Imagine a state in which all inhabitants shared similar income levels, backgrounds, political and religious beliefs, occupations and hobbies. From the luscious pot fields of Humboldt County to the sea-foraging bros of San Diego, California is not that state.
The economic and social mecca that is California should have been split into separate physical masses in the mid-19th century when the idea was first proposed, according to the Washington Post’s Reid Wilson. More than 150 years later, although the “California dream” still lives in the hearts of Hollywood-idolizing teenagers everywhere, the economy and environment have since been overused and left dry after multiple attempts to rejuvenate the once thriving state.
As of 2012, California is home to more than 38 million individuals in need of proper income, living space and support from the government. This population is six times greater than the average state’s population, according to the same Washington Post article.
We have all joked about splitting the state into two halves — NorCal vs. SoCal — for years. The population has escalated to such extremes in the past decades that a whole legislature couldn’t even hope to meet the needs of a half-California. A six-way split is the ideal path.
Large enough to be its own country, California is home to 12 percent of the U.S. population and owns 10 percent of the total electoral votes. However, California’s size is terribly underrepresented in the Senate consisting of only 2 percent of the votes; as with all other 49 states.
The theoretical six separate states would result in much less land and a lower population for each senator to control, bettering the chance for each future “Californian” to have a say in the politics of their state.
Vermont’s 625,000 residents are represented by two senators. As are New York’s 19 million. This means, according to New York Times writer Adam Liptak, that each Vermonter has 30 times the voting power in the senate than a New Yorker. That said, California’s near 40 million inhabitants have basically no say in how they are governed.
With the passing of this initiative, each state will have a chance to start everything new. Smaller states have always been “given a lift” by the Constitution, said Liptak.
A more local government, the kind that could be provided by smaller states, is more representative of its people. When concerning the massive variation in financial status across the state, most Californians have no chance of being evenly and fairly governed.
According to a Living Wage Calculator created by Amy K. Glasmeier, a professor of urban planning at MIT, a single California resident with no children needs to earn at least $11.20/hour in order to pay for basic living expenses. The estimate is $3 more than the state mandated $8 minimum wage.
With such enormous and diverse economies, including agriculture, energy, technology and entertainment, how could a state hope to govern all of us equally? California is home to many of the nation’s wealthiest individuals but also hosts the highest poverty rate of any U.S. state, according to Huffington Post’s Kathleen Miles.
Citizens from the northern to the southern border should have legislation that correctly represents them. From the techies in Silicon Valley to the big shots in Hollywood, all Californians deserve a state that can correctly fulfill their needs.