Comment: Businesses are still leaving California. — Admin Liz Bowen
No Surprise–Texas Beats California–Austin beats out San Francisco as No. 1 tech city, report says
California Political Review
By Stephen Frank
on Feb 25, 2015 08:33 pm
As in everything else, even technology is doing better in Texas than in California. “Austin has the best environment in the world for the technology industry, according to a report by London, England-based property consulting firm Savills Plc. Using five metrics such as property prices, talent pool and quality of life, Austin beat out tech […]
Read More and Comment: No Surprise–Texas Beats California–Austin beats out San Francisco as No. 1 tech city, report says.
By Liz Bowen
Spoke with Mark Baird this evening and he said the supervisors did vote 3-1, but it was to table the motion, while county counsel provides unique language to the Declaration. In three weeks, March 17, 2015, the language aspect of the Declaration will be up for a vote.
Mark said the meeting, today, was held at the fairgrounds in Susanville filled with over 100 supporters. Around 40 people spoke in favor of Lassen County joining the State of Jefferson movement. Only one man wondered how the new state will survive without the welfare funds from California.
The factual answer to that question is: How long will California survive at over $423 billion in debt?
Mark thanks the many supporters and especially the courage of the Lassen Supervisors to take a stand for equal representation.
California Debt Clock link:
Lassen County Supervisors approve Declaration today, Feb. 24, 2015
Feb. 24, 2015
By Liz Bowen
Susanville – Today the Lassen County Board of Supervisors approved a Declaration to withdraw from the State of California in a 3 to 1 vote, with one supervisor unable to attend the meeting.
Lassen is the eighth county to agree with separation from California and officially joins the State of Jefferson movement that began with Siskiyou County Supervisors in a 4-1 vote on Sept. 3, 2013. Neighboring Modoc County Supervisors listened to a presentation from Jefferson Spokesman Mark Baird on Sept. 24, 2013 and then voted 3-1 in favor of a Declaration of withdrawal from California.
In January of 2014, Glenn County Supervisors approved the Declaration with a 5-0 vote. Yuba and Sutter County Boards of Supervisors also agreed with separation in 2014 and Tehama County Supervisors held an advisory measure on the June 2014 Primary ballot, which received 57 percent approval by voters. Tehama Supervisors then approved a similar Declaration in July of 2014.
Lake County Supervisors discussed the Declaration of withdrawal last week, Feb. 17, 2015 and voted 4-1 in favor. Both Lake and Lassen County Supervisors said they will revisit the wording of the Declaration within the next few weeks. Several of Lassen’s supervisors and their county counsel are looking for stronger wordage.
Most of the Declarations have been submitted to California’s Secretary of State and both houses of the California legislature. They are: Siskiyou, Modoc, Glenn, Yuba and Tehama.
Within a month, the Jefferson Declaration will be submitting Sutter, Lake and Lassen Countys’ Declarations at the California Capitol.
# # #
Important Time for Jefferson Supporters
By Alayna Shulman
REDDING, California – A proponent of Jefferson – the proposed new state for rural California counties who feel they’re politically underrepresented — warned a packed audience at a Redding town-hall meeting on the issue Sunday that the movement can’t just happen whenever.
With looming California projects that could negatively impact an already hurting North State economy, Siskiyou County resident Mark Baird – the event’s keynote speaker – cautioned the Redding audience that the state of Jefferson needs to be formed before it’s too late for it to feasibly get off the ground.
“We have a narrow window of opportunity,” Baird told the crowd at the Senior Citizens Hall on Benton Drive.
Baird’s statement came during the question-and-answer session after his talk on the Jefferson movement. A man asked him how Jefferson would be affected by California projects such as the bullet-train, to which Baird said “that’s why we need to do that now.”
He cautioned that waiting 20 years or so to try again could mean those projects have already wrought havoc on the North State’s economy. Being complacent in the past is what led to the current lack of representation in the North State, Baird said.
“We got here by not paying attention; this is our own fault,” he said at the beginning of his presentation.
The meeting lasted about two hours and consisted mostly of information from Baird on how to move forward with Jefferson and what certain aspects of the proposed state would look like. He also asked people to do their part by gathering signatures to push the movement forward.
A handful of North State counties’ boards of supervisors have already signed declarations in support of Jefferson, but supervisors in some – including home-court Shasta – rejected the idea.
People holding signs directing drivers to the meeting stood on the sidewalk as drivers rerouted from the jammed parking lot and headed to Caldwell Park, which doubled as an overflow area. Green and yellow Jefferson flags dotted the parking lot, and the symbol popped up on plenty of cars parked there as well.
