Which begs the question: What do we know about Siskiyou County? First of all, it’s here:
At 6,347 square miles, Siskiyou County is larger than Rhode Island, Delaware or Connecticut.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, its population of 44,154 accounts for about 0.1 percent of California’s population; it’s about 78.6 percent white, 11.1 percent Latino, 4.5 percent American Indian/Alaskan native, 1.5 percent black and 1.3 percent Asian.
About 88.8 percent of the county’s adults are at least high school graduates (more than the state’s 80.8 percent) but only about 22.3 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher (less than the state’s 30.2 percent).
Siskiyou County’s median income is $37,865, compared to California’s $61,632, and its percentage of people below the poverty level from 2007 through 2011 – 18.4 percent – is well higher than California’s 14.4 percent.
The state Employment Development Department reports Siskiyou County’s unemployment rate in July was 11.5 percent, well above California’s 9.3 percent rate. It doesn’t have a very diverse economic base; almost half of its major employers are public agencies and institutions.
The Secretary of State’s office reports that about 41 percent of Siskiyou County’s registered voters are Republicans, 32 percent are Democrats and 20 percent state no party preference. Although supervisors are elected on a nonpartisan basis, three board members are Republicans, one’s a Democrat and one has no party preference; it was the independent who voted against secession.
All of which is moot, considering that secession can only happen legally with consent from the state and federal governments (not gonna happen) and Siskiyou County doesn’t seem to have the standing army it would need to secede by other-than-legal means.
That said, since they’re blue-skying up there, let’s blue-sky too. It seems to me that Siskiyou and its fellow Jeffersonian counties in California and Oregon – though undeniably hurting economically under their current circumstances – would have a much harder time on their collective own than either existing state would have in their absence. Thoughts?