Kristen Brown, candidate for District 2

Kristen Brown is one of five candidates running for the District 2 Santa Cruz County supervisor seat in the March 5, 2024 election. The district includes Aptos, Freedom, Corralitos and parts of Watsonville and Capitola. Read our guides on all the candidates running for District 2.

Kristen Brown is a candidate for the District 2 Santa Cruz County supervisor seat.

Kristen Brown (Veronica O’Brien — Contributed)

Meet Kristen Brown

Age: 36. 

Residence: Capitola Village.

Occupation: Capitola mayor, vice president of government relations at Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Experience: Brown has served on the Capitola City Council for seven years. She has been chair of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments and vice chair of Santa Cruz Metro and the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission.

Brown helped enact rent stabilization in Capitola mobile home parks in Capitola. Brown said she advocated for a dedicated children’s fund from Capitola’s hotel tax dollars, directed money toward road repairs and championed coastal resiliency funding. “I have developed good working relationships with fellow elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels and have a proven track record of convening, collaborating and consensus building to get things done,” Brown said.

Read about Kristen Brown’s positions:

Many District 2 residents said county road conditions are bad. How can you get more money for road improvements in District 2? What county roads are your top priorities to fix during your four-year term? 

Supervisors should advocate for state and regional transportation commission grants, Brown said.

“The roads that are in the greatest state of disrepair are the most expensive to fix. So we need to not only address those, but we need to make sure that the roads that are in danger of getting into that state of disrepair are addressed immediately,” Brown said. 

Prioritizing road repairs “should involve considerations of equity and neighborhoods that have historically been disadvantaged and underserved.”

Many District 2 residents told us they want traffic relief. What can the county supervisors do to reduce traffic and facilitate cycling and walking for District 2 residents? 

Brown said Santa Cruz Metro has planned a “multi-year trial period” of free bus tickets for all riders. She said she supports the construction of a bus lane on the shoulder of Highway 1 and new traffic signals on Soquel Drive to prioritize buses. She supports planning for electric passenger rail service on the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line.

How can the county supervisors help fund and facilitate more affordable housing? Where in your district would you support more density?

Brown supports:

  • Working with state and federal agencies to receive more funding.
  • Considering ballot measures to raise money for affordable housing.
  • Considering reallocating the county budget to prioritize affordable housing.
  • Fully staffing the county’s planning department.
  • Reducing county development fees and permitting timelines.
  • Offering low-interest loans for smaller developers.
  • Building more housing near transit stations, at “infill sites” in underdeveloped urban areas, on county-owned land, and near Cabrillo College.

Should the county supervisors help current residents with rent stabilization or rent help? If so, how?

Brown said the county should:

  • Give money to community-based organizations, including the rental assistance and eviction prevention program of the Community Action Board.
  • Improve the Self Help Center law library at Santa Cruz County Superior Court to help renters who face evictions.
  • Penalize landlords who raise rents beyond legal limits.

Some District 2 residents said people should have better access to addiction services. How could the county improve its response to people struggling with addiction?

Brown said the county should give more money to community based organizations that address substance abuse and mental health.

“We need to address the stigma for those who have mental health issues and substance abuse disorder, because they will not seek treatment if they feel that there is a stigma to it,” Brown said.

Read about why Kristen Brown is running for county supervisor

What local issues affect you that make you want to run for this office? 

  • Housing: “As a renter myself, I have personally faced the concerns that come with needing to find and keep housing within your budget,” Brown said.
  • Transportation: “County residents are spending far too much of their time stuck in traffic rather than spending it with friends, family and loved ones.”
  • Climate change: “There must be a focus on ensuring that the district is prepared for the next climate-related disaster.”

What is your dream for your district?

“My dream is for District 2 to be a thriving, connected community where affordable housing is accessible to all, preserving the unique character of our neighborhoods while ensuring our residents can afford to live, work and play here,” Brown said. She said she wants transportation systems that include pedestrians and cyclists to “alleviate traffic congestion and enhance connectivity, providing efficient and sustainable options for our residents.”

Campaign finances

See campaign contributions to Kristen Brown and all local candidates.


See Kristen Brown’s endorsements.

Read more about District 2 supervisor candidates

In the March 5 election, voters will choose between Kristen Brown and four other candidates for District 2 Santa Cruz County supervisor. Read Santa Cruz Local’s Election Guide for the other candidates: