[My apologies to followers of my blog... I went to Vietnam for a month and didn't write at all. When I returned, most of my energy went into my continuing work on homelessness and on the situation described in the letter below. Thank you for your patience.]
Thank you for all of your support and encouragement over the years regarding our work together to make a community better and better.
Today, I’m writing to share my thoughts about the upcoming city council recall election in the City of Santa Cruz and to tell you about my role in that March election.
As you know, there is a possibility that two Santa Cruz City Councilmembers (Christopher Krohn and Drew Glover) will be removed from office in March through a recall election. In addition to the recall question, the March election ballot will include an opportunity for city voters to choose replacement city councilmembers if the recalls are approved. Should the recalls be approved, it’s extremely important that the new councilmembers are sharply focused on healing, constructive dialog and restoring a shared community vision for Santa Cruz as it faces difficult challenges.
I have decided to be a candidate for the shorter-term seat on the Council. In other words, if Councilmember Krohn is recalled, I will be seeking to fill his spot for the approximately eight months that will be remaining in his term. I hasten to add that, if I am chosen to fill that spot, I will NOT be running for election to a full term in November.
My only interest is to help the City and the community through a difficult time, bringing my experience as a three-time mayor and 12-year member of the Council, my ability to work with a wide range of people, my capacity to step into the job quickly and my desire to restore some sense of unity to the city and community that I have devoted much of my life to.
To be clear, I will not be advocating for or against the recall of Councilmembers Krohn and Glover. I understand why so many people are unhappy with their performance as councilmembers. Their work has been very disappointing to me on many occasions. However, I have had some reservations about using the recall process in this situation. In the end, my views on this are not particularly important. Voters themselves will make the decision about the advisability of a recall.
If I am chosen by city voters to serve on the council for eight months, I would focus most on creating collaborative solutions based on civil discussion and principled compromise. While I have my own views about how to make progress on affordable housing, homelessness, environmental sustainability and public safety issues, those views will typically take a back seat to the need for working toward consensus. This is the principal reason I think it’s important for me NOT to make an endorsement on the recall ballot question. (It's important for me maintain the possibility of working collaboratively with both those opposing and those supporting the recall.)
Lastly, I ask for your involvement in and support for my effort. Whichever way you are casting your ballot on the recall question itself, I hope you will cast your “replacement” vote for me (if you are a City voter!). I’d be honored to have your endorsement. I’d also be happy if you’d like to help my campaign with a donation of money or a few hours of your time. (I will be limiting my campaign to individual donations of $250 or less. I think, in a time of attempting to restore confidence in our city government, keeping the role of campaign contributions to a minimum is worthwhile.) Of course, because I’m just getting started, I don't have any of the usual forms or web pages or donation buttons yet. (Coming soon!) However, if you'd like to endorse or help, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can receive a check at Don Lane for City Council 2020, 132 Van Ness Ave. Santa Cruz 95060. (Contributions of $100 or more will be publicly reported in accordance with state law.)
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.