Three weeks ago, the conservative rural county of Siskiyou took a step toward seceding from the State of California. The Board of Supervisors for the county, which lies in extreme Northern California along the Oregon border, voted to secede, saying their residents’ interests were being stifled and even exploited in Sacramento in favor of the State’s major urban centers.
Now a neighboring county has voted to split from California. Modoc County, home to fewer than 10,000 residents, now joins Siskiyou in seeking to establish a 51st State that, if ever it should be approved by Congress, would be called the State of Jefferson.
It’s not likely to happen, of course. But then again, there seems to be significant momentum behind the latest push – chiefly because there aren’t a lot of leaders and residents in neighboring Northern California counties, this time, who are rushing forward to say that the whole idea is insane.
According to the Redding Record Searchlight, a newspaper based in nearby Shasta County, at least two counties are considering similar secession votes:
…[M]ost of the more populated counties in Northern California have yet to lend their support, though a number are considering it, including Shasta County and Redding, the most populous city north of Sacramento.
Siskiyou County has a population of just over 44,100, while Modoc has about 9,300 residents, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.
Supervisors in Butte County, the most populated municipality to consider joining the movement, have scheduled a vote for Oct. 22.
The Redding City Council has yet to set a date for a discussion on the topic, which is being sought by Vice Mayor Patrick Jones.
A representative for the secessionist Jefferson Declaration Committee told the newspaper California is “essentially ungovernable in its present size” and that the committee would like to have 12 Northern California counties on board before attempting to form a new State – “though we can certainly do it with less.”
Modoc County forms California’s northeastern corner, lying along Oregon’s southern border and sharing a border with Nevada to the East.