Silicon Valley billionaire backers of ‘California Forever’ release polling results

California Forever has released the findings of a survey they conducted in the field last month about the future of eastern Solano County, where they have purchased over 52,000 acres of agricultural land.

According to the company, they conducted over 1,400 surveys and online interviews, 600 of which were taken from the county registered voter list between July 10-16, and 800 between Aug. 20-27. Both polls were weighted according to census demographics and conducted in both English and Spanish.

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Crime and homelessness were listed as the most important issues to county residents when voting for county officials by 47 percent, followed by housing costs at 26 percent and education at 18 percent.

Fifty-nine percent of Solano County residents said the county needs big changes to create more jobs and tax revenue to improve the county’s quality of life, compared to 33 percent who said the county doesn’t need to make big changes and eight percent who said they don’t know.

Eighty-one percent of those identified as parents in the survey believe that most children in Solano County will not be able to afford to live in their current neighborhood when they grow up, while 13 percent believe they will and 6 percent do not know.

The vast majority of respondents (39 percent) believe Solano County is heading in both the wrong and right directions. 29 percent believe it is heading in the wrong direction, 21 percent believe it is heading in the right direction, and 11 percent are unsure.

“In the coming months, we hope to collaborate with the people of Solano County on a plan that will deliver a new economic engine for the region.” To that end, the release stated, “We have purposefully assembled a team of experts who are not only world-class, but also local to the Bay Area, with a deep connection to this area and a shared commitment to solving Northern California’s most pressing challenges.”

The survey asked respondents to rate how likely they were to support the project based on multiple “possibilities” regarding the future of eastern Solano County. 66 percent said they would support the project if it included a new trade school, and 66 percent said they would support it if it brought “thousands of permanent, good-paying jobs in construction, solar energy, and services.”

Planting millions of olive trees and a new oak forest (64 percent more likely), thousands of acres of new ecological habitat (64 percent more likely), reducing traffic congestion by bringing jobs closer to residents (64 percent more likely), and walkable neighborhoods (59 percent more likely) are also possibilities.

Respondents were also asked about the possibility of a new performing arts center, minor league baseball and soccer teams, tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the county, and the possibility that the project would be entirely funded by private funds.

Respondents who said they were neither more nor less likely to support the project ranged from 30% to 45 percent depending on the issue.

According to the release, California Forever will soon open a local engagement center and will send out a survey to residents.

“This polling is only the beginning of the conversation we are starting with Solano County residents and your elected officials,” the release stated. “It is your voice that is most important, and we are excited to begin engaging with you.”

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