Mayor Reed Takes Meeting on Splitting California into Six States

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed eats, sleeps and positively spits pension reform. He slammed through PR in San Jose with the help of voters in 2012, and while Measure B hasn’t accomplished everything it wanted, Reed’s doubled down with a proposed statewide measure (also being challenged in court).

Getting the money to put a PR initiative on the state ballot takes beaucoup bucks, which is part of the reason Reed’s been speaking at conferences across the country the last year while rallying support from hedge-fund billionaires like Paul Singer and venture capitalist Michael Moritz.

But it seemed a little odd when Reed’s calendar showed a Jan. 31 meeting with Tim Draper, the third-generation VC who coined the term “viral marketing.” Draper has a proposed initiative of his own called the “Six Californias,” which is the kind of perfectly ridiculous idea only rich people can get away with.

Draper suggests splitting the state into six performance-art style slices of pie, which would include leaving Silicon Valley and San Francisco buddied up in a bottle-opener shaped territory. A spokesperson for Reed said the mayor often takes meetings with VC folks to encourage them to locate their businesses in San Jose. But could it be that Reed was simply waiting for Draper to tire out on the crazy talk before turning the discussion to pension reform? The mayor’s spokesperson said that Reed is unlikely to support the Six State initiative but “has all sorts of irons in the fire.”

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. This guy is way loonier than I would have ever guessed. Hey Reed, you are a Mayor and nothing more. We don’t have Emperors in California or the rest of the Country.
    Are you proposing a realignment of California similar to that of Europe after WWII. I’d see a doctor about your delusion of grandeur, it might be serious!

  2. I understand that Mayor Reed is very unpopular at this site, but this issue is much, MUCH larger than some soon-to-be-ex-Mayor of California’s third-largest city.  The idea of breaking California into multiple states is going to be on the November ballot, and its actually a very serious proposal that deserves real consideration.

    I think its actually quite obviously a beneficial notion, in that presently that state of, say, South Dakota (with a population of approximaterly 800,000 people) has effectively fifty times the per capita representation that California’s 40 million people have within the U.S. Senate.  I mean, seriously, is there some rational reason why states on the east coast should be well represented in the U.S. Senate, while everything between Oregon and Mexico should be corralled into a single state?  Because if so, I’m not seeing it.

    I would tinker with the proposed borders a bit, and I HATE the idea of San Jose being part of a state called “Silicon Valley” (the idea of naming a state after a marketing term is patently offensive), but I’m at a loss to understand why anyone would be in favor of the ludicrous status quo.  California is way too big, and by breaking her up into six states, each state would be able to experiment with innovative new systems of governance & social organization.  Who wouldn’t like the idea of getting out from under the ossified gang of bipartisan nincompoops known as the California Legislature?!? 

    Smaller is better.

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