‘CalExit’ in the works?

illustration shows california seperates from the rest of the United States
California succeeding from the United States. Photo credit: Nicole Wong

In this current political climate, California has been vocal about its discontent with the current presidential administration. As a result, protesters now demand that California secedes itself from the United States.

According to Tyler Hughes, a political science assistant professor at CSUN, this could not legally happen. “Since there is nothing in the constitution that says what to do when a state wants to leave, it just seems not possible,” Hughes said.

Nevertheless, people are signing petition forms. Individuals can access petition forms through the website YesCalifornia.org. YesCalifornia is an organization that aims to give “the people of California the chance to vote to remain a part of the Union, or to separate from it to become its own independent country.” The organization is pushing the issue towards the spring 2019 ballot.

“Even though this won’t happen, people showing their displeasure can show what some people are feeling, which can maybe cause some change to happen,” said Hughes.

California’s attempt at secession is reminiscent of Great Britain, which recently voted to leave the European Union. However, Brexit, as it has come to be known, has been an example of how vulnerable California could be when and if it leaves.

“I would be so nervous for California’s future,” said Bianca Hacopian, a 19-year-old engineering student. “It could be chaos and just a repeat of what happen to Britain when it left the European Union.”

The common concern among some students was how California was going to function without everything else the U.S. has to offer.

Cesiah Sandoval, an economics major, said, “It’s the fear of the unknown that scares me.” Sandoval said it would be difficult to start all over economic-wise. “It would be a clean slate but at what cost?”

“I think it is a dumb idea,” said Christian Fernandez, a mechanical engineer major. “California is not going to be able to stand on its own.”

Even though there is all this negativity, information is out there to inform people about California leaving the U.S. According to YesCalifornia, as the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France.

“It’s good to be accepting and learn from others and their opinions,” said Fernandez. “I think it’s good to have both liberal and conservative standpoints because it makes people have a well-rounded exposure and it’s healthy to see and understand different perspectives.”