Talk of the Bay
Talk of the Bay
Talk of the Bay Rebroadcast, with Chris Krohn, March 29th: Making Public Policy through Ballot Initiatives
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Talk of the Bay with Chris Krohn, Tuesday, March 29th, 5-6 PM

Making Public Policy through Ballot Initiatives

This Tuesday on Talk of the Bay, we explore how Santa Cruz citizens are organizing public policy initiatives and taking an end-around the usual municipal ordinance-making procedures. It is clear that many Santa Cruz residents are unhappy with the politics of the local city council, so they are taking matters into their own hands. Two ballot initiatives, if passed in 2022, would bring dramatic changes to the city.

 

The Empty Homes Tax petition is currently being circulated among city voters. It calls for a $6000 tax on every home that is left vacant for more than three months a year. The tax would be $3000 for apartments that are left empty. Our Downtown, Our Future is a ballot initiative that seeks to keep the downtown library on Church Street, maintain the Farmer’s Market on Lot 4 between Lincoln and Cathcart streets, stop 10 heritage trees from being felled, and discontinue the decision to build a five-story parking garage on that same lot. This latter point pushes back in dramatic fashion on the Santa Cruz Public Works Department’s longstanding desire to build a parking structure on this largest remaining downtown city lot.

 

Proponents for each initiative will be in the studio to discuss why they are taking such drastic steps to fight city hall, and also how the signature-gathering is going. Former city council candidate Kayla Kumar will be the guest during the first half-hour representing the Empty Homes Tax. Our Downtown, Our Future supporters, Erica Aitken and John Hall, will join Chris Krohn during the second half of the show. Each initiative needs the signatures of around 4000 registered voters of the city of Santa Cruz.