The United States and Cascadian flags reside side-by-side in the Mercury news cave.
The United States and Cascadian flags reside side-by-side in the Mercury news cave. Dirk VanderHart

It took less than 24 hours for Donald Trump's victory to inspire a formal proposal that Oregon secede from the United States. (What's the Oregon version of Brexit? ORExit?)

Two Portlanders—writer Chris Trejbal and attorney Jennifer Rollins—floated a ballot measure Wednesday that, if passed by voters in 2018, would direct Oregon's leadership to "actively pursue Oregon’s peaceful secession from the United State of America." The state would also have to seek to unite with other states that had also seceded, including Washington, California, Nevada, and Hawaii. True to that old Cascadia dream, British Columbia is also tossed in. Curiously, red Alaska gets the nod, while Trump-loving Idaho does not.

"We are serious about starting a conversation," says Trejbal. "How that conversation goes will dictate whether we pursue it further."

At bare minimum, he says, backers will show up to two Trump-related events planned this evening at Pioneer Courthouse Square to gather the 1,000 valid "sponsorship" signatures required to formally draft ballot language.

An additional 88,184 signatures would be required to land the measure on the 2018 ballot. Then, you know, we'd have to figure out how to sustain an economy. The Oregonian first reported on the ballot measure push.

Trejbal says he and Rollins have thought for years that Oregon's values had moved away from more central parts of the country, but that they hadn't discussed a ballot measure until the reality of a Trump-led nation set in Wednesday morning.

"Oregon doesn't really fit in the US anymore," he says.

We asked if his proposal was realistic, and Trejbal let out a sigh. "I don't have an answer to that," he said. "Well, actually I do have an answer to that."

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He concedes that there would be a "high" legal hurdle, and that Oregon could struggle to sustain its own economy (though if California piled on, we might be okay). He also says he thinks a Republican-led federal government could be convinced to let the ultra-blue West Coast flee the union.

"Potentially we could make a go of it," he says.

The Mercury has taken issue with Trejbal's ideas in the past. As a board member of the Overlook Neighborhood Association, he's fought continuously against the organized homeless camp Hazelnut Grove—even pushing for a list of its residents to be made public. (Trejbal has defended that stance.) The neighborhood association was also among plaintiff's in a lawsuit against Mayor Charlie Hales' defunct "safe-sleep" policy.