Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:08 am
By Eric Vodden/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuba County supervisors have joined the State of Jefferson movement to separate from Southern California and create a new state — the fourth such North State county to support the idea.
“All of the comments I have received from my constituents is to support doing this,” said Supervisor Roger Abe. “The only negative arguments I have heard is the belief that it won’t succeed. If the only negative is to say that it isn’t going to happen, that’s not bad.”
Abe was joined Tuesday by supervisors Andy Vasquez and John Nicoletti in supporting the movement, while Supervisor Hal Stocker voted in opposition. Stocker, who last month supported the idea, said after the meeting his vote was based on “input from constituents.”
Supervisor Mary Jane Griego was absent.
Yuba County joins Siskiyou, Modoc and Glenn counties in the movement seeking to create a 51st state, free from the political influences of a more populated southern California. Tehama County has also placed an advisory State of Jefferson measure on the June ballot.
Lassen County, Trinity County and Placer County are scheduled to consider supporting the State of Jefferson movement. Sutter County supervisors are also expected to take up the matter in the coming months.
Tuesday’s support by Yuba County supervisors was greeted by a standing ovation from more than 40 supporters, many wearing the gold on kelly green “State of Jefferson, Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt.
“I am so proud of this county and the people in it,” said movement leader Mark Baird after the vote.
Baird said county support will be used in a two-pronged strategy in which state legislators — “a moderate Republican and a moderate Democrat” — would be sought to carry a bill creating a new state. If that is accomplished, he said, the same legislation will be sought in Washington D.C.
In addition, Baird said, a lawsuit is being prepared to file in federal court in the event the effort with the Legislature goes nowhere. Such a lawsuit, among other things, would be based on the North State not having equal representation in the Legislature.
“What it comes down to is that in the state Assembly your vote is worth 0.5 percent and it’s .006 percent in the state Senate,” Baird said. “I suggest we have a lack of representation.”
Although no boundaries have yet been established for a new state, Yuba County is the southernmost county so far to support the idea.
“My feeling is that we are not represented until we see a change in the state Legislature,” Supervisor Andy Vasquez said. “That is not going to change. That can be seen in the water issues right now.”
Abe compared the idea the State of Jefferson movement can’t succeed to the success of the Civil Rights movement, saying there were likely many who said that couldn’t succeed.
“The only way for this type of thing to be successful is to believe in it,” he said.
Nicoletti asked whether it would be better to get support from the entire community through an advisory election in November, though in the end he supported the movement.
Stocker, who last month said, “I am in favor of it 110 percent,” backed off on that stance.
“There is an awful lot to be said for this, though I don’t agree with all of it,” Stocker said. “But I don’t see it succeeding in the environment we have in California at this time.”
Nickey Harris of Marysville encouraged the board to support the movement.
“Don’t let these people with the power and the money tell you it will never happen,” she said.
CONTACT Eric Vodden at 749-4769.