Solutions

“I’ve seen up close Martine’s commitment to equal opportunity and social justice. She believes from every segment of our community deserve a chance to thrive in our local community. — Jacob Martinez, Founder, Digital Nest

Solutions

I want to support a healthy community.  I value all people at all stages of life.  I want to prevent crime and address it effectively.  As we plan for growth, I believe we need to be thoughtful, inclusive and informed.  As we consider affordable housing, I want voters to know that I value diversity and our housing options should reflect that by working to address the economic chasm that exists in our community.

All of these solutions require collaboration, resources, and strategic alignment of revenue.  Ultimately, it will require someone who can actually get things done!  I feel I have the skills, experience, and track record that proves I can get things done for our community.

Housing:

I value a diverse community and believe this issue needs to be reflected in our housing options and addressed through a thoughtful and inclusive long-term strategic plan.

Presently, our kids and grandkids are being priced out of Santa Cruz at alarming rates, there is no workforce housing, and Santa Cruz is turning into a second home community for Silicon Valley with a large number of vacation rentals.

Overall, I’m interested in developing a robust and comprehensive approach to truly move the dial on the affordability of housing in the city.  This takes political will, community support, and capacity building and I am ready to provide the leadership it takes to get things done.

Providing affordable housing and childcare for working people and families is a priority for me.

One solution is to assess ways to increase the existing Santa Cruz City’s housing trust fund – which is a permanent, reliable funding source to support the building of new affordable housing – using this option to create more affordable housing in Santa Cruz. Another is to build on existing inclusionary zoning policy and opportunities to increase the length of time those units remain affordable.

The shortage of affordable housing is impacting not only the poor, but also the working middle class. I specifically want to continue the work the city has started with collaborating with large local employers to collectively address the need for workforce housing in Santa Cruz. Employer assisted housing is a way cities throughout the nation have forged public and private partnerships to provide workers with more affordable rents or grants/loans for home purchase.

I believe an inclusive conversation needs to take place regarding Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) policy.  The city can explore incentives for legal units, enforcement of illegal units, and reasonable vacation rental policy.

Solving the housing issue won’t be easy, and it will take a person who can work with business and city leaders, elected officials and community organizations. I believe that I have the expertise and skill set to make that happen.

Homelessness: 

I believe a healthy community strives to mitigate homelessness by embedding public health into the decision making process.  We know the root causes of homelessness: poverty, mental illness and substance abuse.

The homeless I work with are typically a 12 year old coming to get a backpack full of school supplies…a foster youth who we are trying to prevent from transitioning out of the system unsupported…or a teen caught stealing basic needs items (like socks) who is being referred to our diversion program.

I’m interested in approaches to PREVENT people from becoming homeless in the first place. We need safety nets for those at risk of homelessness: economic opportunity and access to jobs, social connections, mental health and substance abuse support and treatment, and an integrated countywide effort.

By definition, the solution to homelessness is housing. Substantial funding for housing is essential. There are several existing efforts to address homelessness in our city; a coordinated effort is fundamental. I am most intrigued by what is happening in the greater Bay Area where city and county leaders have come together to place a multi-county bond measure on the ballot to generate the revenue – an estimated 3 billion dollars over the next 25 years – to provide the resources necessary to adequately address homelessness. I will work to bring more funding to meet the need for affordable housing in our area.

Safety:

Until recently, violent crime has been decreasing in Santa Cruz while property crime has skyrocketed. Quality of life crimes are seriously impacting our city. I have the utmost respect for law-enforcement and those willing to put their life on the line to serve and protect.

I want to create a city that is free of crime and prioritizes preventative approaches. I have dedicated my career to youth juvenile justice programs, striving to divert youth from a life of crime. I want to enact policies that tackle the issue from multiple angles – initiating prevention and long-term strategies, while also effectively addressing immediate criminal behavior and public safety concerns.

Long-term solutions are a priority for me.  Economists, military, business, and medical professionals have all agreed that one of the best returns on investments for future safety is the investment in quality early education and the creation of livable wage jobs. I will advocate for both.

I will work with SCPD on ways to build on their existing community prevention strategies and the expansion of those through 21st Century Policing concepts.

I will support SCPD’s commitment to gang prevention through programs such as Broad Based Apprehension, Suppression and Treatment Alternatives (BASTA) and the Pride program. I will work to enact researched based restorative justice programs for youth and adults in our community to ensure that our valuable taxpayer dollars are not misspent on unwarranted incarceration.

I will build our partnership with the county for opportunities to leverage resources and ensure we have effective AB-109 re-entry services. I will support SCPD’s existing relationship with community nonprofits to support officers by having even more social workers ride along with SCPD officers to help defuse mental health crisis. I will explore the concept of community police officers, specifically working to mitigate the homeless crimes/citations and circumstances in our city.

I will support SCPD with preventative strategies to adequately address theft – including the registering of property items from residents as well as opportunities for residents with home surveillance systems to send their footage to SCPD for investigation and enforcement. I will use my relationships with the courts to explore the possibility of creating a collaborative community court for property crimes in the city. Last, I will work to seek additional revenue from Proposition 47 for prevention and intervention support for criminal behavior.

Environment:

Global climate change is one of the most urgent environmental and social issues of our times. Scientists confirm that our current climate crisis is caused by human activity, so it is up to us to find solutions if we are to survive. The city has a strong Climate Action Plan, but it needs to be regularly updated. The Council must commit ample funding for its ongoing implementation.

The City also must continue to raise awareness among its residents and build community support for strengthening and funding the activities set out in the climate action plan. Furthermore, the city is well positioned to seek federal resources (specifically from FEMA) to strengthen efforts through fiscal support.

I’m also interested in supporting efforts to address the health of our ocean and beaches, and to make Santa Cruz as green as possible – encouraging the use of solar panels, green careers, zero emission city vehicles, waste free strategies, enhancement of bicycle lanes and more.

I will also prioritize the development of more walk-able neighborhoods, with a special emphasis on safe routes to school and work. We also need to continue adding safe bike paths. We can continue to support the use of zip cars, high use metro routes, and biking in Santa Cruz. My wheels are in the form of a stroller these days. I’m lucky to be able to walk pretty much everywhere I want to go to and all that I need to access. I’m committed to making Santa Cruz a healthy community where people can frequently get where they need to go without depending solely on a motorized vehicle.

Economy:

I want Santa Cruz to be a place that values all ways people contribute to our society – from government and nonprofit workers to private and small business workers.  I want to create pathways for social mobility locally and feel I have the skills and experience to do so.

Creating economic security through livable wage jobs is fundamental to basic stability and social mobility. I specifically want to leverage my experience in education to forge public and private partners so the next generation is prepared to be our future workforce.

The City’s Economic Development Department Plan should focus on supporting local businesses to create good jobs that pay above the minimum wage and encourage business development through a relaxation of onerous restrictions.   With the availability of tech careers in our region, we must create better avenues to prepare youth for those opportunities. We can start by supporting Career Pathways, Regional Occupational Programs and expansion of the Digital NEST to our city.