Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Talk of the Bay from KSQD
A Santa Cruz citizens' initiative aims to give voters a say in changes to building height limits


Housing for People is a grassroots citizens’ initiative campaign. Keresha Durham, Susan Monheit, Frank Barron, and Candace Broen were interviewed in August of 2023 by host Len Beyea about their campaign, what the initiative would achieve if it qualifies for the ballot and gets voter approval, and what motivated each of them to engage in this effort.

Keresha Durham is a local high school teacher.  She is a bilingual teacher, focused on environmental science and protection. She has been teaching since 1987.  She has been an Environmental and Climate Activist for over 30 years and served in several local Eco-organizations and as Chair of the City Transportation Commission to increase clean and human-powered transportation.  She is proud to say she got rid of her car to help our climate about 20 years ago and she happily walks and bikes every day- rain or shine!

Susan Monheit has enjoyed a 30-year career in environmental protection. She is recently retired from a position as Unit Chief for Water Quality, in the Division of Water Rights, at the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento – a position where she supervised the development of Environmental Impact Reports under CEQA, to regulate water flows and habitat restoration to support recovery of endangered species.  Susan has a master’s in environmental management from the University of San Francisco .  She has published two scientific research papers in the peer reviewed journal Human and Ecological Risk Assessment (HERA).

Frank Barron is a retired land use planner, with 30 years local and Monterey Bay area experience in the public and private sector. He has experience in regional, environmental, city, county and special district water agency planning.  He has also worked as a Regional Planner at the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), including preparing the Regional Housing Needs Assessment report (which distributed the Regional Housing Needs Allocations to each of the cities and counties in the Monterey Bay Region.)

Candace Broen is a graduate of Psychobiology and Accounting with Honors.  After a few decades working in high-tech, she studied key issues of land use and transportation and recognized many serious overlooked impacts with rezoning.  She formed a group named Branciforte Action Committee which organized a series of Community Forums to bring awareness to City Planning and its impacts, focusing on solving the “real affordable” housing needs of Santa Cruz.  She has served on the Save Santa Cruz Steering Committee, on reImagine Santa Cruz.  For over 3 years, she has been a City Transportation and Public Works Commissioner.  In her second career now, she works as a tax accountant.