State of Jefferson
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|Ideas and policies|
The State of Jefferson was first proposed by the mayor of Port Orford, Oregon in October 1941 and the idea actually got the endorsement of several county governments in the region. The movement got as far as the selection of Yreka (Siskiyou County, California) as the provisional state capital and Jefferson as the name of the new state, but the attack on Pearl Harbor in December brought the movement to an abrupt halt.
The influence of the original proposal remains in the local National Public Radio network calling itself Jefferson Public Radio, and one Oregon highway officially named the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. Signs can also be seen along northern California highways calling for the state's formation, showing "The Great Seal of the State of Jefferson," a stylized gold-mining pan with two X's on it.
The idea has recently been revived and appears to be mainly motivated by property rights concerns and conservative unhappiness with the perceived liberal bent in the California and Oregon state governments.
Under the United States Constitution, the creation of a new state out of part of two existing states would have to get the approval of both the U.S. Congress and the legislatures of both states.
- State of Lincoln (eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle)
- State of Kootenai (western Montana and the Idaho panhandle)
- State of Franklin (western North Carolina and upper east Tennessee)
- State of Superior (the upper peninsula of Michigan - this was seriously attempted in the Michigan legislature in the 1970s)
- New York City and Long Island splitting from New York state, and upstate New York trying to do the same
- Combining North Dakota and South Dakota into the single State of Dakota
- Dividing California into two or three states (or even five) has been proposed several times. In 1864 splitting California into two states actually passed at the ballot and was signed by the governor, but the U.S. Congress had other things on its mind and did not approve it. A failed ballot measure during the 1990s would have split California into three states. There was another proposal around 2011 to separate conservative-leaning counties of Southern California (excluding areas like Los Angeles County) from the rest of California over the liberal politics of Sacramento, but this failed to garner any support.
- State of Baja Arizona (Pima County, Santa Cruz County, and Cochise County) - because Confederate Arizona was such a success back in the day.
- South Florida, which contains most of the state's population and is more concerned with global warming and rising ocean levels than the government in distant, northern Tallahassee.
- jeffersonproposal.org - Jefferson Statehood Proposal. A bit wingnutty and libertarian. The website is defunct and offline.
- jeffersonstate.com - Jefferson - the 51st State. Not quite so wingnutty. The website is defunct and redirects now to the homepage of BoonyWear USA.
- stateofjefferson.com - State of Jefferson. Barebones, mostly historical site. The forum is indefinitely down. Website definitely needs some work.
- See the Wikipedia article on Confederate Arizona.
- 51st State of South Florida: South Miami Passes Another Resolution Urging Secession, Miami New Times, Mar 20, 2015