Venture Capitalist Tries to Drum Up Support for Splitting California Into Six States
Venture capitalist Tim Draper is out promoting a proposal to split California into six states, the better to serve each segment, rethink existing utilities and services, and get more national senate representation. He has submitted an initiative to the California attorney general in the hope of gathering approval to seek half a million signatures to earn a spot on the November ballot, and he held a press conference today.
The plan has initially been met by skepticism, with no corporations or groups yet coming out in favor of it, and it’s far from being brought to voters, but Draper said he’s optimistic that everything will work out once there are “six fresh slates.”
The new states would include Jefferson in the northernmost swath of the current boundaries, North California below that, Central California in the middle east, Silicon Valley in the middle west, West California including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, and South California in the boot of the state.
“Six Californias is an opportunity for Californians to get a fresh start, an opportunity to build new platforms for growth and prosperity, an opportunity to be awesome,” Draper said today. “The status quo is dying and sucking the life out of us, but Californians are still the greatest, most innovative people on the planet, and I ask them to innovate their government back to prosperity.”
Draper is a longtime venture capitalist whose father and grandfather were also Silicon Valley VCs. He recently stepped back from an active investment role at his firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
While Draper didn’t explain today how a new system would be more equitable, or how it would be better positioned to negotiate large-scale topics like high-speed rail and water rights, he argued that a clean start could help trigger all sorts of positive changes.
Silicon Valley leaders such as Larry Page, Peter Thiel and Balaji Srinivasan have recently alienated many people by floating secessionist viewpoints and expressing superior attitudes about tech creators and adopters. Draper didn’t do much to mitigate that divide today, saying, “Whenever I talk to people in Sacramento, they are not really in touch with what we are trying to accomplish in Silicon Valley.”