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  • Writer's pictureD Lane

Notes from the campaign trail... and more

Last night, I enjoyed visiting with about 20 residents of Walnut Commons to talk about the upcoming election. I was joined in this by Katherine Beiers, Tim Fitzmaurice and Renee Golder, the other three “replacement candidates” in the recall election. I want to commend everyone involved: both the residents asking questions and sharing ideas --and the candidates providing substantive and thoughtful responses. While there is real conflict and division in our community around the recall, this gathering demonstrated that we can have civil conversations and find common ground on many issues. Thank you, Diane Klein, for pulling your neighbors together and inviting me to participate.

This morning… met with a countywide working group making excellent progress on developing a framework for significantly improved regional collaborative management and decision-making related to the homelessness crisis in our county. The County has taken a leadership role in moving this forward.

At lunch time… visited a meeting of the Santa Cruz County Business Council and other local business folks to listen to their ideas and concerns as the Community Advisory Committee on Homelessness (of which I am a member) works toward shaping a set of recommendations to the City Council.

This afternoon, after distributing some campaign yard signs, I met for coffee with a former City of Santa Cruz colleague who shared some great ideas on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of local government.

At six, I attended a structured community engagement “workshop” of the CACH—again soliciting ideas and feedback from community members on managing camping and encampments in our community. These can be very contentious issues but I did sense a higher level of goodwill and commitment from a wide range of community members to act constructively and effectively. While there wasn’t consensus on some issues, there were definitely some areas of common ground for us to build on. (Stay tuned… several recommendations from the CACH will be heading to the city council on February 25.)

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