Where Would the 6 Capitals Be?

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Yes, yes, it won’t happen. But Six Californias is so much fun that it’s become the summer story of 2014.

Proponent Tim Draper foolishly won’t let states name themselves but his initiative is silent on a crucial question: the location of capitals of the new state. The Internet abhors a vacuum, so let’s fill it with some possible capitals for the six states.

JEFFERSON

Favorite as capital: Redding, right in the middle.

Dark horse: Eureka, cool on the coast and permitting Jefferson to take California’s motto with them.

Best choice: Medford, Oregon, since Jefferson would quickly become a poor client state of Oregon, where southern counties have agitated for a split as well.

 

NORTH CALIFORNIA

Favorite: Sacramento, because they already have the dome and everything. Dark horse: Mill Valley, because Marin folks would see other counties as beneath them.

Best choice: Fairfield, as a nod to the most important place in the state – the Delta.

 

SILICON VALLEY

Favorite: Whoever wins the war between San Francisco and San Jose. Dark horse: Oakland, as a compromise choice if things get out of hand. Best choice: Monterey, which people actually want to visit.

 

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Favorite: Fresno, the biggest city in the new state.

Dark horse: Bakersfield, with oil money and political pull.

Best choice: Visalia, a little gem that would be a good ambassador for a poor state.

 

WEST CALIFORNIA

Favorite: Los Angeles, because it’s L.A.

Dark horse: Santa Barbara, pretty and central for a state that goes all thew way north through San Luis Obispo County.

Best choice: Long Beach, as symbol of this state’s commitment to trade and to give a boost to a big city that could use one.

SOUTH CALIFORNIA

Favorite: San Diego, South California’s Finest City.

Dark horse: Riverside, a working-class crossroads in the new state.

Best choice: San Clemente, because it’s a beautiful place to think.

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