A group of 11 counties in northern Colorado will decide on Tuesday whether to express their discontent with state lawmakers through a push to form their own state,CNN reported.
“We’re tired of being ignored, we’re tired of being politically disenfranchised,” Weld County commissioner Sean Conway told CNN. “If you don’t wake up and you don’t start to change things, you’re going to see more movements like this begin to take a more serious face and move towards creating our own political entity that we believe will protect our very way of life and our economy.”
The non-binding resolution will ask voters in Weld and the other affected counties whether they support breaking away to form their own state, North Colorado. But a formal plan would require approval at both the state and federal level.
Conway told CNN that the initiative was spurred by the signing of state Senate Bill 13-252 in June 2013, which he felt hurt rural communities by increasing the renewable-energy minimums for the state’s energy providers.
“We’re not renewable-energy unfriendly out here in rural Colorado, but when you start imposing mandates different on other folks than yourself, that’s the definition of tyranny,” Conway explained. “I think it’s kind of where this whole issue started to manifest itself.”
However, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck has gone on record with his opposition to the measure, dubbed the “51st State Initiative,” arguing that the existing political system is still the best way for rural residents to voice their opinions.
“I think what’s happening is that things are moving so fast the people don’t feel included in the process,” Buck told CNN. “We’ve legalized marijuana. We’ve legalized civil unions. We’ve legalized a lot of things very quickly. That’s a lot of change for people to accept.”