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California Forever Files Ballot Initiative to Build Middle-Class Homes in Safe, Walkable Neighborhoods and Create New Economic Opportunities for Solano County

By California Forever · Wed Jan 17 2024

Proposal details $400M in downpayment assistance and other affordability strategies for Solano County residents, $200M to revitalize Solano downtowns, $70M in scholarships and small business grants, a $30M fund for parks and green spaces, and a guarantee to tie expansion of the community to the creation of 15,000 jobs paying above 125% of county average wage.

(Solano County, Calif.) – California Forever today will file the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative with the Solano County Registrar of Voters. The initiative details its proposal to build a dynamic new community, with homes people can afford in safe, walkable neighborhoods. The plan also includes a commitment to bring good-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, construction, and other industries, as well as large investments in green spaces, clean energy, and the revitalization of downtowns across the county.

Over the past four months, California Forever has run an intensive community engagement process with thousands of Solano County residents, and the proposal submitted today was crafted with input and feedback from across the county.

“Solano County is an amazing place with amazing people and communities. After listening to more than 12,000 Solano residents in small group discussions, one-on-one conversations, at our town halls, and through individual surveys, we’ve learned a great deal from new friends and neighbors. Today, we’re excited to share the details of our plan to build a better Solano with all of you. This can be a new economic engine for Solano County and proof that when we work together, California can still do big things. We’re looking forward to working closely with all of you to build a better future for everyone in Solano County, today and for generations to come,” said Jan Sramek, CEO of California Forever.

The plan incorporates a powerful set of guarantees to ensure the plan will benefit all citizens across Solano County. The proposed measure also includes a specific set of commitments to protect and support Travis Air Force Base, and the families who serve and live there. 

The East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative comprises the following components:

  • A plan to build middle-class homes in safe, walkable neighborhoods

    • Details for creating a new community, designed to be one of the most walkable and sustainable communities in the United States, on lands in east Solano County with a total size of approximately 18,600 acres (about the same or smaller acreage than each of Vallejo, Fairfield, and Vacaville), illustrated with maps and renderings

    • The plan features neighborhoods centered around local shopping streets and schools, with small blocks of row houses and small apartment buildings, where
      each family can live within a short walk for most daily needs, including schools

    • The plan includes a requirement that at least 4,000 acres (over 20% of the proposed community) must be used for parks, trails, urban ecological habitat, community gardens, and other types of open space

    • The community is designed to provide a range of transportation alternatives to cars, including walking, biking, and frequent transit service (both internally and to other cities in Solano County)

    • Some of the leading planners and designers in America worked on this effort, including both California Forever’s in-house team and its extended team including SITELAB (urban design), CMG (landscape architecture), Fehr & Peers (transportation), ENGEO (geotech and hazmat), CBG (civil engineering), EKI (water), and many others

  • The Solano Jobs Guarantee to closely link the community’s growth to creating good-paying jobs and new economic opportunity

    • The project has to support creation of at least 15,000 jobs that pay at least 125% of county average weekly wage by the time we hit 50,000 residents, or we can’t grow

  • The Solano Homes for All program to create new pathways to homeownership and help the next generation stay in Solano County

    • $400M in funding for down payment assistance for Solano County residents to buy homes in the new community, including homes for working families, teachers, nurses, police and firefighters, and construction workers

    • Funding can also be used to help build affordable homes for low, very low, extremely low, and special needs households, including veterans, seniors, and agricultural workers

  • The Solano Scholarships program to help Solano County residents take advantage of economic opportunities created by the project

    • $70M in grants, to be used for scholarships for college or vocational training, college plan deposits, or to start or grow small businesses

    • The Green Solano program to protect and improve open space and agriculture across Solano County

    • A $30M commitment for parks, green spaces, protecting ecological habitats, and to support agriculture across Solano County

  • The Solano Downtowns program to improve and revitalize downtowns across Solano

    • A commitment to invest $200M in renovating or building homes, offices, shops, and other mixed-use buildings in downtown areas of Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista. Suisun City, Vacaville and Vallejo

  • Commitments to protect and strengthen Travis Air Force Base

    • Create a new Travis Security Zone, by nearly doubling the size of the current buffer from 7,971 acres in the 2008 General Plan to a new total of nearly 15,000 acres

    • Down payment assistance and the Solano Scholarships program are available to Travis families, spouses, and both military and civilian retirees

    • Community located entirely outside of noise and safety zones as shown on Travis 2023 AICUZ update (Air Installations Compatible Use Zones)

    • Commitment to collaborate on key infrastructure projects such as transportation and energy

    • Travis AFB receives an approval right on solar farm technology to be used in the area

  • Commitment to build one of the most sustainable communities in the world

    • A major new source of clean energy for all of Solano County and the broader region by permitting solar farms with the potential to generate capacity in excess of two gigawatts, enough to power the equivalent of 1.5 million homes

    • Water conservation at the highest levels in the state

    • One of the lowest carbon emissions per capita

    • A community designed to make walking, biking, and public transit a comfortable, enjoyable, and fun way to get around

  • Other Voter Guarantees

    • Taxpayer Guarantee: a guarantee to achieve the stated public, economic, environmental, and equity goals without imposing any new tax or other fiscal obligation on any Solano County resident or business located outside of the proposed community

    • Water Guarantee: a guarantee to ensure reliable and sustainable water supply through a Water Supply Assessment to be completed as part of the EIR process, and a Water Supply Verification to be completed through the subdivision map approval process

    • Transportation Guarantee: a guarantee to help improve highway safety and capacity for Highways 12 and 113 by providing right of way and financing

    • School Guarantee: a guarantee to build local schools for residents of the proposed community to prevent overcrowding existing school facilities outside of the New Community

    • Smart Growth Guarantee: A guarantee that California Forever’s financial commitments to the Solano Homes for All, Solano Scholarships, Green Solano and Solano Downtowns program will continue to scale up in proportion to the growth of the proposed community, even beyond the initial 50,000 residents

    • All ten Guarantees are legally binding on California Forever and enforceable by the county

    • For the funding programs, the initiative allocates funding to each of these, but the community decides the specific rules on allocation of funds after the measure is adopted.


January 17 - File with County Elections Official Notice of Intention to Circulate Petition, text of initiative measure, request for preparation of ballot title and summary.

February 1 - Ballot title and summary prepared by County Counsel due within 15 calendar days after filing of request.

Late April - End circulating petitions and file all petition sections at the same time with County Elections Official.

Early June - County Elections Official completes examination of signatures within 30 working days from date petitions filed. County Elections Official certifies the results of the examination to the Board of Supervisors at the next regular meeting of the Board.

November 5 - Election Day

Next Steps

We will engage in a series of public events in February and March in cities across the county, where we will be talking about the proposal and answering questions. We also encourage residents to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X, Youtube and LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter on our website,

Members of the media interested in visiting any office are encouraged to email to schedule a time to stop by. 

All offices are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Fairfield Office 1350 Travis Blvd. Suite 15-11B (Solano Town Mall, second floor by Macy’s) Fairfield, CA 94533

Rio Vista Office 241 Main Street Rio Vista, CA 94571

Vallejo Office (new address) 420 Virginia Street. Suite 1A Vallejo, CA 94590

Vacaville Office 965 Alamo Drive Vacaville, CA 95687

A press kit with maps and renderings of the new community is available here.