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Poll Shows Solano County Voters Overwhelmingly Reject California Forever

Press Release

April 4, 2024

For more information, contact:

Daniela Ades, dades@greenbelt.org, 1-415-792-9226


SUISUN CITY - A poll conducted by the nationally recognized group FM3 found that Solano County voters are overwhelmingly opposed to California Forever’s proposal to build a new city of 400,000 residents in a remote part of Eastern Solano County. When it comes to the proposed “East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative” for the November election, 70% of poll participants say they would vote no if elections were held today.


There is an unusually high level of voter awareness about this project as compared to the majority of ballot initiatives at this point in the campaign. Polling data reveals that Solano County residents are well aware of the proposed California Forever project—three-quarters (76%) have heard about it—and also shows that the more they know, the less likely they are to support it. Of those who indicated that they have heard “a lot” about the proposal, 79% are opposed. Opposition cuts across every major demographic and geographic subgroup of the Solano County electorate.


Additionally, poll results highlight the profound public mistrust of the backers of California Forever. Flannery Associates' approach has sowed distrust by deploying secretive tactics, keeping their identity elusive, suing farmers, and misleading the public, government officials, and landowners about their intentions. Trust is a major concern for Solano County voters, and these secretive and duplicitous tactics have contributed to strong opposition to this project. Voters view Flannery Associates unfavorably by an 8% to 34% margin and view California Forever unfavorably by a 16% to 42% margin.


Solano County voters care deeply about preserving their community's agricultural heritage and the ecological and habitat resources surrounding their cities. They are enthusiastic about a future with more investment in homes, jobs, and infrastructure within their existing cities to benefit current and future residents. They are not interested in allowing a group of outside interests who have been secretly planning a project to benefit their own investors at the expense of local farmers to shape the future of the County. They see through the empty promises of the project proponents and understand the adverse effects this project will have on the County’s future. 


These results send a powerful message—this is not what the Solano County people want.

Voters want to see more housing and better-paying jobs in the region while also protecting their agricultural lands and natural resources and strengthening existing cities. We call on the California Forever team to rethink the harmful, divisive approach of a ballot measure reversing decades of thoughtful planning and agricultural protection in Solano County. There is still time to reverse course and come to the table for a genuinely community-driven process to strengthen farming, ecological, and climate resilience protections and refocus investments within our existing diverse and growing Solano County cities.


FM3 Research conducted the poll with 428 likely November 2024 voters in Solano County between March 4 and 10, 2024, interviewed by phone and online. The margin of sampling error is ±4.9%, with a 95% confidence interval. See more details in the memo below.


Reactions from Solano Together Coalition supporters:


“Solano residents have been rightly skeptical about this billionaire boondoggle. California Forever’s so-called promises are no more than a bunch of malarkey, and they should give up their ill-fated plans that will never deliver on their pie in the sky fantasies.”—US Representative Mike Thompson.


“It’s absolutely clear that, with the unbiased facts, the public doesn’t support this ill-advised, poorly conceived development. Solano County’s residents see through the thin facade painted by California Forever to huge, unaddressed impacts on traffic, water, agriculture, and Travis Air Force Base.”—Senator Bill Dodd.


“These poll results come as no surprise— after the years of deception, ongoing lawsuits, and shady tactics with signature gathering, it should be perfectly clear—Solano County is not for sale. I am disappointed that California Forever has failed to provide accurate information to our constituents and working families in Solano County. The promise of affordable housing was shattered once the price tag started at 1 million dollars. We hope Flannery takes the message that Solano residents do not want to green-light a project riddled with issues that would only result in longer commute times and decreased resources for existing needs and services in existing cities.”—Princess Washington, Mayor Pro-Tem of Suisun City & Chair of the Sierra Club of Solano County.


“We are passionate about our role in the Solano Together coalition because it offers an opportunity to connect the dots on important issues around the County.  While I represent folks passionate about the vital plants and wildlife threatened by California Forever’s proposal, I am also passionate about creating affordable housing options that will limit development pressure in these biodiversity hotspots. As we look forward past November, the renewal of the Orderly Growth Initiative is certainly a high priority for us in ensuring that we can meet our joint goals while minimizing impacts to people and the planet.“—Pamela Muick, President of Willis Jepson Chapter of California Native Plant Society, Fairfield Resident


“It’s moving to know that folks around the County are with us. Not just with us as farmers but also with us taking a stand against the truly destructive and dishonest tactics that Flannery has taken to get here. But poll results aside, the reality is that they’re still pursuing a lawsuit against small farmers for millions of dollars and are still the owners of 60,000 acres of Solano ranch land.  What will it take for these guys just to walk away? ”—Will Brazelton, Solano County Farm Bureau President.


“It has been disturbing to witness how California Forever has approached signature gathering and their response to numerous reports of misleading information. A huge part of my fight against environmental injustices in Vallejo has been fighting for access to information and a voice.  This proposal is so concerning to me because not only has the public been lied to and misled from the start, but there has been no meaningful effort to actually listen to what people want or need, especially when it comes to affordable housing.  We need real solutions, not empty promises.”—Liat Meitzenheimer, Vallejo Resident and Member of Fresh Air Vallejo


About Solano Together: A group of concerned residents, leaders, and organizations who came together to form a coalition that envisions a better future for Solano County, focuses development into existing cities, and strengthens our agricultural industry. Our work is driven by an alternative vision for Solano in the face of Flannery Associates’ claims about California Forever’s benefits—our vision is guided by local voices and perspectives. Learn more, volunteer, or join the coalition by visiting solanotogether.org


FM3 Memo_Solano County Voter Views of the California Forever Development
.pdf
Download PDF • 311KB

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