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Sili Valley billionaires push on the Capitol

If you have more money than God you can hire well-connected people to get the Legislature to help your dreams of a new city come true. According to Politico, that's what the promoters of "California Forever" - the proposed utopian Fantasyland in Solano County - are doing. The article says that, beyond the deceptive PR campaign for a November 2024 ballot measure in Solano County, the Sili Valley billiionaires are playing a long game at the Capitol by hiring Administration insiders, seasoned campaign managers, and top political advisors to help them get their way. The Politico article explains who the A-listers are that the billionaires are using as their hired guns.

Keep in mind that "California Forever" is really a ploy to develop open space on the outskirts of the Bay Area. And that development is intended to be massive, with a build-out population of some 400,000 people. What's missing is any sense of how an urbanized area in the sticks - one that's half the size of San Francisco - will be connected with the real world of regional infrastructure, commerce, employment and the environment. Worse, "California Forever" is oblivious when it come to governance. It will dump up to 400,000 new residents into the laps of the Solano County Board of Supervisors, who will have to cover the new community's municipal affairs. It will greatly increase the workload of the County Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol who will have to pick up the law enforcement responsibilities. It will significantly increase California's population of people who lack Mayors and City Councils to focus on local priorities - which goes in the opposite direction of what California (un)Incorporated is seeking.

Two people at a podium, a woman speaking and a man looking on, both in professional attire.
Shown here with one of her former bosses in 2012, Ana Matosantos is part of an all-star cast of political influencers being released on the Legislature and the Administration by the promoters of "California Forever" {Photo credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP in  Korte and Gardinar, "Meet California forever's A-team,, 12/19/2023)

In contrast with the Sili Valley billionaires, California (un)Incorporated coaliton doesn't have anything close to whatever spare change might be in God's pocket.  In fact, we are just thankful to be able to afford our website and domain name. We're not looking to form a new city via development privileges. We want new municipalities to be formed from California's existing unincorporated communities so the residents and businesses of those places can enjoy the same rights and privileges that their counterparts in cities do. We want those existing urbanized, unincorporated communities to gain local control. We have been talking with a number of Legislators and their staffs about that, Frankly, though, it has been like pushing a boulder uphill. The issues are "complicated". The state budget is the only thing driving the Capitol. We have to get the "Head Environmentalist" (someone who doesn't exist) to greenlight our proposals first. We have to do the Legislative Counsel's work (write bills for free so Capitol employees won't have to) in order to have our bills considered for submittal to the Legislative Counsel. Blah, blah, blah.

Living on a shoestring as our coalition is, we are used to getting the brush-off. Maybe if we had big bucks like "California Forever's" investors in Sili Valley it would be different. ....Nah, we have standards. Besides, unlike the "California Forever" billionaires, we understand the complexities of the laws that inhibit the formation of new cities. If all they know is how to drive up the price of land so they can build buildings in cow pastures, we wonder whether "California Forever" will ever succeed, even if they have enough money to hoodwink the entire state government.

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