Inclusive Representation in City Politics; Transparency and Accountability
This campaign is about listening to and representing people who have not always been heard in policy-making and decisions.
Today, about one third of Santa Cruz residents are people of color. Over half of our public school students are Latina. About one fourth of all our city’s residents live in poverty by official standards; many more struggle to survive. And these statistics don’t count the massive flight of working people out of the city. Yet, the Santa Cruz City Council has lacked ethnic, racial and economic diversity and lacked the attentive listening required to represent these communities.
During the campaign, we will be seeking out as many members of the community as possible, to hear what concerns you have, and to hear what your positions are on key issues. Our goal is to build not just a strong candidacy, but to understand more fully the complexity of our city, and to revitalize the democratic process in Santa Cruz. After winning a seat on the Council, Drew will continue to defend the community’s right to know public information, the right to shape policy, and the transparency and accountability of government to the people. Drew will re-investment in our social infrastructure, innovative ideas for sustainable development, and representation of diverse voices in our community will make our community better for everyone. When minorities or vulnerable people are consistently squeezed out, silenced, made invisible, disrespected, and disproportionately punished by authorities, it creates an environment of fear and bullying. Drew is strongly committed to encouraging the following constituencies to step forward, become involved, and be recognized.
Communities of Color:
Growing up as one of few African-American children in the community, Drew felt isolated and subjected to years of what were to me inexplicably bizarre and unfair experiences. Drew had no context for them, no language to describe them, and was only able to recognize his experiences after reading about race and racism in college.
Today, communities of color in Santa Cruz still do not have a public culture that recognizes their histories or their realities. It is imperative that the City make historical justice, accuracy and honoring of all peoples’ knowledge a central topic of discussion and education at community events, film festivals and celebrations, and prioritize development of diverse public library holdings and policies that can help promote an appreciation of diverse viewpoints in our city’s institutions and recognize the cultural wealth of our neighborhoods. Only when our community understands itself will it be able to move toward its goals of non-violence and create a truly just, inclusive city.
Youth and Students:
Drew will work with youth and students to empower our future generation. Especially, Low-income youth of color who cannot see themselves reflected in their schools. Racism and oppression run rampant in their lives and many lose hope for a better future. These are the voices that should be lifted up, elevated and amplified out into the community to not only make sure they are being heard, but also to make sure they are answered. Adults in our community owe it to youth to demonstrate that things will change; it is our job to make sure youth have the tools to help us do it. We need to encourage and motivate other youth to step forward, learn the process of city government and get involved in all aspects of society to ensure we have an educated, passionate, and competent next generation of engaged and empowered youth. These are the people who can help us envision and rebuild the youth programs we need. Almost a third of our city’s population is of college age, and many are attending Cabrillo or UCSC. Many of them will have tremendous energy that they could invest in the community, if they had spaces and channels where they could contribute constructively and felt welcomed.
We will ensure to keep Santa Cruz a home and vital community of LGBTQ+ people. By Understanding that, the LGBTQ+ community, and LGBTQ+ individuals, are vulnerable in every aspect of life — their schools, workplaces and careers, the housing market, on the street and in private spaces. We will consciously and intentionally create a climate of support for gender and family diversity, to reduce phobia, isolation, and bullying.
With accessibility services being cut in Santa Cruz and throughout the country, people with disabilities have suffered. Particular transportation and accessibility needs within this community must continually be re-centered in policy and in design plan. For people with disabilities, there are additional challenges to be present at meetings and to explain their needs. When connective infrastructure is diminished in the public sphere, people with diverse kinds of limitations are disproportionately isolated from opportunities and community. This campaign is committed to working as an ally to this community, and to keeping access issues on the table.
Increasing rents, a lack of affordable housing and transportation have meant that working people are being displaced from Santa Cruz at an increasingly rapid rate. Workers need places to live and adequate transportation. This can only be addressed by careful attention to the nexus of housing-transportation-wages. That requires revisiting the whole of our infrastructure to support innovative solutions that can keep this city from gentrifying its working families out of the county.