Just a few short weeks ago, Phil and I had met an energetic, wonderfully friendly and outgoing young couple at our campsite in the Sequoia National Park who were from Ridgecrest, CA. Chris and Marissa, (unfortunately I did not get their last names), were visiting the Park with their daughter’s school to tour the caves in that area. After we talked for awhile and told them our plans of seeing the Mt. Whitney Portal area, they filled us in on many more interesting sites to explore on the way there.
Chris and Marissa also told us that we would drive along a 15-mile (more or less) stretch of dry lake bed that looks so out-of-place, it’s astonishing! We found out that Owens Lake was drained by the city of Los Angeles nearly a century ago and because of the toxic dust storms that resulted in the area, the city was ordered to pay millions every year to keep enough water in the lake to make it muddy. You can read about this environmental atrocity in the link provided above.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are two cities not well-liked by ALL of the native Californians we spoke with while touring the mid to northern areas of the State. We noticed bill boards along the highways from southern Oregon all the way to Bakersfield advertising The State of Jefferson. Every person, whether they were store owners, gas station attendants, or fellow vacationers either knew something about the State of Jefferson or were adamantly in support of it. As we learned from a motorist while stopped at a road construction impasse, (he was bored and walked back to talk to us because he saw we were from Michigan and has family here, lol!) the majority of mid to northern communities in California would like to create their own State with the powers to protect their own resources and break free from the taxation and regulation stranglehold the two giant cities have on the entire State. The Golden State is incredibly large with so much diversity, and the needs of the larger cities are different than the needs of the ranchers, farmers, and smaller communities.
This tug of war held in Sacramento has been going on for decades with far less representation in the legislature for the “little guys”, but they’re not giving up. As of March 15, 2018, The State of Jefferson has declared their independence from the rest of California, “We the people of the 23 counties of Northern California, hereafter known as Jefferson, formally demand an immediate Article 4, Section 3, (U.S.) state split. We declare the State of California is in open rebellion and insurrection against the government of the United States.”
“The oligarchy that runs Sacramento doesn’t care what the voters think,” he says. “We have been over-taxed and over-regulated, and more and more people every day are willing to stand up and fight,” states Mark Baird, leader of the current State of Jefferson movement. “California has become a totalitarian nightmare of social engineering, and people are bailing out, we’ve lost 9,000 businesses and nearly a million productive people,” Baird said. (excerpt taken from Sacramento News and Review)
It’s a classic David and Goliath story and hopefully, the powers that be will take the time to listen with open minds to the people they have taken an oath to represent. The King of England sorely underestimated the power of a few, backwoods farmers 241 years ago. Surely, the government of California would not dare repeat history… would it??