I had the pleasure of connecting with community members at a meet and greet held in a lovely Ben Lomond home today. We engaged in thoughtful dialogue around a variety of pressing issues.
I spoke in depth about my work with the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County, which tirelessly develops critical wildfire risk reduction programs to protect our area. We also discussed issues with the planning department that have broadly impacted many, including but not limited to those who lost their home in the CZU Fire.
I especially enjoyed meeting a young couple who traveled from Boulder Creek to learn more about my campaign. On this Sunday afternoon, I was grateful they took time to discuss their hopes for the future.
Like many here, I share deep concerns over how current policies fail the next generation struggling to establish themselves in the face of steep costs-of-living. As both candidate and parent of children soon facing similar barriers, I profoundly understand the need for change. Our youth should not have to abandon the community they love because housing, jobs, childcare and other basics are impossibly out of reach.
With finding footholds in careers while managing huge debts and the basic inability to secure affordable housing or well paid employment conspiring against them, it's unfortunately understandable why talented young people get locked out of or simply give up on staying in Santa Cruz County early in their working lives. The status quo path offers them little room.
If elected, I will fiercely champion expanded opportunity for those starting out through concrete solutions. You can trust my commitment because I have skin in this game too. The policies I fight for today will directly open or close doors for my own children. When it comes to the next generation’s future, I won’t rest until we get this right.
Lastly, I want to offer my deepest thanks to everyone who has welcomed me into their homes for campaign meet-and-greets. Connecting face-to-face, listening to your stories, and discussing your vision for our community's future fills me with such passion and purpose.
I don't want your vote merely because you spotted my name on a placard or watched me walk in a parade. I hope to earn it through sincere dialogue and showing how profoundly I care.
My commitment to you is that I will continue having as many of these small gatherings as possible throughout the campaign trail. If we haven't yet sat down over a cup of coffee or tea to talk about the change you wish to see, I sincerely hope we will very soon. Just contact my campaign to set up a visit!
Let's continue building this grassroots movement fueled by real human connection, not empty politician gestures. Our county's future depends on it.
I'll see you out on trail! Onwards.