Inside, while there were many people wearing the signature green T-shirt with the yellow Jefferson double-X logo – representing the “double-crossing” proponents say California has done to its rural counties – a few people lined up at the end of the meeting to ask Baird some more critical questions.
One woman asked how the movement could claim to be about transparency if financial documents on its website are only available with a password, to which Baird said that shouldn’t be the case.
Another person contested Baird’s claim that the proposed state would have more than a million people, saying it would really be more like 400,000. Baird pointed out that the million-plus figure includes all 20 counties the Jeffersonians want to have on board, while the 400,000 figure only included the populations of the states that have already signed declarations in support of the movement.
That man made a few more points questioning the viability of Jefferson, to which some audience members shouted from their seats. Baird politely asked them to let him speak, since everyone has a right to, then said he disagreed with the man’s point of view, “but I defend to the death your right to say it.”
That comment got the formerly irked audience happy again, with lots of cheers and claps to Baird’s pro-First Amendment statement.
Another person – an apparent supporter, clad in a Jefferson T-shirt – asked Baird to explain the financial-viability piece of the Jefferson pie in laymen’s terms so that she could do the same for the people she said frequently ask her about the issue.
Terry Rapoza, a familiar face at local Tea Party meetings and a Jefferson supporter, emceed the event, with plenty of doses of Conservative-American humor.
When asking the audience what counties they represented, Rapoza said he liked Tehama County because “they shoot first and ask questions later.”
Despite such comments and many mentions of “we the people” – the Preamble-derived phrase commonly used at Tea Party functions – Baird stressed multiple times that Jefferson is not “agenda-driven,” and is simply about better representation for the smaller counties, red and blue.
Baird said centering the movement on ideology – not a simple desire for representation—will actually make it fail.
Rapoza also mentioned the event’s media area, but only acknowledged that the Shasta Lantern – the Jefferson movement’s official publication, which openly condemns the Record Searchlight – was there. Taking a covert jab at mainstream local media outlets – at least three of which were present — Rapoza said The Lantern and another independent publication “actually print the truth.”
The event opened with an original song – the apparently Billy Joel-inspired “Jefferson State of Mind” — from a local man who accompanied himself on the guitar.
“Have you seen the bills that we have to pay? It’s not our bill/We had no say/You don’t serve us/You serve LA…You don’t know us/You have no clue/And still you tell us what to do/We don’t know you, what you face/It’s time to start a brand new state,” the man sang to a moody, mid-tempo acoustic beat.
Baird acknowledged that Jefferson may not come to fruition, but one thing has already happened no matter what, he said: People are voicing their desire for more representation.
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Shasta Jefferson Committee
will hold a Town Hall on
Feb. 22, 2015
Senior Citizens Hall
2290 Benton Dr.
Speakers are Mark Baird and Steve Baird
Meeting is free!
5:12 PM, Feb 20, 2015
5:41 PM, Feb 20, 2015
REDDING, California – Chants calling for the North State to bid adieu to California and form its own state of Jefferson will return to Shasta County this weekend.
A town hall to discuss progress and future plans to push for the new state’s formation is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Senior Citizens Hall, 2290 Benton Drive in Redding. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Speakers include Jefferson proponent Mark Baird, a Siskiyou County resident who has helped revive the modern push to form a new state.
“We want to send a message to government that this is a movement for the people, by the people, and we’re not going to let the government stand in the way of equal representation for the people of the North State,” Baird said Friday. “We’ll be talking about our plans in Shasta County. Since the Board of Supervisors refuses to listen to what we even have to say, we’re going to use another method to get a declaration in Shasta County.”
At the heart the movement are calls for representation for rural Northern California counties and residents. Baird said the Jefferson model would ensure one state senator and at least one assembly person for each county in the new state, returning to a legislative structure similar to one used in California up until the mid-1960s.
Already seven counties have issued their support for joining the push to form a 51st state, most recently Lake County whose supervisors voted 3-2 earlier this week to pass a related resolution, the Lake County News reports (http://bit.ly/1MFczJt ). However, supervisors there said they will revisit the matter on March 3 following questions about the resolution’s wording.
Modoc County made national headlines in late 2013 when it became the first county to officially join the Jefferson bid. Others that have issued their backing include Tehama, Glenn, Sutter, Yuba and Siskiyou counties.
While some have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, other counties have not been so willing to break away from the Golden State.
About 57 percent of voters in Tehama County last June approved a ballot measure to join Jefferson, while a majority of Del Norte County residents, some 58 percent, decided against the idea.
