Our beautiful coastal mountains remind me of my birthplace in the Alabama forest.. This is why I was drawn to the San Lorenzo Valley as the place I want to live and raise my children.
My father was a Nuclear Engineer in the Navy and because of this our family had the opportunity to live in many different places and to learn from many cultures. We lived in the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, the Bay Area and a myriad of places in between. I consider this opportunity an immense privilege. I learned how to work with many types of people and learned to respect their morals and beliefs. My family has never been wealthy. My parents have always worked hard to make sure we had what we needed. My family and my community have shown me time and again that with love and support anything is possible.
Meeting Life's Challenges
Despite a robust family life, my journey has been marked by incredible challenges. I experienced the heart-wrenching loss of a young special needs child, followed by the death of my first spouse from suicide. During his short four years of life, my son Micah taught me a lifetime of lessons. He taught me the importance of perseverance, empathy, and unconditional love. Those lessons helped me tremendously when I lost my first wife to depression a few years later. Suddenly, a single father of four, I had to take care of myself and my children. I had to make sure they were ok, and they were provided for. Resilience wasn’t an option; it was a necessity. I’ve carried those lessons forward. I’ve experienced numerous life challenges since. I've applied those lessons, resilience and the ability to endure and move forward to my everyday life.
Life hasn’t always been easy, but the hard parts have made me tough in ways I didn’t expect, and gentle in ways I never knew I could be.
Recovering from the CZU fire
One of the hardest experiences and educations of my life has been the loss of our home in the CZU fires. The effort my family has gone through to rebuild is my motivation and purpose to run for 5th district supervisor.
During my experience attempting to rebuild, my family has experienced multiple roadblocks. We have fought tooth and nail to get our home back. Despite the county proclaiming to expedite the rebuild process, this was not my experience. In our attempt to rebuild, I learned how a poorly run and adversarial bureaucracy can present unmanageable obstacles to residents.
I learned how choices made by individuals in city and county government have devastating effects on constituents. I learned that who represents you at these levels *matters*.
My family and others have experienced so many roadblocks, difficulties, and problems dealing with our local government. I decided I had to do more than figure it out for myself. I need to be part of the solution. I must make sure my community has active and present representation in local government. A representative who cares about what happens to the community.
It is through these experiences, and working for solutions, that I’ve come to embrace the idea of service – to serve my community as the 5th District Supervisor and to create a brighter future for all of us who call it home.
Community Organization and Advocacy
My experiences as a CZU Fire Survivor have shown me explicitly how an adversarial government can cause great harm, especially to those most vulnerable in our communities. Santa Cruz County’s “No-Growth” culture and policy perspective is outdated and has been harmful to our community.
The current policies have caused a devastating housing crisis, they prevent our children from having homes here, they prevent disaster victims from rebuilding, and will destroy the contiguity of our neighborhoods.
I am proud to have lead the charge and participated in several facets of community based recovery that include:
CZU Fire Victim Support through social media and events. This included mental health support, housing, insurance understanding, rebuild support and advocacy at the state and county level.
CZU Remembrance Event: An annual event at Brookdale Lodge that brings community together to both honor those that lost everything and come together as a community to mitigate our risk of future fires
Water and Sewer Infrastructure Advocacy: Led the charge with a dynamic group of citizens to fight for clean potable water, a functioning sewer system to protect our waterways for the customers of Big Basin Water and Sewage in Boulder Creek. We have made tremendous headway and it’s all thanks to the community coming together to collaborate with elected officials at the county, state and federal level, including the CPUC and State Waterboard.
CZU Barnraising: Seeing that so many fire families were underinsured I have been collaborating with the Santa Cruz County Board of Realtors, local businesses and community members to support rebuild efforts of those who are trying to get home. Beautiful things happen when community comes together! We are about ready to launch and with the recent storms we are working on including storm victims in our efforts of support.
A Brighter Future is Possible
There are so many challenges we face living in the 5th District. Each area has its own set of concerns and needs. No matter where we live in the 5th District, we all face some of the same issues. Crumbling infrastructure; roads, water systems. sewer systems, septic systems. Natural disasters; floods, fire, earthquakes. Housing issues; building restrictions, lack of resources, exorbitant costs.
Despite all of these challenges, there’s nowhere I would rather live and raise my children with my wife Antonia
A brighter future *is* possible for every one of us if we join as a community to move forward with positive change. When I’m elected as Supervisor, you will have a representative who experiences the same challenges you do every day. My family rises with your family, and I intend to work in a way to make policy improvements that lift us as a community into a better quality of life.
My love for the mountains and the people who live here is unwavering. The beauty of our surroundings and the resilience of our community are a constant source of inspiration. As your County Supervisor, I pledge to work tirelessly on your behalf, ensuring that our collective voice is heard, and our needs are not neglected. The time is past due for our district to have the representation it deserves and representation which coincides with our taxation.
Together, we can create a brighter future for our neighbors, our children, and the generations to come.
I ask for your support and your trust as I embark on this journey to serve the community we all love. Together, let us stand united for a better tomorrow.
With deepest gratitude and hope,
I was fortunate to have a wonderful upbringing. My parents were successful because of the support of our extended family and community. Early on, my family and our community instilled a strong work ethic into my upbringing.