Read why Christopher Bradford is running for county supervisor
What local issues in your district affect you that make you want to run for office?
Christopher Bradford: “I survived the CZU Fire with my family. We lost our home, lost everything. And the county’s response to it, while well-meaning at first, it was devastating for my family and our neighborhoods. And I realized that the representation that I needed wasn’t happening. And I needed someone inside that seat, with skin in the game, who understood what it is to deal with government when it isn’t supportive. The county has done a lot of good things. I don’t mean to take away from the things they have accomplished in that area — there’s been definite real progress. But there’s still a ways to go.”
Homes were destroyed on at least 697 properties during the CZU Fire, Santa Cruz County staff said in 2023. Sixty-two homes have been rebuilt and 234 permits to build single-family homes remained in progress as of Feb. 5, 2024, according to county records.
Bradford said that the rebuild rate for people who survived the CZU fires was far too low.
“It’s brutal, and it’s not going to get much better. You know, if someone hasn’t rebuilt in three years, I’m not too sure how much more opportunity they’re going to have, as time continues to pass, to build, to put their life back together. And when this disaster happened, the county had promised us they weren’t going to treat us like new builds. So people invested, people took out loans. And then unfortunately, they reneged on their promises, they made people meet new septic requirements in homes that are current as far as code goes. While that’s beautiful, it makes for a very safe home, it also makes it impossible for a lot of people to get into their home because the cost has been skyrocketing.
“If you’re insulated from what happens when the county makes bad policy, you might not be aware of what’s occurring and how to help people. And I’m not insulated, I am a working class person. I’m here. I experienced directly what can happen to people when that particular ball was dropped. I don’t want that to happen for anyone else.”
What is your dream for the Santa Cruz County community?
Christopher Bradford: “My dream for the Santa Cruz Community shouldn’t be a big dream, it should just be what is: I want us to have affordable housing. I want when my kids graduate from high school for them to be able to get a job here in Santa Cruz County, to find a place to live if they want to, and not have to rely on living in my garage in order to survive. I want fair and equitable housing for everyone. I want infrastructure that works. I want clean drinking water that’s available for people, and these are the things that are most important to me right now. Cost of living issues are devastating a lot of the people in our communities, and housing is a big part of that.
“I want people in homes, I want people safe. And I want people in homes that are affordable for them, so that they can say they can invest in their business, they can go to school, you know, instead of just surviving paycheck to paycheck, which is what most of us are having to do, if we’re even doing that. So that’s the dream. I want people to not just survive, but to thrive in our county.”
Fun fact about Bradford
Christopher Bradford: “I’m a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m a lifetime martial artist. I own a gym in Scotts Valley with some dear friends of mine called Cajun Martial Arts. I teach kids how to defend themselves and adults the same thing. I get to spend a lot of time invested in that part of the community. It’s very, very enriching. You know, it’s also a way I feel like I can give back. When I was a young person, martial arts really helped me acquire discipline and the ability to work my way out of tough situations, you know, and now I provide that same thing for other people. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”
See campaign contributions to Christopher Bradford and all local candidates.
See Christopher Bradford’s endorsements.
Read more Santa Cruz Local stories