By Mhar Tenorio
The Mirror Staff
By Woo Han
The Mirror Staff
One in three Californians supports breaking away from the United States and becoming an independent country, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on January 24th, 2017.
Birth of a Nation?
January 27, 2017
FEATURE: As President Trump begins to implement extreme policies that are potentially detrimental to the California, a growing movement to secede is receiving increasing support.
PHOTO BY © Steven Pavlov / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Senapa / CC BY-SA 3.0
One in three Californians supports breaking away from the United States and becoming an independent country, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on January 24, 2017. Most respondents were Democrats unhappy with the new President.
“This is real,” said Marcus Ruiz Evans, the Vice President and co-founder of Yes California. “We treat it seriously.”
Since Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, there has been a growing backlash amongst Californians who are discontent with his policies.
Hillary Clinton won all 55 electoral votes for California, a historically Democratic state since 1992. Clinton received 61.5% of the votes while Trump only received 31.5%.
Californians have expressed their displeasure in several ways, including protesting with signs that say #NotMyPresident or even going as far as to consider immigrating to Canada.
But a campaign called Yes California takes an unconventional approach, promoting the secession of California from the United States of America to become an independent country. This movement is more commonly known as CalExit.
Yes California was established in August 2015 and seeks to shape the state’s political dialogue toward secession. They describe themselves as a “nonviolent campaign,” urging through their website yescalifornia.org for people to take action.
The group does not promote any kind of insurgency or violence.
Citizens have filed petitions before to withdraw from the Union on the White House website, where people can submit petitions about current issues. If a petition gets a large number of signatures, the Administration will seriously consider acting on it.
In 2012, the White House required 25,000 signatures—which has since increased to 100,000—for petitions to be reviewed. Six states have had secession petitions that qualified, however, all were rejected.
CalExit supporters have a tough road ahead. Seceding from the union is a lengthy process.
After a ballot initiative proposal is submitted, the campaign must gather 585,407 signatures within six months to qualify for a vote. The initiative would seek to amend Article III, Section 1 of the California Constitution, which states that California is an “inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.”
Organizers hope to qualify for the 2018 state ballot.
If they succeed and the initiative passes, the question would then be put before state voters in 2019.
But, the U.S. Constitution may pose an even bigger issue for CalExit supporters.
Article IV Section 3 states that “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
Yes California argues that the article does not ban states from leaving the Union.
A Supreme Court ruling in 1869 after the Civil War, Texas v. White, declared that states could not secede without the consent of the other states.
If supporters are successful in California, the next step would be an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It would have to be approved by two-thirds of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate.
Then, the consent of at least 38 states would be necessary.
Could California stand on its own as an independent nation?
California’s population is large; it is the most populous and most diverse state. In fact, there are more Latinos than Whites in this state. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated population of California was 39,144,818 as of July 1, 2015. California has more residents than Canada, with a population of about 36 million.
California has one of the most booming economies in the United States. It has the sixth largest economy in the world making it economically powerful. The approximate gross state product was $2,496 trillion in 2015. The economy continues to expand, having grown 4.1% from 2014 to 2015.
Ms. Beth Moore, a government and economics teacher at Van Nuys High School, thinks it’s unlikely that California will be on its own.
Despite this, she acknowledged California’s economic power and agreed that the state would be able to stand on its own feet if it became independent.
“We have the sixth largest economy in the world, so I think economically we have a pretty good start,” said Ms. Moore.
CalExit supporters offer many reasons why California should become independent.
First, California would be less of a target to terrorists, who would be more interested in attacking the United States.
Second, The country would be led by people who are only elected by Californians. The considerable taxes paid by the citizens would solely go to California.
Finally, California would have be in control of its own economy, immigration, education, and healthcare.
The CalExit campaign is receiving increasing support as President Trump begins to implement extreme policies that are potentially detrimental to California.