Santa Cruz Local published 3,600 print election guides for South County voters for the March 2024 election. Stephanie Barron Lu, executive director of Positive Discipline Community Resources, shares the guide at the group’s office in Watsonville in February. Watsonville resident Roció Navarro reads the guide at left. (Contributed — Positive Discipline Community Resources)

Feb. 15, 2024

By Stephen Baxter, Editor of Santa Cruz Local

Since Santa Cruz Local’s first Election Guide in 2020, tens of thousands of Santa Cruz County voters have turned to the guides for complete, nonpartisan information. More readers visit the Election Guide than any other part of Since we cover local government in depth, the Election Guide is our Super Bowl.

In this fourth edition of the guide, Santa Cruz Local went all out: 

  • We hosted a live candidate forum in the District 2 county supervisors race. 
  • We printed 3,600 bilingual Election Guides for South County voters. 
  • We delved deeper into candidates’ stances and records.

The project started with you, the voters, last summer and fall. Santa Cruz Local surveyed and interviewed more than 350 Santa Cruz County residents about what issues you wanted the local candidates to address. 

Concerns varied from disaster recovery and evacuation routes in the San Lorenzo Valley to a lack of affordable housing and safe bike routes in Live Oak. We took those problems and questions to the candidates, and we pressed them to respond.

Some key features of this Election Guide include: 

This Election Guide was funded by donations from more than 250 locals like you. It is free and accessible to every voter in the county. We are grateful to the donors who allow us to do this work. 

Invaluable efforts to create this guide were made by Santa Cruz Local Reporter Jesse Kathan, Copyeditor and Fact Checker Nik Altenberg, CEO Kara Meyberg Guzman, Community Engagement Manager Natalya Dreszer and contributors Tara Walker, Michael Warren Mott, Julie Rovegno and Inspira Studios.

Please spread the word about this guide. Send us an email about how we can improve our coverage ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

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