top of page

Hi, I'm Sonja



Sonja Brunner has been a dedicated resident of Santa Cruz for over 30 years. Her long standing and continued participation and leadership, including her work with the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz and the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz, uniquely qualifies her to provide successful leadership on the  Santa Cruz City Council.


Sonja Brunner is a Cabrillo College graduate in Liberal Studies; a bilingual, multicultural community organizer; a tireless advocate for the local small business community and most important, a proud single working mother who raised her daughter in our wonderful community. 


Sonja's attention and focus has always been on supporting local people, local businesses, and local programs. ​Throughout her time in Santa Cruz, Sonja has also invested back in a wide variety of tangible ways, including housing, the arts, tourism and our local economy. She has developed relationships and established connections within the community, and consequently has a large and diverse coalition of support which is a direct reflection of her life philosophy: a vision of caring, compassion and connection.


Sonja Brunner is passionate about keeping Santa Cruz a strong and healthy community, especially in the face of global change and evolution. Our leaders need to be positive and motivated to get things done for our community. The community needs her breadth of experience, work ethic, enthusiasm, values and understanding right now. Sonja is that type of leader! 


Sonja’s resume of work and engagement in Santa Cruz all demonstrate her dedication to keeping Santa Cruz a thriving and safe community. Sonja is the caring and honest voice that will hear diverse opinions, make difficult decisions, and understands that for anything to be accomplished, it will take everyone's voice being heard, not just a few.

NBC Bay Area Proud.jpg

"Sonja and I worked together 9 years on the Cruzin’ Courses Committee. She was instrumental in promoting the Downtown corridor and shining a light on retail, restaurants, the arts, and nonprofits. Sonja is strategic, thoughtful, concerned, hardworking, resourceful, and never stopped working on behalf of Santa Cruz even when she was learning to live and walk again after her horrific car crash.  I will walk the plank for her."

- Cathy Brown Bañuelos, Community Member

City Council Standing Committees:

  • Public Safety

City Council Ad Hoc Committees:

  • Health in All Policies Committee

  • Outdoor Dining Subcommittee

External Governmental Agencies/Intergovernmental Coordinating Committees:

  • Library Financing Authority 

  • Central Coast Community Energy Policy Board (Alternate)

External Community Organizations:

  • Criminal Justice Council

  • Visit Santa Cruz County

  • Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County, Commissioner and Board Chair 

  • Santa Cruz Regional 911 Dispatch Center, Citizen Academy participant

  • Santa Cruz Chamber Women in Business, Steering Committee member

  • City of Santa Cruz Arts Master Plan, Steering Committee member

  • City of Santa Cruz Downtown Improvement Task Force, member

  • Downtown Association of Santa Cruz, Board member and President

  • Santa Cruz Police, Citizen Academy participant

  • Visit Santa Cruz County, Board member

  • Cruzin' Courses, Committee member

  • Boy Scout Troop 604, Committee Chair

  • Cub Scout Pack 608, Cubmaster

Organizational Affiliations & Service

(current and past)

bottom of page