In the quiet rural outback between San Francisco and Sacramento, a stealth campaign by Silicon Valley elites has raised eyebrows and prompted skepticism among local ranchers. The project, known as California Forever, first came to light when a secretive outfit named Flannery Associates started acquiring parcels of land in the area. The mastermind behind the operation is Jan Sramek, a former Goldman Sachs prodigy. Backed by prominent figures like Reid Hoffman, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Marc Andreessen, Flannery Associates claims to have purchased over 50,000 acres of land to fulfill their ambitious dream of building a new age city.
Covert Tactics and Resistance from Residents
Residents in Solano County, where the parcels were covertly purchased, have expressed concern and confusion over Flannery Associates’ tactics. John Sweeney, a property owner, recounted the underhanded methods used by the group when attempting to acquire his land. Sweeney stated that they initially posed as a group interested in preserving his property for agriculture, but their true motives later became apparent. Similarly, Cassandra Dana, another landowner, claimed that she had received unsolicited offers from Flannery Associates, which she promptly declined. The relentless pursuit even extended to Dana’s daughter, who was approached to facilitate the sale behind her mother’s back.
According to the California Forever project’s website, the envisioned city aims to integrate the agriculture and green energy industries, sustainably powering the state and supporting middle-class communities. The proposed development, nestled between Sacramento, the California Delta, San Francisco, and Napa Valley, would encompass solar farms, open spaces for agriculture and habitat conservation, as well as a new community. However, the road ahead is not without obstacles for this utopian project.
Flannery Associates, undeterred by the resistance from local landowners, recently filed a massive lawsuit against some property owners in federal court. The lawsuit alleges conspiracy among the landowners to drive up prices, thereby jeopardizing the project’s feasibility. However, some residents, like Sweeney, argue that the landowners simply aimed to secure higher prices for their properties, a logical motivation in any real estate transaction. Fairfield Mayor Catherine Moy has expressed concerns about the impact on Travis Air Force Base, a crucial transport hub, highlighting the potential threat to national security.
The California Forever project has sparked growing opposition and concern within the community. The lack of detailed information on crucial aspects, such as water supply plans for the new city, has raised doubts about the feasibility and sustainability of the project. The picturesque rural landscape, home to livestock, wind turbines, and hardworking farmers, faces the imminent threat of transformation into an urban metropolis. Residents, like Cassandra Dana, fear the loss of the area’s natural beauty and rural charm. Fairfield Mayor Catherine Moy has taken action by expressing her concerns to Governor Gavin Newsom, urging him to address the potential ramifications of the project.
The California Forever project, driven by Silicon Valley elites, has encountered strong resistance and skepticism from local ranchers and authorities alike. While Flannery Associates envisions a progressive and sustainable city, the covert tactics employed during land acquisition and the lack of concrete plans raise doubts about their motives and the project’s feasibility. Only time will tell whether this ambitious vision will come to fruition or remain a controversial dream in the quiet California countryside.