My Priorities

My priorities for Santa Cruz include equity and enriched lives of all members in our diverse community. My priorities as a City Council member in a broad sense will include public safety and health, maximizing opportunities for affordable housing, social and racial equity, climate change, economic recovery, sustainability, and development, and supporting our small local businesses and artists through the impacts of COVID-19. 

Housing

Santa Cruz is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis. Already, as recently as last year, our City was rated one of the least affordable places to live in the entire world when comparing the cost of living with wages. Rent growth has outpaced income growth in Santa Cruz. In 2018, nearly 21,300 of the 35,734 renter households in Santa Cruz County were considered cost burdened. Even among middle-income households, housing consumes a larger share of income than just 20 years ago. We can do better!

 

As a City Councilmember I will work on solutions that include:

 

  • Affordable and equitable housing solutions available to people across a full range of incomes, from young adults just starting out, to seniors on a fixed income. This includes expanding access to housing options for people at risk of or are experiencing homelessness.

  • Supporting more affordable and equitable housing opportunities in the downtown area where it can be tied to walkability and public transit options. 

  • Expanding revenue and policy options that would fund more affordable housing 

    • increasing affordability options for everyone to live in the same community where they work

    • a revolving loan program for first time homebuyers

    • including the dedicated use of city owned land

  • Exploring private and public partnerships to fund more low income and affordable housing solutions

    • working with existing landlords and developers to increase the use of the project based voucher program 

    • market-rate housing to include no less than 15%-20% inclusionary units

    • a ballot measure for creating more local funds to pair with resources from the state

Economic Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic, and most recently the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires, has had a devastating effect on our community. Currently, in response to the pandemic and economic crisis, we need to support people and take measures that protect public health and safety. As the virus continues to spread and people are mandated to shelter-in-place, our health care systems are being stressed, local businesses have closed, people have lost their jobs, and the entire country is headed for recession. We need to prioritize people, and help people through the crisis and into recovery.

 

  • Initiate and support policies that help all of us recover in a way that is inclusive and equitable

  • Create equitable protections to keep people employed and to keep people in their homes.  

  • Provide small businesses with additional capital or loans to prevent them from closing.

    • Create a taskforce of small business agencies to research and pool funding sources. 

    • Provide incentives to property owners to reduce or waive rents for businesses hit the hardest.

    • Provide incentives to property owners with empty storefronts to host temporary or pop-up style business models. 

  • Apply and advocate for additional federal, state, and county grants and funding.  

    • Ensure funds are earmarked for the recipients who are disproportionately impacted of COVID-19, including people of color, low-income residents & people experiencing homelessness.

    • Effectively educate our residents about the available options & resources to utilize. 

  • Invest in the long-term economic viability of the city to better prepare our community to become more resilient to health, economic, climate, and other impacts. 

Health

 

We all want our city to be a healthy community which includes physical health, emotional health, environmental health, and    economic  health. It is crucial to support and collaborate with the local organizations and programs that are already doing the work, and providing the resources and tools that support a healthy community. 

 

My goal for our community over the next several years is to make sure the framework of our city’s policies supports all people in the  community, promotes social and racial equity and enhances all health outcomes. It is vital to support our cultural centers, and other community organizations that work to promote equity. A good healthy community leads to families and small businesses and young leaders wanting to stay in our community.   


I will work hard to guide our city in the most effective and achievable ways for improving health and well-being, to integrate recommendations and proven actions across multiple categories that support our lives, and are healthy and productive contributions. It will be a priority to include health considerations when making any policy decisions.

With the breadth of my experiences, I am confident that I will be an asset as a Santa Cruz City Council member to work with the community, the County, and all community partners regarding upcoming decisions that Santa Cruz will be faced with in the short term, as well as the long-term investment into our community. The only way we're going to get through what we're going through is if we do it together. 

 

I would be honored to have your endorsement and your vote.

Photo by Shmuel Thaler 2020

Paid for by Brunner For Santa Cruz City Council 2020 

FPPC #1427262