Later that same month, Shasta County supervisors voted 4-1 to table discussions about joining Jefferson without hearing a formal presentation, leading some in attendance to question their motives. Supervisor David Kehoe made that motion, adding a stipulation that would require a majority vote from supervisors before revisiting the matter.
Supervisor Bill Schappell was the lone dissenting voice, saying he would favor a formal presentation from Jefferson organizers before voting on the matter.
“We, as a board, need to consider the concerns of our public, and these are huge, valid concerns about the ways regulations are being imposed on people and small businesses,” he said at the time.
The idea to form a state of Jefferson originated from protests in Siskiyou County in 1941 over states’ apathy toward counties in Northern California and southern Oregon. The current push only includes California counties, which could potentially separate from the state legally under Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. However, the idea would have to be approved by a majority of California voters and a majority of Congress.
Local Jefferson advocate Win Carpenter, who is helping organize Sunday’s town hall meeting, did not returns calls seeking comment. Redding resident Terry Rapoza, also a Jefferson supporter, said: “If it’s true, then print it!” But he declined to provide additional details about the meeting.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 02:36
Lake County News
LAKEPORT, Calif. – The majority of a split Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to consider placing before Lake County voters a ballot measure to withdraw from the state of California and join the movement to create a 51st state.
The board voted 3-2 – with Anthony Farrington and Jim Steele dissenting – to move forward with support for forming the state of Jefferson.
There was, however, some confusion about the precise action the board took on Tuesday.
The motion, made by Supervisor Jim Comstock and seconded by Supervisor Rob Brown, stated, “Upon approval by the State Legislature of the petition for withdrawal from the state of California and to form the state of Jefferson, the Lake County Board of Supervisors will consider the measure for placement on the ballot of the next general election.”
However, when clarified later in the meeting, County Counsel Anita Grant raised issue with the motion’s wording, suggesting that bringing it back to local voters after the approval of the State Legislature suggested a fait accompli.
In an effort to clarify the language, the board will bring it back for further discussion and action at 9:15 a.m. at its meeting on Tuesday, March 3.
Jefferson – a concept that began in the 1940s – would include Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba, and several Southern Oregon counties.
With Tuesday’s action, Lake County becomes the seventh Northern California county to show some kind of official support for the idea.
Formal actions to support joining the Jefferson movement already have been made in Glenn, Modoc, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties. Shasta and Plumas counties last year declined to take part.
Making the argument
The audience that filled the board chambers on Tuesday included a number of Jefferson proponents from other parts of the state, including Mendocino, Placer, Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.
During just under two hours of public comment, the board heard from people on both sides of the argument on whether to stay or to go.
Twenty-one people spoke in favor of the proposal, 16 others spoke against it or raised questions that indicated a lack of support. Eight of the speakers were not from Lake County.
Advocates argued that California is ungovernable, that the urban areas carry more sway and that regulations and taxation are unfair. They believe the business climate and job opportunities will improve.
Those against the Jefferson proposal argued that it was more important to try to fix what’s wrong with California rather than create an impoverished new state that would require its own separate bureaucracy. They also raised issues related to loss of state universities and other social impacts, and lack of environmental regulations.
Among those who addressed the board was Mark Baird, spokesman for the Jefferson Declaration Committee.
“This is quite frankly about representation” – even more than about forming a new state, said Baird, who asserted that Northern California counties have no representation in state government. He pointed out that a majority of Lake County voters had supported a measure in 1992 to withdraw from the state
Baird cited a number of regulatory and governmental issues with California, including higher prices of some commodities – like eggs and gasoline – with the latter a result of what he and fellow advocates hold is the onerous regulations of the California Air Resources Board.
Should the Jefferson formation effort be ignored at the state level, Baird said supporters were fully prepared to sue the state for dilution of vote and lack of representation, adding that the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has a strong record on the voter dilution issue.
Kelseyville resident and county historian Ruby Glebe told the board that Jefferson was the last chance to gain back land and rights, and shed heavy tax burdens.
“What a future to hand our upcoming young people,” she said. “No wonder they flee front this state,” noting her granddaughter and other family members have left because opportunities were better in other states.
Glebe, who last year turned 100 years old, said she worked on the Jefferson movement in 1940, the first time it came around. “It looked as if it would go and then the war came,” she said, noting she supported it on its next go-round in 1951.
Jefferson advocate Sally Rapoza of Redding raised issues about state legislation – insurance, tax refunds and driver’s licenses for undocumented workers; water bonds; anti-car bills – and the California Air Resources Board when explaining her support for leaving California.
