Venture capitalist Tim Draper is investing his energy in a new project: six Californias. The tech investor is working to rally support for a ballot initiative that would effectively, as its name suggests, slice California into six individual states. One of the states would be Silicon Valley.
"We're simply too big and bloated," Draper told attendees at a news conference from Draper University of Heroes, the San Mateo school for aspiring startup CEOs he opened earlier this year, the San Jose Mercury News reports. "I think every one of these states will become wealthy as a result. The current system has a horrible problem of haves and have-nots."
According to Draper’s proposal, the boundaries of the six new states would look like this:
State of Jefferson
A new state, named Jefferson, would include the territory represented by the boundaries of the following counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity.
State of North California
A new state, named North California, would include the territory represented by the following counties:, Amador, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba.
State of Central California
A new state, named Central California, would include the territory represented by the boundaries of the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne.
State of Silicon Valley
A new state, named Silicon Valley, would include the territory represented by the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.
State of West California
A new state, named West California, would include the territory represented by the following counties: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Ventura.
State of South California
A new state, named South California, would include the territory of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
The Impact on Technology
For analysis of the proposal, we turned to Rob Enderle, a principal analyst at The Enderle Group. He told us Draper’s plan would allow the state called Silicon Valley to largely focus on and fund technology.
“Silicon Valley would be much better able to protect itself. And arguably the states that had more agriculture could be structured more for agricultural interests,” Enderle said. “You get better representation in Congress, which gives you a much louder voice -- a voice probably more in keeping with the number of people that are here -- and a much tighter focus to promote the area as a place for technology and to promote the technology itself both nationally and internationally.”
Although he admits he has doubts that Draper can pull it off, Enderle said breaking California into six states would spur a powerful boost to the technology in Silicon Valley. He’s also not writing off Draper’s plan because, he said, if you get enough money and disenfranchised people behind an idea anything could happen.
“Here in California we have strong differences of opinion, right and left. The state operates fairly liberally but there are real estate areas that are conservative. The John Birch Society was founded in Orange County. That’s as conservative as you get. The conservatives look at that group and call them conservative. And they are not being represented at all,” Enderle said. “Draper’s plan would help the groups in the conservative portions of the state get the representation they deserve.”
Posted: 2013-12-28 @ 12:54am PT
Draper should get back to his desk, and get back to the business of research and financing of tech firms.