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Grassroots Support for Federal Legislation

Client: Solano Water Authority
1988 - 1990


The water users of the Solano Project (Monticello Dam/Lake Berryessa) pursue federal legislation to gain title to an indispensible public infrastructure.

Acquisition of the Bureau of Reclamation's Solano Project conceived by local residents 80 years ago and built on their behalf, is a long held dream of Solano County leadership. Robert D. Kahn & Company managed a sustained effort to win enactment of title transfer legislation authored by U.S. Representative Vic Fazio. We teamed up with DC-based lobbyists, the Congressman's staff and the management of Solano County's water agencies. We provided counsel in all aspects of the effort and diverse services ranging from speech writing and video production, to media relations and public speaking.

Our efforts resulted in hundreds of letters of support, the full editorial backing of the County's four newspapers and the support of over a dozen civic groups including, the County's leading ag preservation/open space advocates.

Solano County made the best possible case for itself within the capital. While successful in the House of Representives, Fazio's legislation failed in the Senate. It was ultimately waylaid by the state's worst drought in the century.

Citizens of Solano County continue to believe that since they own the water rights to Lake Berryessa, operate the Solano Project under contract, honor environmental mitigations downstream, and pay all bond obligations for the infrastructure's construction, they should hold fee simple title to this indispensible local asset.

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