She said Northern California has a tiny fraction of the government representation seen in the rest of the state. “If we don’t have our own state we’ll be living with what we have right now.”
Hidden Valley Lake resident David Jones said he was excited about the prospect of having more freedom.
Jones said it didn’t make sense that the rural counties didn’t have control of their timber and mining resources, and he believed the north’s business climate would improve thanks to Jefferson.
Ken Delfino, a city councilman from Colfax, said he supported Jefferson due to lack of representation for rural areas. As an example, he shared about his city’s inability to get a state parks grant to renovate its swimming pool on the basis of not being diverse enough.
Delfino – like others during the discussion – also would take issue with big state projects like the high speed rail plan.
Lake County resident Marcia Chauvin said it costs nothing to support the plan, adding that – like the original reason for the colonies breaking away from Great Britain – a key factor was taxation without representation.
Finley resident Phil Murphy said he was concerned with statements that strong environmental regulations, treating animals too humanely or protections for people who work in the agriculture industry are the problems. “I don’t think there’s much validity to those statements.”
While Murphy believes the northern counties could do better for themselves, “Until people demonstrate a clear plan for doing that, I’ve got some real reservations about joining this effort.”
Lower Lake resident Victoria Brandon said the board needed to look at everything the county would lose in the proposed split. That included access to higher education, the tax dollars from other parts of California that subsidize K-12 and other sources needed for a prosperous future.
Jefferson, she said, would not be a viable economic engine, and she questioned the idea of promoting economic growth by getting rid of environmental regulations. She said Lake County depends on protecting its environment for its future.
Several speakers – including Gillian Parrillo of Buckingham – asked for the county to complete a financial analysis before taking any such action. She pointed out that such an analysis had been mentioned the last time the board discussed the matter.
Farrington, the board chair, said that analysis hasn’t been done. Parrillo held that taking such an action without the analysis to back it up, seemed irresponsible. “By you joining this petition, things are going to happen. It is not nonbinding.”
Clelia Baur, a former county planning commissioner who lives in Kelseyville, said she saw a lot of idealism in the discussion about Jefferson. She said it’s an idealistic approach to think that all that has to be done to solve California’s problems is to cut off a new state.
While acknowledging that California has long had a complicated management history due to the differences between north and south, Baur noted, “I’m idealistic, too,” seeing the potential in continuing to work together to make California stronger.
Carlos Negrete, a Middletown Rancheria council member and president of Callayomi Water District, asked the board not to support the Jefferson proposal.
“I don’t think everyone really understands the repercussions of this,” he said, explaining that the region benefits from the larger economies around it.
Tom Jordan of Lakeport also emphasized the need for a thorough financial and policy analysis of the proposal. “It needs to be fully understood.”
Board members share perspectives
A Jefferson supporter told the board that a financial analysis of how the new state would work for the various counties is available at www.soj51.net .
That analysis, based on fiscal year 2014-15 numbers, concludes that Jefferson would have an operating budget of $3 billion, which supporters said proves it’s viable.
Farrington noted that while he previously had asked staff for a separate financial analysis, it was a “gargantuan” task.
He said he’d looked at the financial feasibility that the Jefferson proponents had prepared, and called the analysis “problematic,” as he said it didn’t take into consideration education issues, rural law enforcement monies, Medi-Cal funds provided to fire departments, state royalties for geothermal projects, many social services funded through realignment, court funding, money for game wardens and trapping, fire suppression and the prison system.
Farrington said he also found the Jefferson name problematic, as it was not as well branded as that of California. He said those who didn’t believe him could ask people in agriculture, technology and tourism.
A Northern California state would be a different discussion, said Farrington.
Supervisor Jim Comstock said California’s “one size fits all” approach to addressing problems led to the state’s current situation. He said he wanted to create a viable place for his family, adding he wanted to put the matter before voters.
Steele said he felt the focus should be on the counties. “It’s a geographical issue that’s driving all of the problems.”
He added, “The state has not created all of the problems the county has.”
Steele said he would much rather stay part of California and try to address the problems. “Pulling out of the world’s sixth largest economy seems counterintuitive to me and I just can’t support that.”
Supervisor Jeff Smith said the emails he was getting from constituents were split down the middle on the matter.
He said there are many questions he has about the plan that he hasn’t yet been able to answer.
Brown said he wanted the choice, ultimately, to be up to voters. “It’s a huge decision.”
He said there is no way that the formation of Jefferson could happen in as short a time as a year, adding that he doubted that many of the people involved would see it in their lifetime.
Email Elizabeth Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.