Supporters of carving up northern California to make Jefferson the 51st state rally in Sacramento

About 150 people gathered at the California Capitol in Sacramento Thursday in favor of seceding to form a new state called Jefferson.

The idea behind Jefferson goes back to 1941, when a group proposed carving the new state from portions of northern California and southern Oregon.

Last September, Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted to secede, and since then, six others have joined them.

Representatives from Siskiyou and Modoc County presented a “declaration of secession” to the California legislature.

Mark Baird, a rancher from Yreka, Calif., who organized the protest, told the Sacramento Bee, “Our problem is [lawmakers] don’t have a empathy for us because we’re so far away.”

The counties would be unable form a new state, unless the California legislature and U.S. Congress approve it.

Earlier this year, a measure proposed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into six states collected signatures to be put on the ballot in 2016.


Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post
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