City on a Hill Press hosted a forum for city council candidates at the Student Media Center to discuss university expansion, police accountability, housing and other issues affecting UC Santa Cruz students. Here are some of the closing statements of the candidates, when asked why students should vote for them.
Special thanks to Student Cable Television (SCTV) for filming the event. Additional footage will continue to be uploaded as it becomes available. The full story and photos will be available in our special issue voters guide, on stands Thursday.
Sandy Brown is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco who teaches on a variety of subjects including American politics and urban food politics. Brown also worked in organized labor and local policy campaigns like Santa Cruz’s Living Wage Committee, the Citizen Police Advisory Board and the Agricultural Justice Project.
Steve Schnaar is a local activist and educator. Schnaar founded the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project which promotes local, sustainable agricultural practices and promotes environmentally friendly policies.
Chris Krohn is a former Santa Cruz mayor who runs an environmental studies internship at UC Santa Cruz. After leaving city council, Krohn was involved with community actions such as protecting the Beach Flats Garden and serving on the Community Water Board Council.
Nathanael Kennedy is a local artist just entering the political arena. He has had some troubles in the past and was arrested a handful of times between 2002-14, with charges including indecent exposure and lewd conduct, battery and misdemeanor vandalism.
J.M. Brown currently works for the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Committee, which advises Santa Cruz City Council on community planning in regards to parks and open space.
Cynthia Mathews is the incumbent Mayor of Santa Cruz. She was first elected in 1992 and served a total of five terms, which includes four year terms as mayor. Prior to Mathews’ experience on the council, she was the founding director of the Santa Cruz chapter of Planned Parenthood, amongst other positions in the city.
Robert Singleton is the youngest candidate in the race at 26 years old and has re-entered the race after suspending his campaign in May. Singleton helped found the online start-up Civinomics which promotes democracy and community involvement, and he also works as a policy analyst for Santa Cruz Business Council.
Drew Glover is a freelance photographer and executive director of Project Pollinate, a nonprofit community group. A lifelong resident of Santa Cruz, Glover is focusing his campaign around the city’s housing and transportation problems, inclusivity and environmental justice.
Martine Watkins is a UC Santa Cruz alumna who currently works as a senior community organizer for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Watkins is involved with local community organizations such as the Dominican Hospital Community Advisory Board and the County Child Care Planning Council.
Jim Davis is a local musician and sales representative for Mapelton Communications, a company which owns several local radio stations. Davis was motivated to run for city council because he says that the current local politicians aren’t addressing the city’s issues, such as the area’s continued issue of houselessness.