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    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, Marcus Ruiz Evans, center, of The Yes California Independence Campaign, talks to passersby about California succeeding from the United States and becoming its own nation in Sacramento, Calif.

    California Independence Advocates Get Green Light to Start Signature Collection

    © AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli
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    The "Yes California" campaign has seen an incredible rise in the number of its members since Donald Trump became US president. Historically, this is not the first initiative of the kind, but all previous attempts have failed.

    The "Yes California" advocacy group, which promotes the idea of an independent California, has been granted permission by California's secretary of state to start collecting signatures in favor of conducting a plebiscite concerning the future of the state, reports Fox News. If they manage to gather some 365,880 signatures by the middle of October then, in 2020, the state's citizens will be able to vote on whether or not to start the process of seceding from the US the following year.

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    Marcus Ruiz Evans and Louis J. Marinelli, co-founders of the group, do not think that the gap before the first vote is too great — they believe that they will need time to explain to Californians the meaning of a Calexit (the other, colloquial, name of the initiative).

    They have said that their initiative is left-wing and progressive in nature and therefore "don't like Trump." According to the co-founders, the number of supporters of "Yes California" has quadrupled since Trump was elected as president of the US.

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    The idea of California separating from other US states isn't new, but all previous initiatives have ultimately failed. At the same time, two parallel projects exist that suggest a "mere" reconfiguration of the state's borders, claiming doing so would improve life in the state. One such proposal suggests splitting California into 3 separate states, a notion introduced by billionaire Tim Draper. The other, called "New California," advocates cutting off the state's rural counties as "ungovernable."


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