The Modoc County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0, with one supervisor absent to look into secession. They join Siskiyou County, in looking into forming a new state they plan to name Jefferson. Their goal is to attract 10 to 12 counties to join them in their quest.
Board Chairman Geri Byrne explained why he put the measure on the agenda, “I put the measure on the agenda because I heard from a number of people in my district that wanted to do such. We’re not saying we’re seceding today, we’re saying let’s look into it.”
About 40 people showed up for the meeting, with a dozen voicing their support of secession and only two dissenting speakers. Byrne explained than any secession movement must come from the grassroots and not by the board of supervisors.
Mark Baird, a spokesperson for the Jefferson Declaration Committee expressed a desire to sign up a dozen counties before taking their request to the California legislature. “California is essentially ungovernable in its present size. We lack the representation to address the problems that affect the North State.”
If 12 counties come together as Baird wishes, Jefferson would be 15% larger than New Mexico. No other counties are presently supporting the secession, but several are looking into it, including, Shasta County and Redding, the most populous city north of Sacramento. Butte County, the largest county in Northern California has sceduled a hearing on the matter for October 22nd.
The Redding city council has yet to schedule a date for discussion. The measure is being promoted by Vice mayor Patrick Jones.
As in Colorado, the rural areas of the state have been left behind by the state legislatures and citizens are looking for representation for their grievances.