“Capitola is a special town and we need to keep it that way.”
Development in Capitola
Capitola is a special town and we need to keep it that way. I remain committed to supporting smart, thoughtful development while maintaining the unique nature and quaint charm of our city. I have strongly supported development along 41st Avenue as outlined in our General Plan. As the City Council considered the redevelopment of our Capitola Mall, I encouraged the inclusion of a hotel on 41st Avenue rather than in our quaint Capitola Village. As we continue to finalize these plans, I will continue to encourage mixed-use, high-density development along Capitola’s regional commercial zone.
Coastal Resilience Projects
In 2016, I supported Measure F, which extended a 1/4-cent sales tax in order to provide funding for our Wharf, Jetty, Flume, and other coastal resiliency projects. Since that time, I led an ad-hoc committee to consider concerns surrounding coastal bluff erosion, served on the Wharf rehabilitation design committee, voted to fund improvements to our Jetty and Flume, and served as an alternate member of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee. As Capitola continues to face the growing threat of sea-level rise caused by climate change, I will continue to engage in efforts that protect our coastline and our community.
Keeping Locals Local
The small-city charm of Capitola is one of our greatest assets and the Capitola Village is a perfect representation of that. Housing has become increasingly expensive however, and renters in our city are spending more and more of their incomes to live here. In the past few years on City Council, I have supported the development of affordable housing in the plan to redevelop our Capitola Mall. While the groundbreaking for this project is still several years out, I believe it will do a great deal in addressing the demand for affordable, missing-middle housing.
Additionally, as our community began to experience the hardships of COVID-19, I voted to enact a commercial and residential eviction moratorium in order to support those most impacted. I also engaged with our City staff and Vice Mayor Yvette Brooks to ensure that the City’s CDBG CARES Act funding is used to support homelessness prevention through rental assistance programs for our residents.
Also this year, I was appointed as one of Santa Cruz County’s Representatives to the Central Coast Housing Working Group. In this group, elected officials from throughout the Central Coast come together to allocate funding that jurisdictions can use to meet their regional housing needs.
In 2016, I worked to support Measure S, the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Bond Measure that passed with wide support and provided millions of dollars in funding to the development of a new Capitola Branch Library. Since that time, I have worked with the Friends of the Capitola Branch Library Group and my fellow City Council Members to support the development of an 11, 00 square foot, state-of-the art library. We broke ground on that project in 2018 and I am looking forward to being a part of the ribbon cutting when the project is completed in late-2020.
In addition to my commitment to local community services, I have also spent the past three years serving on the League of California Cities’ Community Service Policy Committee. In this committee, I work with local elected officials from throughout the State of California to review, support, and advance State policy that impacts our schools, libraries, parks, and other community services.
Civic Engagement & Youth Involvement
In 2016, I committed to encouraging the return of the Capitola Leadership Academy and to creating opportunities for youth residents to engage with our City. Since that time, the Capitola Citizens Leadership Academy has returned, providing residents with the opportunity to learn about our city and engage at a deeper level. Additionally, within my first year in office, I successfully worked to add youth seats to Capitola’s advisory boards and commissions. Today, we have student members on our Finance Advisory Committee, Historical Museum Board,and Art and Cultural Commission.
Also in my first year in office, I organized a Capitola’s Women’s Leadership event, designed to encourage local women to run for office and pursue other positions of leadership. One of the participants in that event is now Capitola’s Vice Mayor,Yvette Brooks.
I see our City as an incredible incubator of community leaders and am excited to support all forms of civic engagement and youth involvement.
No part of our community has been untouched by the impacts of COVID-19. As we began to feel the impacts of the pandemic and our state’s shelter-in-place order, I worked with my fellow Council Members to address some of the issues our residents and business owners were experiencing.
Along with supporting the residential and commercial eviction moratorium and ensuring wise use of Federal and State funding to address the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19, I also supported the expansion of outdoor dining along the Esplanade in order to encourage social distancing and the opportunity for restaurants to apply for no-fee permits for takeout windows. I also provided weekly updates to the BIA as our economy began to reopen and new guidelines were put in place for safely returning to work in retail shops and restaurants.
Finally, I have also worked with the City Manager and City Staff to hold a public information meeting that allowed for community members to share their concerns and be heard by their local leadership. I continue to answer phone calls and emails from residents on a daily basis in order to help them find the resources they need during these difficult and unusual times.