.Letter to the Editor: Vote for Change

A letter to the editor of Good Times

I find myself completely baffled and disheartened to know that we live in one of the most expensive places in a country which is one of the wealthiest in the entire world, and the housing crisis seems to be getting worse. I walk by so many of our neighbors suffering and struggling each day and it breaks my heart. I get off work in downtown Santa Cruz and see many folks huddled in doorways or hear them screaming in the streets. Why can’t we guarantee that everyone has a place to live? With all the abundance surrounding us, what is preventing that abundance from being shared? If we housed everyone living by the levy, in parks, in their vehicles or on friend’s couches, we would all live in a more peaceful, beautiful community. As for myself, I spend nearly half of my income on rent and have almost zero hope of ever being able to afford to buy a home in California, the state I was born and raised in. And I am one of the lucky ones, with a master’s degree, a stable job and a supportive family.  

If everyone had a home, they would have trash service provided by the city. If everyone had a home, less people would need to stay up all night so they wouldn’t get robbed or attacked. Can we imagine a Santa Cruz where everyone had a safe place to rest their head at night? What do we value as a community? Do we value caring for one another and basic human rights, or do we value some people having so much, more than they need, and so many having so little?  Let’s also think about how much money we truly need to have a purposeful life. As far as we know, we cannot take anything with us when we die, so what is all this wealth and power hoarding about?  

Since housing is a human right, and that human right is not being protected by the city or state, we must take matters into our own hands. That is why I support Measure N, also known as the Empty Home Tax. It gives homeowners who have more than they need the opportunity to give back and invest in affordable housing. And for those who prefer not to pay the tax and rent out their extra homes, then that frees up more housing. It is a step in the right direction as the city and county figure out what they are willing to do to get all of our neighbors housed.

Erin Wood

Santa Cruz

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  1. No amount of new housing will solve issue we have in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz as a beach community is highly desirable. If allowed people will always come to town and live in tents and Rvs. It’s foolish to believe we can provide housing as there will be endless demand. Think about it. Guaranteed cheap housing by the beach in liberal and wealthy community willing to tolerate drug use and provide free food. Word is out that Santa Cruz is a great place to land. No amount of tax will solve issue as more will continue to flow into the city . We must first stop people from camping in the town. For people who have jobs or are in real need of housing assistance there are programs currently. Taxing home owners isn’t the answer to our homeless problem.


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