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Annie Vogelpohl: California Forever means a new Solano County

By Annie Vogelpohl · Thu Mar 07 2024

Originally published in The Vacaville Reporter

As a Solano County resident and Realtor of more than 45 years, I’ve seen our communities both flourish and also face difficult challenges. In recent years, rising costs of housing have become one of the most critical challenges we face. According to recent data, housing prices in Solano County have increased by more than 25 percent in just the last two years alone. This has not only made Solano County unaffordable to many, but it has also created an unfortunate trend of young people moving away from home as they become adults.

It saddens me to see every time someone moves away from Solano County to start a family because it’s too expensive to do so here. More and more often, grandparents are unable to live near their grandchildren simply because the economic landscape has made it impractical to raise a family in Solano County. The root cause lies in the fact that there’s a lack of good-paying opportunities and a serious gap between the need for more homes and an increasingly insufficient supply.

However, by recognizing this problem, opportunity is knocking to reverse the trend, to embrace change and chart a course toward a more sustainable and inclusive future. By maximizing the potential of the California Forever project, we can build a community focused on the success and prosperity of future generations in Solano County.

Imagine a community where our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can afford to build their lives and raise families without facing the daunting financial strains so many currently face. Envision a future where Solano County becomes synonymous with opportunity, resilience, and community. It may sound too good to be true for some, but to me it sounds like what every place ought to strive to be. Especially here in Solano County. It’s time.

Change can be daunting, but it’s often the right thing – and it’s very exciting if we’re actively participating in the process. By creating a sense of collective ownership, we can ensure that the project reflects the needs of all Solano County residents. As California Forever’s listening tour showed last fall, this is a proposal that invites collaboration, welcoming the input and ideas from all corners of our diverse community. After filing its initiative, California Forever was made aware of some concerns from the county, which led to the organization refiling its initiative to address those concerns.

The same thing happened when presented with concerns from Travis Air Force Base. The company heard those issues, took them seriously and revised their proposal to fix the problem. Time and time again California Forever has displayed a willingness to listen to and work with the community.

As Solano County voters face an important decision this year, it’s important to remember the California Forever project is not solely about bricks and mortar; it’s about laying a foundation for success for our families that extends beyond our lifetimes. By investing in thoughtful, sustainable development, we are investing in the future success of Solano County. We have an opportunity to break free from prior constraints that have driven up costs of living and create a path that ensures Solano County remains a place of promise and potential.

Embracing the California Forever project is not just a choice for Solano County voters; it’s a responsibility we owe to our children and grandchildren. By actively participating in this transformative project, we can redefine Solano County as a place where dreams take root and thrive. Let’s seize this opportunity to create a wonderful place for Solano County families for generations to come.

— Annie Vogelpohl/Fairfield