1:46pm

Tue September 10, 2013
Politics

Weld County Commissioners Stand Firm On 51st State Initiative

As 51st state movements gather more attention nationwide, Weld County Commissioners are aiming to give the Colorado movement a ‘platform and a voice.’

The idea of forming a new state has garnered national attention since it was first proposed by Weld County in June. The proposal isn’t alone anymore in the headlines either. The long-proposed state of Jefferson in California is getting attention again with Siskiyou county supervisors voting to support the split.

Western Maryland’s rural counties are also now seeing a nascent movement to split from the more urban centers in the state.

One of the reasons cited in the California and Maryland movements is a dissatisfaction with their state’s legislature. “We need our own state so we can make laws that fit our way of life,” Gabe Garrison told the Redding Record Searchlight on the proposed split from California.

That feeling of political disenfranchisement between urban and rural needs is nothing new; it has even been expressed before in Colorado -back when the state was barely a year old.

In their press release, the Weld Commissioners write: “few people outside of rural Colorado truly understand the frustration Coloradans are experiencing with regard to the state Legislature and Colorado’s Governor.”

To remedy that perception, they plan to release editorials regarding the 51st state initiative over the next six weeks.

According to the press release:

We do not believe it is a waste of time to go out into the community and provide an opportunity for residents to be heard. We do not think it is a waste of energy to discuss your concerns and listen to your frustrations. We do not think it is a waste of money to exercise one of our fundamental rights under the constitution – the right to vote. We do not think it is audacious to stand up to a government that has failed to live up to our expectations.

Most recently, the 51st state initiative in Colorado has moved beyond the original northeastern counties with some Southern Colorado counties being approached. Moffat County has considered the ballot measure and approached Wyoming about annexation. Grand County, located centrally just to the west of Boulder, has passed on pursuing a ballot measure.

Weld County Commissioner Doug Rademacher penned the first 51st state editorial. Focused on the rural-urban agricultural divide, it's embedded below: