.Opinion: The Importance of Representation


This week’s cover story by Liza Monroy demonstrates that you can’t contain a great idea. I think it’s both remarkable and yet somehow not at all surprising that the Rise Together group originally came together to handle a very specific task for the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County—helping decide how $350,000 in funding would be distributed—and ended up creating a set of goals like “Change policies, structures, and systems at the root level with people of color-led solutions, representation, and power to increase equity and anti-racist policy.” I mean, that is high-level stuff to jump to from “where should this money go?” But again, it’s not surprising when you look at who is actually part of this group. They’re many of the most influential community leaders in Santa Cruz County—you probably recognized a lot of their faces on the cover. When you put that kind of experience and smarts and vision in one room, things are going to happen that you couldn’t have foreseen.

Another thing I really enjoy about Monroy’s piece is reading about how the Rise Together members re-examined every part of their process. They brought change not only to the outcome, but also to the system that produces the outcome. Next time you hear someone cynically suggest that inclusion and racial representation are just abstract ideas or numbers games, I’d suggest sending them this article.



Read the latest letters to the editor here.



Re: Meisenheimer

I wonder if the Judge, DA’s office and SCPD would have allowed an abusive woman out of jail, if she had repeatedly beaten/stalked her police officer boyfriend while also repeatedly ignoring restraining orders? This was an avoidable murder. As a Commissioner on CPVAW we need community support to help us hold the powers that be accountable, else tragedies like this will keep happening again and again.

—   Ann Simonton


This is shameful on the part of our judicial system. They failed Meisenheimer miserably. Their life is gone because he was let go free. This is beyond infuriating, and completely outrageous.

Rachel “Elias” Meisenheimer lost their precious life thru an avoidable situation. Shame on those that allowed this to happen.

— Clara


Re: Sales Tax

The minority council have really revealed themselves in this vote, their support of selling city land to a luxury hotel developer instead of give it to a nonprofit affordable housing developer (like New Way Homes), and their absolute commitment to passing an unconstitutional ban of folks living in tents and RVs. This is perhaps the most immoral and destructive Santa Cruz city council in history.

— Reggie Meisler


Submit to ph****@go*******.sc. Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250dpi.

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Get vaccinated and cultured at the same time this Friday at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). From noon-4pm, Santa Cruz County Public Health will present a community-based, no-cost vaccination clinic at the MAH. While receiving a Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, attendees will have the chance to hear and share stories from the pandemic. The event will also have a Tree of Hope, where patrons can fill out a slip of paper with the prompt “I hope…”, whether or not they receive a vaccine. The papers will be hung on the tree outside the Secret Garden for public viewing.



Soquel Creek Water District is completely reliant on groundwater from the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin for its water supply—but Pure Water Soquel is working to create a supplemental water source. Garney Construction is working weekdays from 7 am to 4 pm installing pipelines for the project. The eight-mile-long pipelines—which are being installed on California Street to Laurel Street and Broadway now through November—will provide supplemental, recycled water for the community and prevent groundwater contamination.


“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

-Ryunosuke Satoro


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