The vital issues highlighted in this recent voter survey and article—from disaster preparedness to infrastructure to housing costs—directly impact the lives and safety of District 5 families. As a Boulder Creek resident, I feel these concerns deeply and have faced them myself as a CZU Fire Survivor and community advocate.
That firsthand experience has shown me that for too long, Santa Cruz County has not met the scale of crises confronting our mountain communities. The time for excuses is over. District 5 needs and deserves consistent, courageous leadership to solve our most pressing problems. We need someone with skin in the game, who knows the people of this valley not just the insiders. As a father who is raising his children here, I will fight for your family as I would fight for my own, our success tied together in community.
Below you will find a brief response to each concern. This is by no means exhaustive but I wanted to make sure people knew that I was paying attention, understand the issues and more than anything I want people to be heard.
Highway 9 Safety:
I wanted to add this priority onto the list as it is of great concern to our local towns.
Highway 9 safety absolutely must be a top priority. As Supervisor, I will lead coordinated advocacy to implement lifesaving changes along this dangerous corridor. We have a lot of people injured or who lose their life because Highway 9 is dark, people are speeding or just not paying attention. The latest is a thirteen year old child who was injured when struck with a vehicle in Boulder Creek just the other night. In recent history a young woman lost her life in Ben Lomond.
Urgent action is needed to add more lighting, high visibility crosswalks, reduced speeds, vegetation management and pedestrian barriers in our town centers. While Caltrans jurisdiction brings bureaucratic hurdles, I know from tackling local water issues that relentlessness and partnerships deliver. I will work closely with state and federal representatives to secure safety improvement funding for the RTC’s shovel-ready projects. But we cannot wait years for major infrastructure changes.
In the short term, increased law enforcement patrols, signage and traffic calming measures will make an immediate difference. We must also work with schools and local businesses on educational campaigns to heighten caution driving near pedestrians.
Addressing highway dangers on 9 that act as our main streets requires a supervisor fully committed to the task. I am ready to bring cooperative, multi-tiered leadership to deliver visible safety upgrades so that these tragedies don’t continue to strike our communities. We owe it to everyone traveling and living along Highway 9.
Disaster preparedness is a priority deeply personal to me. Through hands-on advocacy following the CZU fire and my role on the Fire Safe Santa Cruz County Board, I've led tangible efforts to equip the San Lorenzo Valley against future threats.
Whether fighting for critical water infrastructure in Boulder Creek, resources for displaced residents, or spearheading mitigation strategies countywide, I have delivered results to fortify District 5. My combined disaster policy and on-the-ground experience make me uniquely qualified to strengthen the county safety net.
With climate change fueling natural disasters, we cannot afford inaction. As Supervisor, I'll continue championing data-driven resilience plans, maximizing grant funding for home hardening and evacuation route upgrades, and pushing bold infrastructure investments because I know what action it takes. We must empower communities to protect themselves against the coming storms and wildfires. I'm already deeply engaged in this work, and will bring that same passionate, informed leadership to the Board.
Power, water, communications and roads:
Reliable infrastructure underpins nearly every challenge facing District 5, from power to communications during disasters. As Supervisor, I will take a two-pronged approach to fortifying these vulnerable systems.
First, stricter accountability for utility companies through service agreements with penalties for non-compliance. We must also build cooperative relationships to secure the infrastructure investments our communities deserve.
Second, diversifying our tools through low-tech and high-tech solutions alike - from emergency sirens and radio to mesh networks boosting cellular resiliency. An "all of the above" strategy will ensure every resident can stay informed and connected during events.
I have already collaborated with current Supervisors on a blueprint for broadening communications infrastructure across the County. My aim is creating redundancy through both basic necessities and innovation. Upgraded roads, power lines, broadband access and emergency planning are interconnected for District 5. We need solutions matching the scale of the challenge, and as Supervisor I will bring the relationships and drive to deliver.
Please see my blog past about fortifying our cellular coverage in the mountains: https://www.bradfordforsupervisor.com/post/improving-cell-coverage-in-the-district
Housing affordability is a massive cost of living issue, and we didn't arrive at the terrible place we currently are by accident.This is a planning issue, and a government culture issue, and in many ways a moral issue. For too long the County has stood in the way of folks looking to build homes, build ADU's, and upgrade their properties. I have fought with the county so that folks could rebuild their homes after our natural disasters for years, and have met with numerous groups and community stakeholders to create novel answers to this pressing issue. A combination of cultural change in planning, a permissive approach to permitting and building, utilizing county and school lands to increase our bargaining power with private builders to create affordable units, and a removal of red tape and anti-housing ordinances (like the rule that requires a parcel to have a full acre to utilize a septic tank) are what we need to get housing, and therefore our cost-of-living, affordable for our people.
Child care, safety and youth activities:
Skyrocketing childcare costs are pricing families out of Santa Cruz County. My wife and I have certainly faced the same struggles with finding affordable child care when our kids were little. Expanding accessible youth programs and affordable care options will be a top priority during my term. No family should lose income because quality care consumes their second paycheck. As Supervisor, I will work to establish county-sponsored cooperatives, leverage state subsidies, and provide facilities for nonprofit providers to expand capacity. Our children's futures should not be limited by their parents’ bank accounts.
And every teen deserves safe spaces to grow. Yet many turn toward danger in the absence of supervised activities. That is why I will work on expanded youth programming through partnerships with schools, community centers, and mentorship groups. Tapping stimulus funds and union training programs creates opportunity, not instability.
Through lived experience and tested solutions like my martial arts academy's mentorship initiative, I know what young people and working families need. It starts with listening to what challenges they face. As Supervisor I will apply that same close understanding to deliver results - more care choices, lower costs, and youth support countywide. Our policies must empower the next generation.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns always feel free to reach out to me or my campaign. I am running on a platform of transparnecy and communication, so I am always open to dialouge!
See you on the campaign trail!