Drew is native to Santa Cruz, the son of a single mother who was fortunate enough to be pursuing her degree in Feminist Studies at Cabrillo College and then at UCSC. He is an environmental activist and small business owner (freelance photography); he is also currently the successful director of a donation-supported NGO (Project:Pollinate) that brings ordinary people together to make positive change through research and by building new linkages among existing organizations. His life path has taught him how to cultivate a climate of connection, responsiveness, and care, and he wants to bring that to our City government.
Drew knows first-hand what it is like for families who are struggling in Santa Cruz; he knows how vital it is for them to be able to count on secure housing, childcare, and workable options for education and healthcare. He knows that vulnerable individuals do not thrive here if they try to make it alone; they need community and collective support.
Drew benefited from an extended family locally who helped him and his mother with shelter while she studied. He also benefited from campus childcare services, and was enrolled at Monarch Elementary School. He is an advocate of helping families and schools transition away from outdated and ineffective methods of education, and helping programs expand to support families from all income brackets.
He and his mother also appreciate the value of health and health care. Both are cancer survivors and have learned first-hand how to navigate local health care systems; he knows the value of health insurance and health care, and also has learned about the struggles of many local patients and providers pursuing holistic health support within that system. He believes we can do a better job at creating policies and organizations to bring these solutions within our reach.
Growing up as one of the few African Americans in Santa Cruz, Drew has also learned the hard way what other young people of color experience in a community that has yet to create public ways of acknowledging our true history and realities of exclusion and discrimination. It wasn’t until he studied Sociology in college that he gained the language and perspective to be able to name his experiences with local bigotry. This insight has given him the tools and motivation to help Santa Cruz move toward its goals of diversity and non-violence, while a lifetime of immersion in white society has equipped him to be an excellent bridge-builder.