This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Hundreds of Northern California residents are working to break off into their own state.
The State of Jefferson would be made up of 20 counties.
Saturday, members of the Nevada County Committee to form the State of Jefferson rallied along Highway 49.
“It’s absolutely necessary for the rural counties. We have no representation in Sacramento,” Dann Coenen, a State of Jefferson supporter said.
The group believes California is too large to govern and as a result, rural communities are suffering.
“The cities are passing legislation – I don’t think its malicious – but they’re passing legislation that helps the cities and were suffering the unintended consequences of those decisions,” Coenen said.
Jefferson would span from the Oregon border down to Placer and Mendocino Counties.
So far, two of the 20 counties have submitted paperwork to separate. Four more are preparing to file in less than two weeks.
The group from Nevada County has not filed but they’re hoping to soon.
They say it could take several years to make the 51st state a reality, but they believe it will happen.
“We feel that we have momentum, we have interest, we have citizens all over these 20 counties who are interested in learning about a new 51st state,” Fran Freedle said.
The formation of a new state hasn’t happened for over a century.
“It’s happened before, over 150 years ago when West Virginia split off, but it’s pretty unconventional, Coenen said.
“But you feel, possible?”
“I think its very possible. I think its something we have to work on until it gets done,” he replied.
On January 15th, State of Jefferson supporters will rally at the capitol as four more counties plan to file paperwork to separate.