Justin Cummings, Ami Chen Mills and Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson

From left, Justin Cummings, Ami Chen Mills and Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson were candidates for District 3 Santa Cruz County supervisor in the June 7 election. (Photos by Devi Pride, Andrew Rogers and J. Guevara)

Last county update: 7/7/2022 3:45:00 PM

Supervisor, 3rd District (Vote for 1)

Candidate Total
JUSTIN CUMMINGS 5823 (39.75%)
AMI CHEN MILLS 2436 (16.63%)

On the Nov. 8 ballot, Santa Cruz City Council members Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson and Justin Cummings will appear in a runoff for District 3 Santa Cruz County supervisor, according to official primary election results released July 5.

The District 3 supervisor June 7 primary had three candidates vying for one seat. Since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in the Nov. 8 election.

This race is decided by voters on the North Coast and most of the City of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Local interviewed and surveyed more than 100 District 3 residents about what issues they want the candidates to address.

Residents wanted candidates to:

  • Develop affordable housing.
  • Expand rent assistance programs.
  • Address homelessness.
  • Attract employers and create higher-paying jobs.
  • Repair roads, expand law enforcement and improve cellphone service on the North Coast.
  • Prioritize bike and walk projects and improve public transit.

Here is where the candidates stand on the issues, based on our interviews.

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson

  • Kalantari-Johnson wants to build housing throughout Santa Cruz County and reform the county’s planning department.
  • Kalantari-Johnson wants to push state leaders to deliver COVID-19 related rent assistance money faster.
  • Kalantari-Johnson supports the county’s three-year plan to address homelessness. She wants to create safe sleeping sites throughout the county.
  • Kalantari-Johnson wants to look at ways to reduce the cost of living, including subsidized child care, after-school programs and accessible public transit.
  • Kalantari-Johnson said she would support a new cellular tower in Bonny Doon and would seek state and federal money to repair roads on the North Coast.
  • Kalantari-Johnson said she wants mass transit on the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line and wants to invest in the Santa Cruz Metro bus system.

Justin Cummings

  • Cummings wants to increase the inclusionary rate for unincorporated Santa Cruz County from 15% to 20%. An inclusionary rate sets the number of affordable housing units that developers are required to build. An inclusionary rate of 20% means that in a new housing complex, 20% of the units must be offered at affordable rents or prices to people with lower incomes.
  • Cummings also wants to push state leaders to deliver COVID-19 rent assistance money faster.
  • Cummings said he would aggressively seek state and federal funds for permanent supportive housing.
  • Cummings said he wants to ensure that County of Santa Cruz employees have competitive wages.
  • Cummings said he would pursue money to expand broadband internet service in District 3 and repair North Coast roads.
  • Cummings wants to create more separated bike lanes. He also wants to identify federal money to advance electric rail transit in Santa Cruz County.

Ami Chen Mills

  • Chen Mills wants to work with nonprofit developers to build affordable housing on county land. 
  • Chen Mills wants to create a rent assistance voucher program run by the county. She wants to find state and federal money for it.
  • Chen Mills supports an expansion of managed homeless camps, like the one at the armory in DeLaveaga Park.
  • Chen Mills said she supports an expansion of the local tourism industry related to agriculture and ecological farm tours.
  • Chen Mills supports an expansion of MERT, the mobile emergency response team that sends vans to people experiencing mental health crises. The team can respond independently of the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Chen Mills said she would work to help the Santa Cruz Metro bus system hire drivers and make the service more user friendly.

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Kara Meyberg Guzman is the CEO and co-founder of Santa Cruz Local. ​Prior to Santa Cruz Local, she served as the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s managing editor. She has a biology degree from Stanford University and lives in Santa Cruz.