A brief history
Yes California is an online network and community of academics, activists, and agitators who share the common belief that California should be an independent country. The reasons for this are many but generally boil down to these common points: (1) California is a distinct society with its own unique history and culture that ought to have its own country, (2) California as the world’s fifth largest economy has what it takes to be its own country, and simply speaking, (3) the best people to govern California are the people of California.
Our effort for full independence was launched in 2015 during the midst of the Scottish independence referendum that year. We took such inspiration from Scotland that we reorganized Sovereign California, an effort to pursue partial autonomy from the United States, into the full California independence secession campaign known around the world today as Calexit. Thus it would be inaccurate to say that the campaign for independence started as a result of the 2016 presidential election – we were circulating independence petitions in California before Donald Trump even announced his candidacy for president.
Since its founding in 2015, Yes California pursued a strategy of achieving California independence via referendum – a referendum put on the ballot by qualifying an citizen’s ballot initiative. Those efforts proved very successful for Yes California, bringing local, statewide, national, and international attention to our cause. However, since our beginning we have always said that our effort must include three fronts: (1) a conversation with the people of California on why they should vote to become an independent country, (2) a conversation with the people of the 49 other states as to why they should allow California to secede from the Union, and (3) an effort to secure recognition of California independence from the international community – absolutely necessary for California to become an independent country.
This year, Yes California announced its shift in focus away from a statewide citizen’s ballot initiative to put an independence referendum on the ballot to its present endeavor, the Consent of the States Project, an effort to pass a resolution in a majority of the Nation’s state legislatures that gives the State of California consent to constitutionally secede from the United States and become an independent country.
Now we are organizing this effort – and we have a window of perfect opportunity. Under existing Supreme Court precedent in Texas v. White, a state may constitutionally secede from the United States “through the consent of the states”. That is the basis of the Consent of the States Project. Now is the perfect time to obtain this consent. Outside California, the people who most ardently support the idea of California secession are conservatives. Right now, the Republican Party controls the legislatures of 31 states across the country. We just need 25 of them to pass a resolution granting California its consent to exit the Union. And that is our goal and that is what we are working to achieve.