:

1. I’d prefer to see a smaller Northern California, cut off somewhere north of Sacramento, and including the northern coast. But this scheme will do, and I have to admit it makes good political sense.

2. As it stands, Northern California – probably one of the most conservative regions in the United States – is politically impotent and ultimately dominated by the Coastal and Southern liberals. Under this “three Californias” arrangement there will be a much better alignment of culture and politics.

3. Southern California, though presently suffering from all manner of decadence, has a decisively Catholic heritage that could be more easily recovered as an autonomous political unit.

4. Coastal California is breathtakingly beautiful, a veritable Eden in many places – despite the ugliness of a few Bay Area cities. With the creation of “three Californias”, many refugees from Coastal California will choose to settle in Northern California rather than the Midwest or the East Coast. And Coastal California will remain a lovely place for Northern Californians to spend their long weekends. Outside of San Francisco, the region’s political radicalism is not likely to last more than another generation or two.

6 thoughts on “Three Californias

  1. I can see seperating Northern California off at Sacramento…but the San Joaquin Valley and the southern part of the Sierra sure don’t belong with any of the other states. There’s no natural way to divide the state that wouldn’t either: 1.Group the San Joaquin Valley with geographically nonsensical counties, 2.Group us with culturally nonsensical counties, or 3.Render us a small, almost wholly agricultural state whose neighbors think we exist for the sole purpose of travelling on I-5.

    Also, the state of Northern California would have a seaport (Stockton). I almost feel this plan is unfair in favor of Northern California. We get highly productive agricultural land, several decent-sized cities, access to the ocean, political representation more to our liking (Coastal and Southern aren’t really gaining anything polically, and they’d probably be happy enough to stay together in terms of national representation.

    Strange, also, that S.C. gets Kern. Kern probably ought to be split in two in a serious proposal. But, I can see why they would wish to leave counties intact. Nevertheless, I find it hard to imagine the Tulare-Kern county line as a state line.


  2. As long as there is a Northern- Southern- divide, then that’s fine with me. THough I’m not as hopeful as you about So. Cal. regaining its Catholic heritage.
    And then, the next big issue emerges: what about water? Would Northern Cal and Coastal Cal sell it to So. Cal?


  3. I would be in favor of this although as has been sait already Kern would have to be seriously be split into 2. Also San Benito and Monterey actually have some (potentially) strong conservative bases. It is just that the Monterey/Carmel faux conservatives have way too much influence over us residents in the Salinas Valley. I myself have mused about splitting Monterey Co into a coastal and inland part that would merge with San Benito.


  4. If you read the linked website, you’ll see another map with Kern split in two. Splitting Monterey County makes some political sense, but that’s also true of too many other counties to justify the administrative burdens involved.

    As for regional sustainability – water, ag land, climate, timber, etc. – Northern California wins by a landslide. But it has much less cultural “bling” (can’t believe I just said “bling” ) than the other two, so maybe they wouldn’t mind cutting us loose.

    On the water issue, I don’t know enough about it to have an opinion on whether N.Cal water should be sold, but I do think it ought to be the decision of N.Cal citizens, and not the current crop of out-of-area politicians who dominate the legislature.


  5. I don’t think they’ll cut us loose just for our lack of “bling.” As dumb as politicians can be, they still know we have everything that makes the state possible, though Coastal California and Southern California may have everything that makes it famous.

    As for splitting Monterey or giving San Benito to N.C., it SOUNDS good, but we must remember that this isn’t an “all the conservative counties over here, all the liberals over there!” kind of thing. San Benito is closely connected culturally with the Central Valley, but geographically it would not make sense to have them in the state of N.C.

    Also, I have to wonder where the capitols would be. I suppose N.C. would still have a capitol in Sacramento, since there is a lot of infrastructure for it there already. I suppose Coastal California would pick San Jose: their largest city and a former state capitol of California. Southern California I am not so sure: San Diego might be too close to the border, but LA seems a bit unwieldly for a capitol. I could see them purpose-building one out in the desert as well (not that they’d have the resources for that in this scheme).


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