SOAR 2050 Wins Final Battle
SOAR supporters can celebrate that together we achieved what some thought impossible.
On September 20, with the simple words, “Ok, it’s done”, Judge Vincent O’Neill signed the agreement to let the voter-approved Camarillo SOAR stand.
This was a big win for Camarillo and a huge win for SOAR because it means every SOAR initiative we fought for is now the law of the land. And what better way to cap off the battle to renew SOAR than fighting back a developer and his attempt to throw out the results of a city election where 73% of the voters resoundingly voted for SOAR?
While it took almost a year since the November 2016 election for the fate of the Camarillo SOAR to be decided, we knew that Camarillo SOAR supporters were not going to have it any other way.
Having collected signatures twice to get their City SOAR on the ballot, they were ready to do it again if they had to because SOAR truly is the will of the people. People want to have a say on proposals for major development on farmland and open space, instead of leaving those crucial decisions to politicians who are influenced by developers.
We succeeded in getting nine separate SOAR initiatives on the ballot, and they won with the most votes on every ballot they were on. Because of that, SOAR will not expire as anticipated in 2020, but instead will continue its requirement of a vote of the people until 2050.
Like the Camarillo lawsuit, many of the milestones on the path to SOAR’s success can be measured by the challenges we overcame. From meeting our target to raise $200,000 before launching our petition drive, then drafting 9 separate initiatives, organizing 300 volunteer signature gatherers, persisting through obstacle after obstacle to collect 84,000 signatures, fighting off legal challenges to our petitions, marshaling all of our resources and volunteer power to run a successful campaign despite efforts to confuse voters with competing initiatives; it is clear that SOAR’s triumph is epic.
Our success in overcoming powerful interests is a testament to what can happen when people unite for a common good. Renewing SOAR involved so many difficult challenges that it was hard to believe that we could surmount them all. But surmount them we did, and now that we’ve cleared this final hurdle, we take particular joy in those three simple words: “Ok, it’s done.”