Secession

So long, California: Major county votes to study secession

December 16, 2022
Rain clouds hover over Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Voters in one of Southern California's largest counties have delivered a pointed if largely symbolic message about frustration in the nation's most populous state: Officials will soon begin studying whether to break free from California and form a new state. Voters in one of Southern California's largest counties have delivered a pointed if largely symbolic message about frustration in the nation's most populous state: Officials will soon begin studying whether to break free from California and form a new state. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Rain clouds hover over Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Voters in one of Southern California’s largest counties have delivered a pointed if largely symbolic message about frustration in the nation’s most populous state: Officials will soon begin studying whether to break free from California and form a new state. Voters in one of Southern California’s largest counties have delivered a pointed if largely symbolic message about frustration in the nation’s most populous state: Officials will soon begin studying whether to break free from California and form a new state. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — The November elections saw Californians continue to embrace progressive leadership, but voters in one of the state’s most populous counties are so frustrated with this political direction that they voted to consider seceding and forming their own state.

An advisory ballot proposal approved in San Bernardino County — home to 2.2 million people — directs local officials to study the possibility of secession. The razor-thin margin of victory is the latest sign of political unrest and economic distress in California.

This attempt to create a new state — which would be the first since Hawaii in 1959 — is a longshot proposition for the county just east of Los Angeles that has suffered from sharp increases in cost of living. It would hinge on approval by the California Legislature and Congress, both of which are highly unlikely.

Still, it’s significant that the vote came from a racially and ethnically diverse county that is politically mixed, as well as the fifth-most populous in the state and the largest in the nation by area. San Bernardino’s 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers) is composed of more land than nine states.

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Categories: Secession

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