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By Eric Johnson
Published Jan 29, 2024

A group of  powerful, ambitious and confident people are hoping to ease California’s housing crisis by building an urban Utopia in the middle of nowhere. A group of powerful, ambitious and confident people are hoping to ease California’s housing crisis by building an urban Utopia in the middle of nowhere. Image credit: California Forever

The California Exodus and ‘California Forever’

Welcome to the end of January, which seems to have arrived too quicky. A reminder that, as always, you can access the most important news in your community, and learn about local nonprofits doing good work, just below. And BTW: Go Niners!

In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, we take a look at two of the biggest stories of 2023. First, the “California Exodus” that has seen the state’s population shrink in recent years by more than 800,000, which could send a political shockwave through the state and the nation. Then, the secret plan, launched by some A-list Silicon Valley billionaires, to build a city of 400,000 in an agricultural area halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. 

These stories are bound together by one thing—the state’s ongoing housing shortage. As Jon Vankin explains here, the cost of housing has one out of three Californians considering escape from the Golden State, and is the primary reason more than a million left in the past two years. And as the New York Times reports, the stated impetus behind the “California Forever” plan for a new city is the housing shortage that is throttling their limitless ambitions. 

Next, our colleague and product guru Chris Neklason reports on our newest Tracker, a one-stop resource that will make it easy to follow the potentially explosive developments in Solano County. 

And finally, our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening provide a healthy winter recipe to keep you warm.

Our Dangerously Dwindling Population

Californians are fleeing the state. It’s a narrative promoted recently by Ron DeSantis, and by the state’s haters for almost a decade. Turns out it is not a myth. And the cause of the exodus is no mystery.

California Exodus, Housing and the State's Political Future

As residents continue to exit California, the state’s political power at the national level is at risk.
The California housing crisis is not only weakening the state politically at the national level, it could shift the political balance in Washington, D.C., as Republican-led states add population while California’s exodus continues.

The Plan for a Utopian City in the Delta

The billionaire backers of California Forever are buying up gobs of farmland in Solano County. Where sheep now graze beneath giant windmills, a bold (naive?) entrepreneur envisions a revolutionary urbanized future. Here’s the bombshell story from the New York Times, and CALocal’s plan to keep track of the story’s development.

Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?

In NYT’s “The Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,” we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Building a City From the Ground Up

New neighbors might be moving to Solano County soon. A whole lot of them.
We’re getting ready to track the progress of California Forever’s plans to build a city of 400,000 in what is now Solano County farm country.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

Creamy broccoli-cheese soup has a secret: No cream, no flour

This hearty bowl of broccoli-cheese soup is creamy thanks to potato, not cream or flour.
Hearty winter warmer also is gluten-free

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