Get informed on the Nov. 8 local election

Read Santa Cruz Local's Election Guide

We break down the local races and ballot measures.
Get informed on the Nov. 8 local election

A new format to choose Santa Cruz City Council members

This year, the Santa Cruz City Council transitioned to district elections. Six council members will represent six geographical areas in the city. Voters in District 4 and District 6 will cast ballots for district representatives in the Nov. 8 election.

In addition, Santa Cruz voters will choose a directly-elected mayor to represent the whole city and lead the council. There are two candidates for mayor: Joy Schendledecker and Fred Keeley. Read Santa Cruz Local’s Election Guide for each candidate:

Santa Cruz Local produced a podcast episode about the race for Santa Cruz mayor. The episode includes candidate interviews and background about the mayoral role.

Read or listen to the episode

District 4 Santa Cruz City Council candidates

The District 4 council seat is up for election. District 4 includes Downtown, Beach Flats, part of the Upper Westside near Westlake Park, and neighborhoods along Mission Street east of Laurent Street.

The purple area shows City of Santa Cruz District 4. (City of Santa Cruz)

Voters in District 4 will choose one of three candidates: Gregory Hyver, Scott Newsome or Hector Marin. A fourth candidate, Bodie Shargel, will appear on the ballot but has dropped out of the race. Read Santa Cruz Local’s Election Guide for each candidate:

Santa Cruz Local produced a podcast episode about the District 4 Santa Cruz City Council race. The episode has candidate interviews and background about the council role.

Read or listen to the episode

District 6 Santa Cruz City Council candidates

A map of District 6 in Santa Cruz

District 6 (City of Santa Cruz)

Voters in District 6 also will choose a council member on the Nov. 8 ballot. District 6 includes:

  • Areas south of Mission Street and west of Younglove Avenue and Columbia Street.
  • Areas along Western Drive.
  • A western part of the UC Santa Cruz main campus.

District 6 will choose one of two candidates: Renee Golder and Sean Maxwell. Read Santa Cruz Local’s Election Guide for each candidate:

Santa Cruz Local produced a podcast episode about the District 6 Santa Cruz City Council race. The episode includes candidate interviews and background about the council role.

Read or listen to the episode

Background on the Santa Cruz City Council

The Santa Cruz City Council is a seven-member elected body that creates city laws, sets the city’s budget and oversees city functions including the Santa Cruz Police and the Santa Cruz Water Department.

The council has the power to:

  • Decide where and how much housing gets built in the city’s General Plan.
  • Set policies to address homelessness.
  • Hire and fire the city manager.
  • Propose taxes.

Qualifications

Council candidates must be a registered qualified city voter for at least 30 days. City council candidates must live in the district they represent. Other desirable qualifications for candidates include:

  • A willingness to work with other council members to craft policies.
  • An ability to understand complex budgets.
  • A flexible schedule: Council members often spend 20 hours per week or more on their duties.
  • Broad interests: The council’s oversight includes the city’s water and wastewater systems, contracts with city employee unions, the police and fire departments, planning for growth, and public buildings and facilities including the wharf.

Compensation

Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $20,524 annually before taxes. The mayor also serves a four-year term and is paid $41,048 before taxes.

What we heard from voters

This year, Santa Cruz Local talked to 140 City of Santa Cruz residents in interviews and an online survey. Their most common questions and issues were taken to the candidates.

The top themes raised by Santa Cruz residents were:

  • A need for affordable housing development.
  • A desire for solutions to homelessness.
  • A need for help with rent.

Read more about what Santa Cruz Local heard from voters.

—Kara Meyberg Guzman

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