Yes Cascadia works for a referendum for the independence of the Cascadia bioregion. Beyond that - it's up to the people here, and many nations on what exactly that means. It was launched November 2016, with hundreds of people attending meetings throughout dozens of cities within Cascadia. Cascadia remains one of the largest active independence movements in North America. Yes Cascadia is a grassroots and all volunteer run organization.
Yes Cascadia seeks to hold an initiative process that would be jointly held in Oregon, Washington, British Cascadia and Idaho, as well as counties within the Cascadia bioregion and along the borders that choose to participate in portions of Northern California, Western Montana and Southern Alaska. Upon a successful vote, a constituent assembly would be formed by the respective governments of those areas to explore forming a new government or governments, informed by and with all the benefits of a modern governing system, body and constituent, and enter into immediate negotiations for halting and repaying debts incurred by and owed through the reckless spending of the United States (and to a much smaller extent the Canadian) governments. Negotiations would also be entered into with the many First Nations that share the bioregion, to form a confederation, or to establish terms for indigenous sovereignty.
The Cascadia independence movement has been featured by countless of publications, including USA today, Yes Magazine, the Guardian, New York Times, Seattle Times, The Seattle MET, the Seattle Stranger, Oregonian, chosen by Vice Magazine as their personal favorite secessionist movement, and one of Time Magazine's most likely Aspiring Nations - behind Tibet, Scotland, and Quebec.
As of 2017, as measured by the combination of the states and provinces making up the Cascadia bioregion (not including California):
- Population: 16 million people (16,029,520). Roughly equivalent to Ecuador, Guatemala, or Scandinavia.
- GDP: 1.613147 trillion worth of goods and services annually, placing it as the worlds 9th largest economy, larger than Russia and roughly equivalent to that of Canada or Italy.
- Land Area: By land area Cascadia would be the 20th largest country in the world, with a land area of 534,572 sq mi (1,384,588 km2), placing it behind Mongolia.
With a GDP of 356 billion, Cascadia's largest city Seattle has an economy slightly smaller than Thailand, but larger than Colombia and Venezuela. The region also has one of the fastest growing clean energy sectors in the world, is energy sufficient, generating almost all of its energy based on renewable resources, and already exports electricity to surrounding states and provinces.
The Cascadia movement is a bioregional movement that has existed since the 1980's and is rooted in the idea that culture stems from place and that natural borders are more representative of our inhabitants than lines on a map drawn by people thousands of miles away.
About the Cascadia Bioregion:
The Cascadia Bioregion encompasses all or portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta. The Cascadia Bioregion is the Pacific Northwest as defined through our watersheds. The delineation of a bioregion is defined through watersheds and ecoregions, with the belief that political boundaries should match ecological and cultural boundaries, and that culture stems from place.
As a coastal bioregion, it is gateway for trade to and from North America, has the largest civilian ferry fleet in the world, holds nine of eleven deep water ports and dry-dock facilities on the West Coast. In terms of Climate, our home contains the largest tracts of untouched old growth temperate rainforests in the world, 7 of the top 10 worlds carbon absorbing forests, the worlds tallest trees, thousands of volcanoes, hot springs, rivers, lakes, inlets, island and ocean, and some of the last diminishing, though still impressive wild habitats of salmon, wolves, bear, whale, orca and other amazing, but rapidly disappearing creatures.
These facts matter a lot, because ultimately, by living here, Cascadians have a disproportionate ability to effect and inspire global policy and imagination.
The local impact that we have here in Cascadia, reverberates around the world.