Jordan Dailey is a 16 year old Yreka High School student. She loves photography as well as painting with acrylics. She lives with her family in a small house in Yreka with her sister Rebekah, her mother and her father. She is planning on becoming a phlebotomist after high school. She has aspirations to become a teacher or possibly a nurse. The topic of her essay discusses what it is like to live in a town centered around old values and old ideas in the 21st century.

This letter was submitted by a Siskiyou County high school student as part of the Siskiyou Writes! camp. Students identified a community issue or concern of interest to them, researched the issue, and wrote a polished piece that proposes action of some kind.

 “Currently in California, we have the second highest tax rate in the nation.”

“Property tax is 10th highest in the country.”

“Northern California holds two out of 40 seats in the California Senate.”

“Social Services are 32% of a three million dollar budget.”

These are claims made by the community of people who consider themselves part of Jefferson State, and most are biased in their interpretation.

Most of the information presented is outdated. The State of Jefferson, as the 51st state, was an idea presented and was supported greatly by the individuals in the area.

Defined by the official website of the movement, the State of Jefferson is 21 counties across northern California. In the 20th century, secession from California seemed attainable. In the 21st century, these are just proposals. There are numbers presented, ideas, petitions, and GoFundMes, yet the idea of a separate state still seems like such a far away idea.

The idea of the State of Jefferson has been circulating for decades, however this notion has been revived in recent years. A vote was taken by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, four to one, for a withdrawal from California to form the State of Jefferson.

Most of the community that support this idea is comprised of older people; the younger generations seem to be compliant. Their parents have taught them that this is their future.

Kids who are going to our schools are promoting this “state” that they have done no research on. They have no idea what it stands for. These teenagers support the idea of seceding but do not understand the logistics it entails.

A large population of young people do not understand the amount of petition names, the amount of donations, or the amount of commitment to the cause. The people who do understand the logistics and needs don’t necessarily think it is feasible, for the amount of work that is needed. The main reasons for succession in this case are underrepresentation and the eagerness for lower taxes.

As a younger person who was previously ill-educated and was completely supportive of the plan, I was just like many people in my community. Now that I’ve gotten older I understand it was a viable plan when it was first thought of in 1941, but over the past 78 years, things have changed.

Now instead of taxes being too high, it is a combination of that and the fact that northern Californians feel underrepresented but refuse to go to a place where they will be. They dig their heels in and feel as if their cry for “independence” is spurned.

I, being only 16, feel as if I will be ignored. Who is going to listen to a young teenage girl rant and pontificate about the current climate of her surroundings? Other young people, and those who care about how we are going to improve our community as a whole.

Some individuals in the older community don’t always think of how they are going to improve the atmosphere for our young people. Young people are going to improve our local environment, yet we are still scrutinized for bringing fresh objectives to better our collective society.

We are growing up in the aftermath of a changing millenium, so we are the product of a 21st century lifestyle living in the territory of 20th century ideology. I feel as if it is my responsibility to call adolescents to continue to educate themselves to make an informed commitment.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

- Malcolm Little