.Santa Cruz District 2 City Council Candidate: Hector Marin

Candidates make their case to Santa Cruz voters

Santa Cruz’s District 2 city council seat is being contested in the upcoming March 5 election between political newcomer Hector Marin and incumbent councilmember Sonja Brunner.

Marin previously ran for city council as a candidate for District 4 in 2022, but lost to current councilmember Scott Newsome. Marin is focused on addressing the housing crisis; supporting organized labor; protecting small businesses from corporate competition and bringing more Latinx voices into the political process.

GT sent questions to the candidates to get their takes on some of the city’s most pressing issues. Read Marin’s responses below.

(At the time of publication Sonja Brunner had not submitted her responses).

 Why are you running for City Council?

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Living in Seabright, I am running for City Council in District 2 to bring positive change to our East-side Santa Cruz, Seabright, Midtown and Lower Ocean neighborhoods. As a teacher’s aide, tenant and essential worker, I aim to amplify the voices of the most vulnerable, ensuring community involvement at all levels. I’ll work hard to preserve our city’s unique character and provide much-needed Latino representation in a town that is 30% Hispanic. Together, let’s put community first.

 What do you think will be the most pressing needs for Santa Cruz over the next four years, and how would you address these needs as a council member?

Housing, homelessness and community safety are the most important issues to District 2. Our platform wants to create neighborhood councils which customizes the needs of affordable housing to every neighborhood’s needs and preference of density. Homelessness is also another huge problem, and our candidacy wants to ensure that we have a more transparent budgeting process in the City’s 3-Year Homelessness Emergency Plan so we can reallocate resources efficiently. Our candidacy will also advocate for community cleanups to beautify our public spaces and make them safe for our families.

What are your thoughts on how the city should address the increasing demand for affordable housing? Any ideas on how to keep public services adequate to accommodate potential new growth? 

I think that we should consult with the community to provide housing needs for our district. We can build affordable housing and meet the state requirements with our current General Plan, maintaining the current height limits and zoning laws. We also want to make the new development projects more affordable at the very-low income and extremely very low income level. A public service that I would propose would be free legal consultation services that are City-funded for tenants who have been displaced or are facing eviction, enhancing tenant protections in the process.

Do you think raising the city’s sales tax to help fund assistance programs for the unhoused is a good idea? What else do you think could be done to address the issue?

Our candidacy believes in consulting with the community first when considering increasing sales taxes at a local level. I think that we can make the current City’s Homelessness Emergency Plan more transparent, and reallocate resources by better funding mental health services, shelter programs and job-training programs.


  1. I think Hector having a UCSC sociology degree is enough of a tell that he is a full progressive DSA type if the “supporting organized labor; protecting small businesses from corporate competition and bringing more Latinx voices into the political process” or “community organizer, renter, and a service worker” didn’t do the trick. The voters didn’t go for him last time because I think they realize we need people who represent everyone, not selected special interests of his along ideological grounds.
    I wonder why so few comments ever actually appear in Good Times. Why is that?

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