It has recently been reported by The Guardian that a northern California town has declared itself a “constitutional republic” in response to Covid-19 health restrictions imposed by the governor, in the latest sign of strife between the state’s government and its rural and conservative regions.
The city council in Oroville, located at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills about 90 miles from the capital of Sacramento, adopted a resolution this week stating it would oppose state and federal orders it deems to be government overreach.
Oroville leaders said the designation was a way of affirming the city’s values and pushing back against state rules it doesn’t agree with, although a legal expert said the designation was merely a gesture and did not grant the city any new authority.
Tensions have existed throughout the pandemic between the rural north and California’s leadership, which has been among the first to implement lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccination requirements.
In Butte county, fierce opposition to Covid lockdowns and school closures drove support for recalling the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, with 51% of voters in the county backing the ultimately failed effort. Newsom’s policies, however, appear to have worked and the state had the lowest Covid infection rate in the US last month.Advertisement
Last year, Oroville refused to enforce state requirements prohibiting indoor dining. Butte county, where Oroville is located, declined to recommend a mask mandate earlier this fall, even as cases surged and a a local medical center reported treating more patients than at any other point during the pandemic.
The Insider went onto say that according to a report from ABC 7, the Oroville City Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of the resolution after the city’s Vice Mayor Scott Thomson requested it. “It’s just basically drawing the line,” Thompson said, according to the report. “It’s not necessarily against one specific mandate, we’re not talking about one mandate that’s been pushing on us recently it’s a barrage of mandates.” “I think it’s time for us to draw a line in the sand,” he added, according to CBS 13. “Enough is enough.”