The part of California where moonbats are an endangered species.
California is a diverse, populous state full of potential. Yet for residents in twenty-one counties in Northern California—and they are particular about their truly northern status compared to San Francisco—they feel left out. I learned first-hand about the struggles for these rugged salt-of-the earth conservatives during a three-day visit to the region. I gave two speeches on conservative activism and to recruit help for the fight against California’s increasingly unpopular sanctuary state law, SB 54.
“North State” is so far north, the closest airport is in Medford, Oregon. The region stretches from California’s northwesternmost county, Del Norte, to the northeastern corner of Modoc County, down to Tuolumne County (which just opted out of SB 54). The citizens want more than respect. They want to form their own new state: Jefferson. The namesake comes from President Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a free republic emerging in the Pacific Northwest and a desire for more regional autonomy.
“To the rest of the state, we don’t exist” says Louis Gliatto, the head of the Yreka (not Eureka) Tea Party and Siskiyou County Committee member for “Citizens for Fair Representation.” To prove how out of touch the Rest of California (ROC) has become, Tehama and Siskiyou counties were the first jurisdictions to opt out of SB 54, one month before Los Alamitos passed its own Constitution Compliance ordinance. The two North State counties openly declared that they would comply with federal law. How could the press have missed this? A county of 44,000 residents deserves to be recognized for taking that bold step.
This new state project is not new, yet few know about it. In the late 1870’s, the state legislature was limited to 120 representatives, but the state population has skyrocketed. Only until the 1930s did legislative districts account for size and population for representation in Sacramento. In 1941, this spread-out conservative community of ranchers, loggers, and farmers initiated the movement to break away, frustrated by the growing disconnect and lack of representation from Sacramento. Today, three state senators and six assembly members must compete with the dominant LA and Bay Area delegations.
The Jefferson movement faded away quickly in the wake of World War II, but California’s reckless escalation of progressive policies has revived the Jefferson movement for the last five years. In northern cities and along the roads, Jefferson signs and flags (a green field featuring a gold prospector’s pan with two Xs’s to represent the sense of being double-crossed by the rest of California) gently stand out or wave under many of the American flags, all on proud display throughout the region. Despite the left-wing tilt of Mendocino, Sonoma, and Marin counties, Jefferson residents are down-to-earth entrepreneurs, engineers, and invested farmers. They laugh about the differences between Humboldt County, with its commercial kush and tie-dyed shirts; and Siskiyou County, where lush, verdant pastures match the unofficial banner, and colorful sunsets greet the peaceful homesteaders. Jeffersonians vocally oppose commercial marijuana, too, as its illegal cultivation and distribution (despite the passage of pro-pot initiative Prop 64 in 2016) has caused violent crime and corruption to spike.