Tech investor Tim Draper — a VC behind such brands as Skype and Hotmail — has a bizarre ballot initiative ready for consideration, one that would not only split California into six separate states but also turn Silicon Valley into its very own state. Draper's libertarian pipe dream is called "Six Californias."
In an email to TechCrunch, Draper explains his reasoning:
“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.”
As for the new territories, the initiative calls for six new states. They would be called Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California, South California. Silicon Valley would include Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. More details:
(1) A new state, named Jefferson, including the territory represented by the boundaries of the following counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity.
(2) A new state, named North California, including the territory represented by the following counties:, Amador, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba.
(3) A new state, named Central California, including the territory represented by the boundaries of the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne.
(4) A new state, named Silicon Valley, including the territory represented by the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.
(5) A new state, named West California, including the territory represented by the following counties: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Ventura.
(6) A new state, named South California, including the territory of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
It's important to note that Draper isn't the only tech zealot who wants to secede in one way or another. As TechCrunch goes on to point out, "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." But Draper's idea here isn't so much about isolation as it is less government. As New York Magazine says, "[I]t's a passive-aggressive swipe at the less economically productive regions of California, cloaked in a measure that purports to be good for all citizens of the state. Tim Draper wants the protection afforded by the United States government, without having to submit to the taxes and regulatory slow-footedness coming out of Sacramento."
In the end, we're not sure what's more maddening here: the thought of having to tell others that the 415 is located in "Silicon Valley" — fear not for Draper's initiative has no chance of succeeding in an election — or that this third-generation VC will blow millions of his tech dollars putting it on the ballot and then having it go nowhere. Draper's manifesto also comes on the heels of the Bay Area's growing resentment toward start-up culture's ideology with regard to urban living.
Read the entire Six Californias proposal: