Plan That Would Make Northern California its Own State Headed for November Ballot

California's 168-year run as a single entity state could come to a halt next year

California’s 168-year run as a single entity state could come to a halt next year, as the radical plan to split California into three different states has officially qualified for the ballot in November.

The Cal 3 plan, led by Bay Area billionaire and venture capitalist Tim Draper,  will become a major talking point for many that believe California is too big for its own good. The measure wants to split the state up in order to meet specific needs for each region, including education, infrastructure, taxes and identity.

Northern California would consist of 40 counties stretching from Oregon south to Santa Cruz County, then east to Merced and Mariposa counties.

Here is a map of the proposed areas for Cal 3:

This isn’t the first time an measure to break up the state has been presented to the people of California, but it does seem to have the most support. But even if Californians vote to split up the state, U.S. Congress would still have to approve it. There isn’t much bipartisan support in the Senate of adding four new Senators from the largely Democratic state.

In 1859, California voters approved a measure to split the state in two, but it was never passed in a deeply divided Congress during the Civil War era.

While splitting the state into smaller regions does seem to create a more localized government, it wouldn’t meet the needs of the conservative groups in the state who feel like their votes get stepped on by the liberal-leaning cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. For example, Conservative secession groups like the State of Jefferson would still be bunched into the state of Northern California, which would include the much more liberal voters of Sacramento and San Francisco.

As it stands today, Cal 3 wants to break up the state into three sections: Northern California, Southern California and California. Let’s take a look at the three areas:

Northern California

In the proposed measure, Northern California would stretch from Merced and Mariposa counties all the way to the Oregon border. This area would include a population of 13.3 million people with a median household income of $63,000, the highest of the three areas.

This state would be the most diverse among the three, with mostly conservative and lesser populated areas of Far NorCal being grouped together with the liberal techies of San Francisco.


California would be the six coastal counties from San Benito to Los Angeles. This small, coastal state would have the smallest population of the three states with 12.3 million people and would include cities like San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and, of course, the mighty city of Los Angeles.

This state, much like the state of New York, would be dominated by its main city, Los Angeles, which would account for approximately 30% of its entire population. In fact, instead of calling this state California, they might as well just name it the State of Hollywood.

Southern California

Southern California would begin south of Northern California and would run to the Mexico border, excluding the western coastal region of the new “California.” Much of this area is known as the central valley farmland, but would also include the Los Angeles area counties of Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino.

This state would have the largest population with 13.9 million people, and would include some California’s most popular outdoor areas of Mammoth and Yosemite.

How will you vote on this measure come November?

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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