January 27, 2017
A proposal for California to secede from the United States was submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office Thursday.
The proposed “Calexit” initiative – its name borrowed from the UK’s “Brexit” departure from the EU – would ask voters to repeal part of the state constitution that declares California an inseparable part of the U.S.
A recent poll found that one in three California residents would support a possible secession from the U.S. due to their opposition to President Trump. No mention has been made of the president in the proposal.
If the proposal qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters, it could be a step to a future vote on whether the state would break away from the rest of the nation.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the group behind the proposal, Yes California Independence Campaign, was cleared to begin attempting to collect nearly 600,000 voter signatures needed to place the plan on the ballot.
“In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children,” the Yes campaign’s website says.
Similar attempts to establish California as a nation, or break it into multiple states, have failed.
The proposed constitutional amendment, titled California Nationhood, would also ask voters to repeal language that states the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law. If approved, it calls for scheduling a vote in 2019 to ask voters, “Should California become a free, sovereign and independent country?”
“America already hates California, and America votes on emotions,” Marcus Evans, vice president of Yes California told the Los Angeles Times. “I think we’d have the votes today if we held it.”
The campaign must submit the valid voter signatures by July 25 to qualify for the ballot.