Should California Be Broken Up Into 6 States?

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A proposal to split California into six states could be on a state ballot in 2016, if officials approve the over 1 million signatures submitted by the group. Both the signatures and the plan have attracted a lot of opponents.

"Six Californias" is the brain child of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Timothy Draper, who's a billionaire after making smart investments in companies like Skype, Hotmail and Baidu.

He joins Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson to make the case for why California should be split into six different states.

Interview Highlights

The "Six Californias" campaign is aimed at dividing up the state of California into six separate states. (Click to enlarge. Source:
The "Six Californias" campaign is aimed at dividing up the state of California into six separate states. (Click to enlarge. Source:

On why California should split up

"I think we need an opportunity for the people to be closer to their government, to make it local. Also, to create a little bit of a choice so that people can easily move from maybe one state to another. It forces those governments to really perform and potentially end up with a much better platform from which all of these states can grow."

On how the proposed new states were formed

"They were drawn according to various items: economics, political — made sure each one of them was a good melting pot. It turns out, also, they seem to have very different interests and very different personalities. There are two regions that are currently, with the current regime, very poor regions. And those poor regions, with a new platform for growth could become very successful states.

On bureaucracy challenges that would be imposed by the creation of six states

"I actually think there would be less bureaucracy with six states. In fact, if you put any other six states together in the United States, they would have less bureaucracy per capita than we do."

On claims the campaign is just rich people in Silicon Valley who want their own state

"Well it actually does more for the other parts of California than it does for the Silicon Valley, but it does a lot for the Silicon Valley. There can be a concentrated effort to encourage entrepreneurship, H1B visas. But the other states all benefit in big ways because in the current regimes, Silicon Valley is doing great. Everything is fine. In the other states — in the other proposed states — they're not necessarily doing so well."


This segment aired on July 28, 2014.


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