The problem is bigger than a small state
I’m very interested in what Alec Ross would do to reestablish representative democracy in the political system we now have. I wish it were possible but I don’t think it is. Perhaps in Maryland things can be improved but, by and large, New England is not the center of collapse. That is a surviving and evolving region. And, while I certainly understand your commitment to salvaging the US as a federal system, I’ve increasingly come to see that as an answer looking for a question.
The question that exists is how to move diverse and mobile populations back into direct ownership and control of government. At the geographic level that is, predominantly, urban regions with attached rural support for local produce and renewable energy production.
In a planetary economy, which is not going away despite stupidity and reactionary movements, the value to urban regions is broader, direct cultural, intellectual, and trade alliances leading to possible confederation. In this context the baggage of 18th century nation states is confusing and redundant.
Admittedly that leaves the problem of Trumpistan which is as issue of the portion of the population in areas that are not economically viable. That is a large generalization but valid. Removing the confusion built by destructive Republican propaganda, rural areas are home to socially and intellectually conservative people who are a minority increasingly at risk for their antiquated social structure. Those areas not incorporated into urban regions could, perhaps, become autonomous regions with self government limited to member population. Everyone else would be granted extraterritoriality. Since these regions are increasingly economic dependencies the provision of a basic income and free education along with their ‘freedom’ would be traded for migration into and out of these areas as a personal choice.
But I doubt that this is what Alex Ross is proposing.