There was an article in last week's Economist magazine about a growing movement in two counties in southern Arizona which includes the city of Tucson who desire to secede from Arizona and name their new state Baja Arizona. Apparently, the citizens of Tucson do not identify very closely with their neighbors to the north in Phoenix. The Tucsonians say they realize they live in a desert and maintain rock lawns and cacti to happily exist. They claim the people in Phoenix are mostly transplants from other areas and bring their desires for green lawns with them and do not respect the limited water supply. Furthermore, the Phoenix area is ardently Republican and nativist in their attitudes towards immigration while the Tucsonians consider themselves moderate, cultured, and more pragmatic concerning immigration issues. A hearty few of Tucson's citizens are now trying to further the secession issue through ballot measures and legislative proposals. Here's to Baja Arizona.
Similarly, I learned in the same article there has been a quiet movement here in the northwest the past few decades to form the area of land from Portland up north to Vancouver, BC as a new state and name it Cascadia. Likewise with the Baja Arizonans, many Cascadians do not identify very much with their neighbors in the eastern parts of Washington and Oregon and have the idea to forge ahead with their likeminded peers and inaugurate Cascadia.
Many people talk about breaking apart the hodgepodge which is California and every election cycle it seems as if Texas is ready to separate itself and build an electrified fence between itself and every border they possess. I realize the idea of Baja Arizona and Cascadia will never come to pass, but sometimes it's pleasant to sit back and imagine a state called Cascadia. It has a certain relaxing ring to it. I'll keep you posted if I run into a button or poster trying to further the cause :)