Santa Cruz County

Local chapter

November 2020 Election Cheat Sheet

Explanations for endorsements are below.

California State Senate

District 17

βœ… John Laird

California State Assembly

District 30
βœ… Robert Rivas

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

District 1
βœ… John Leopold

California State Ballot Propositions

Prop 15
βœ… Yes
Prop 19
βœ… Yes
Prop 21 *
βœ… Yes

Santa Cruz

City Council
βœ… Elizabeth Conlan
βœ… Maria Cadenas
βœ… Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson

* Endorsements marked with an asterisk are made by only by the local chapter. All other endorsements are from both the local chapter and YIMBY Action.

Endorsement Explainer

California State Senate

CA State Senate District 17

John Laird

Laird’s experience as an environmental champion gives us confidence he will be a leader on science-based climate policies. He knows housing and transportation policies are key elements to creating sustainable communities.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

California State Assembly

CA State Assembly District 30

San Benito county, and portions of Monterey, southern Santa Cruz, and southern Santa Clara counties

Robert Rivas

For Assemblymember Rivas, housing is a personal issue: he grew up in farmworker housing. In 2019, his first year in the Assembly, he passed an important bill that sets quality standards for farmworker housing and makes it easier to build. This year, Rivas authored two housing streamlining bills, AB3153 and AB3155, and carried fourplex bill SB1120 in the Assembly.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

California State Ballot Propositions

βœ… YES

Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First

Proposition 15 will get rid of property tax breaks for big businesses, and put billions of dollars towards schools and local services.

Currently, thanks to 1978’s Prop 13, owners pay property taxes based on the price they originally paid for that real estateβ€”typically a lot less than what it’s worth today. Prop 15 will roll this back for many large businesses, raising property taxes to be assessed based on the property’s current (probably much higher) market value. Prop 15 will raise approximately $6.5 to $11.5 billion β€” 60% for cities, counties and special districts, and 40% for schools and community colleges. Homeowners and businesses with under $3 million in California property will be exempted, along with farm land.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

βœ… YES

Proposition 19: Changes Some Property Tax Transfers and Exemptions

Proposition 19 adjusts the rules of 1978’s Proposition 13. While many YIMBYs would like to see major reform to Prop 13, this is a small adjustment to California’s property tax rules. Prop 19 reduces tax subsidies for people who inherit multiple homes, and shifts them to people downsizing homes or who are moving due to natural disasters. Any excess tax revenue from reducing the multiple-homes subsidy goes to wildfire protection.

Currently, for homeowners who want to downsize to a smaller home, if it costs more than the original price of their big home, they can end up paying more taxes (depending on their county’s rules). Prop 19 makes sure that people who are down-sizing homes are protected from tax increases. Ideally, this allows long-time homeowners to downsize and allow others who need more space to move into their larger homes. Prop 19 also extends to people who are moving due to natural disasters, so they don’t face a tax hike on top of the trauma of losing their homes.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

βœ… YES

Proposition 21: Expands Options for Local Rent Control

Prop 21 would help to provide more housing stability to Californians by giving cities more options to limit rent increases. Prop 21 sets sensible guardrails for rent stabilization by exempting small landlords with only one or two properties as well as new construction less than 15 years old. Ensuring housing stability is critical for homeless prevention and community wellness.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBY.

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor District 1

John Leopold

During his time as Supervisor, John Leopold has supported greater densities for affordable projects, changed our farmworker housing regulations, and made it easier for school districts to build on their land. He has been a strong supporter of the Rail and Trail and understands that housing policy and transportation policy are inextricably linked and that increasing density along our transit corridors will create opportunity for people to take other modes of transportation instead of getting into a single occupant vehicle.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz City Council

Elizabeth Conlan

Elizabeth’s experience as a renter and concern with economic and racial inequality led her to become an advocate for affordable and fair housing through Santa Cruz YIMBY. She has worked to advance local and statewide housing policies that are central to tackling many of the most important issues facing our community, including homelessness and climate change. She plans to advance bold housing policies in affordable and middle-class housing while also supporting renters.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

Santa Cruz City Council

Maria Cadenas

Maria is a strong believer in housing for all, reversing the trend of housing and wealth inequality. She stands up for the people living in overcrowded conditions both here and across the region. She has worked with governments, small businesses, workers, nonprofits, and policymakers across our region to develop practical and equitable solutions to improve people’s lives. She is a problem-solver who will address housing inequities by creating policy that takes into consideration the lived experiences of low-income households, including people of color.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.

Santa Cruz City Council

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson

Shebreh is a fierce advocate for Santa Cruz, demonstrated through her grant writing to secure funding for critical local issues including immigration rights and juvenile justice reform. Recently, she co-led an emergency response team to help homeless youth find shelter during the pandemic. She cares about building a resilient, inclusive and equitable Santa Cruz for all and knows that housing is critical to making this vision a reality.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBYΒ and YIMBY Action.