REDDING (CBS13) — There are a growing number of Northern Californians who strongly believe that without splitting the state, their way of life will disappear forever.
The two biggest movements are called Six Californias and The State of Jefferson. Both are grassroots efforts that have one thing in common—saving their livelihoods through fair representation.
Northern California has been called the crown jewel of the state, but what you can’t see beneath the beauty of the environment is the political upheaval that’s been bubbling for decades.
“My name’s Robert Smith, and I’m just a guy who wants to fix things for his kids,” he said.
Smith is one of many who lives and works in northern rural counties like Shasta County and feels forgotten, ignored and disenfranchised.
He left his job with RLT Trucking in Redding a few weeks ago, when he says he saw the writing on the wall—his once-expanding company’s fleet was quickly shrinking.
“Every single one of these trucks used to have a driver in them, and now they’re out of work because of the smog in L.A.,” he said.
He blames strict air quality regulations that force them to retrofit older trucks with diesel filters. Those expensive repairs can cost as much as $17,000 per vehicle.
He says they’re regulations that serve no real purpose for the already-clean air of the northern part of the state.
“It’s really California’s one-size-fits-all policies that crush Northern California,” he said.
That issue is at the heart of one grassroots movement that’s been active since 1941.