Mayor Fred Keeley with his “inflection points of change” would normally make me laugh but, the building of 12 stories and higher buildings sadly makes me want to cry.

That gauntlet and hideous building on Pacific should have been a wake up call to all at how the wrong politicians can ruin a town in a very short time.

Our town will be forever destroyed by too many people, cars and building blocking the sun. We simply cannot accommodate that here due to our geography. Santa Cruz will be forever ruined.

Sadly, Keeley with his shortsightedness will push this disaster 4 through and his only legacy will be this, “the destruction of a small beach town” brought to you by greedy politicians.

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My experience is that taking action with others is a good antidote for climate despair.

In 2008 a few of us started Transition Santa Cruz, a community effort to re-localize the economy and make us less dependent on long supply chains and fossil fuels. (There was a 2009 Good Times cover story on our efforts.) We had many events focusing on local food production, water supply, peak oil, and community resilience.

In 2016, noticing the lack of well-crafted songwriting on climate, I put my songwriting skills to work and wrote and recorded an album’s worth of original songs on the climate crisis, “Great Big Love.” With some of my favorite musicians in town, we put on several local concerts, and the album is available on CD, YouTube, etc.

In 2019, I joined the local incarnation of the direct action movement Extinction Rebellion. Until interrupted by the pandemic, we put on die-ins on Pacific Avenue, co-created a huge downtown rally shining a light on Wells Fargo, Chase, and other banks funding the climate crisis, and much more.

Now I volunteer with Friends of Juristac, working to support indigenous control of land, in particular a piece of undeveloped land near Gilroy. Throughout all of this activism, I have struggled with daunting feelings of hopelessness about the situation. But I have learned to distrust these feelings.

We face huge and painful challenges and I think we all sense that our solo actions (like being a “green” consumer) are not going to be enough. Thus the key word for me in the paragraph above is “we.” With collective action there is always hope- -at least enough to get up one more day, and try again.



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