December 16, 2022
A major California county is considering secession because of growing frustration with the progressive direction the state is heading in, reports The Associated Press. San Bernardino County, the state's fifth largest with a population of 2.2 million, approved an advisory ballot proposal allowing local officials to look into the option of seceding from the state. The ballot proposal, known as Measure EE, asked whether the county's representatives should, "study and advocate for all options to obtain the county's fair share of state funding, including secession from the State of California." The possibility of secession was added to the measure by real estate mogul, Jeff Burum, who claimed the state wasn't doing enough to deal with the increasing population, Newsweek reports. This would be the first time since 1959 that there was an attempt to create a new state, however, the likelihood of San Bernardino County actually seceding is very low, AP explains. This is because the request would have to be approved by the state legislature and Congress, which are Democratic strongholds. While the county may not become its own state any time soon, the vote is symbolic of growing political unrest within the country, with the ballot proposal passing by only a thin margin. "A lot of Californians are unhappy in many ways," remarked Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College. "The vote on secession was like smashing the china. It's a way of getting attention but in the end, it doesn't accomplish much."