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California Forever initiative surpasses needed signatures

By Jun Nucum

SOLANO COUNTY, California – More than enough needed signatures have been submitted to the Registrar of Voters to support the efforts to have an initiative for a better future in Solano County.

A total of 20,472 voter signatures of the needed 13,062 valid signatures were submitted to the Solano County Registrar of Voters in support of placing the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative on the November ballot qualifying the initiative to the for Solano County ballot next elections.  
 
“Solano County voters want to have their voices heard,” beamed Michael Fortney, 3rd generation Solano resident and Head of Partnerships for California Forever. “Today we are grateful to the more than 20,000 voters across Solano County who have helped place the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy initiative on the ballot.
 
Fortney is confident that Solano County will have a choice to make this November on whether Solano County residents “want to stay stuck in the status quo that is clearly not working for so many working families across Solano?”
 
“Or, do we want a better future? One that brings much needed investment to Solano creating local jobs, affordable homes, and clean energy that will ensure our kids and grandkids have a place to grow right here at home,” asked Fortney.
 
Vacaville Vice Mayor Greg Ritchie also announced his endorsement of the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative. 
 
“I’m proud to support the East Solano Plan for the benefits it will bring to all residents of Solano County,” endorsed Ritchie.

“We have an opportunity to determine what Solano County will look like in the future, and I know that this initiative offers tangible improvements we need: good paying jobs, economic investments, and more homes our families and our children can afford.”

The Solano County Registrar of Voters now needs to validate the signatures turned in. California Forever needed to collect 13,000 signatures. They turned in 20,000, said Jan Sramek, California Forever CEO.

Tim Flanagan of the Registrar of Voters expects their office to spend the next 1-3 months counting and reviewing the signatures. The proposed initiative needs 50 percent plus one to pass.
The East Solano Plan brings 15,000 local jobs paying over $88,000/year, a $200 million commitment to invest in revitalizing downtowns in existing Solano cities, and $500 million in community benefits for downpayment assistance, scholarships, and small business grants for Solano residents.
The massive project, backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most influential billionaires, seeks to build a brand-new city on thousands of acres of Bay Area farmland in Solano County, the land that was purchased by a parent company, Flannery Associates, over a period of several years but the approval of a ballot initiative—which, it would appear, has been accomplished.
Earlier, California Forever issued a statement on alleged “misinformation about signature gathering in Solano County saying:
“Opponents of the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative have been spreading misinformation regarding the petition currently in circulation that would qualify the measure for this November’s election. This is an attempt by the opponents to prevent Solano County voters from deciding what future they want for themselves and their children.”
The statement later claimed that:
Those who are gathering signatures throughout Solano County are professional signature gatherers who have done so on many other successful statewide and local ballot initiatives;
The signature gatherers are provided a fact sheet that presents very clearly what the proposed measure would do. Here is the fact sheet;
The petition that Solano County residents are signing clearly displays the title and summary of the measure, as written by the Solano County Counsel’s Office, as well as the proposed language in its entirety. The title and summary are displayed on every signature page, just above where any voter signs. The page clearly identifies California Forever as the funder of the initiative; and
Anyone who signs the petition is not voting for or against the measure — they are giving Solano County voters a chance to decide on the measure should it qualify for the November 2024 General Election.
“A small but vocal group of opponents are attempting to create confusion and prevent Solano County voters from deciding what future they want for themselves and their children. They will not succeed. We encourage everyone considering whether or not to sign our petition to read the fine print, ask questions, and keep an open mind — and let the voters decide,” said Matthew Rodriguez, Campaign Manager for the ballot initiative.

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