Santa Cruz, CA

Not to Be Trusted: The Care-Washing Politics of Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson

Santa Cruz Cares and Santa Cruz Left - 05.03.2022
Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Santa Cruz County supervisor hopeful and current city council member, is smart, well spoken, and politically savvy—to a fault, given her record. With her expertise in political doublespeak and garnering campaign funding from real estate money, she has led the charge of the city’s anti-homeless crusade, expertly couching criminalizing and pro-policing policy in a veneer of compassionate language. For these reasons and more, including her Santa Cruz city council voting record, we are opposed to Kalantari-Johnson's candidacy for county supervisor.
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For an Internationalist DSA

DSA Santa Cruz - 04.05.2022
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Jubilee ‘22: Debt Relief Now!

Sheila Carrillo - 01.28.2022
As argued in Astra Taylor’s and Molly Crabapple's recent video, "Your Debt is Someone Else’s Asset," granting relief to the average U.S. citizen suffering debt burden is revealed as not only achievable, but the best path to economic stability, racial justice, and a fairer world for all.
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Los Futuros Sin Pesticidas Empiezan Con el Derecho a Saber: Una Breve Historia de la Lucha Contra el Racismo de Pesticidas en la Agricultura de California

Science for the People, Santa Cruz - 01.14.2022
La agricultura de California depende de los pesticidas químicos, muchos de los cuales afectan negativamente a los que tienen contacto con ellos. En el frente están los trabajadores agrícolas y sus familias, que viven y van a la escuela cerca. A estos trabajadores, que son en su inmensa mayoría inmigrantes y personas de color, se les niega el acceso a la información sobre cuándo y qué se está fumigando.
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“To Really Protect Lives”?: On Santa Cruz’s Failed Response to Houseless Emergency

Mutual Aid Working Group (aka Love Boat) - 01.02.2022
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Ex Machina Redux: Refusing the Space Billionaire Technological Sublime

Johanna Isaacson - 12.05.2021
Revisiting the prescient sci-fi horror film Ex Machina offers important lessons about current political imperatives, calling on us both to critically recognize and resolutely refuse the false solutions and dystopian “future” on offer by our tech bro overlords.
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Out with OVO! On Santa Cruz’s Ongoing Campaign to Criminalize Poverty

Santa Cruz Cares - 10.29.2021
In August, 2021 the median price for a single family home in Santa Cruz was $1.25 million, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment about $2500. The end of the eviction moratorium last September is estimated to put at least 5,000 residents at risk of eviction. Around 300 of our neighbors are living in their vehicles, and hundreds more are camped out in a flood zone by the San Lorenzo River, soon to be swept by the city with no sufficient alternative. It is in this context that Santa Cruz City Council Members Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Sonja Brunner, and Renee Golder have decided to put their energy into creating an Oversized Vehicle Ordinance (OVO)—currently under consideration by the City Council—that will fine, ticket, and tow away the vehicles of people who cannot afford more conventional housing. But, as we show, and drawing on copious research, this is nothing less than a disastrous idea.
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DSA Ecosocialists support the Empty Home Tax! Why Affordable Housing Matters from a Radical Environmental Perspective

Ecosocialist Working Group - 10.11.2021
As one of the most expensive cities in the US in which to live, Santa Cruz suffers from a massive housing affordability crisis that prices out many of its residents. We can’t afford to leave homes sitting empty. As the wealthy maintain second homes that remain unoccupied for much of the year, the people who want to live and work in Santa Cruz—those who contribute most to the city’s diversity and its vibrant communities—cannot find affordable housing.
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DSA Santa Cruz Statement on Recall of Gavin Newsom

DSA Santa Cruz - 09.13.2021
Vote No on the recall. We oppose this recall not because Gavin Newsom is the lesser of two evils, but because we recognize that a successful recall will be a material setback and will strengthen right-wing and far right-wing organizing in California.
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Toward an Abolitionist Horizon: On the Vandalism of Santa Cruz’s Black Lives Matter Mural

Santa Cruz People Over Policing (SC POP) - 08.24.2021
The vile defacement of Santa Cruz’s Black Lives Matter mural on Saturday, July 24, 2021 has generated rightful anger directed at the perpetrators of what can only be described as a hate crime. But recourse to a conventional criminal-justice response—expanding the purview of the SCPD—serves only to reinforce the structural racist violence at the center of policing and mass incarceration in the U.S. As members of Santa Cruz’s BIPOC community, we deserve better. Restorative justice and police abolition offer the best chance of repairing the damage and keeping us all safe—including when it comes to addressing senseless acts of white supremacy in our community.
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Standing against Line 3

Laurie Palmer - 08.18.2021
The struggle against Line 3 invites us to imagine a different future where Indigenous people are not dominated and cast aside by a colonial system, but rather exercise self-determination; a future where struggles by the people win out against the forces of capital and the state. Will Parrish – a Santa Cruz resident, organizer, PhD student, and investigative journalist – reports from a Line 3 water protector camp in Minnesota, where he is engaged with the Indigenous-led struggle against the Canadian multinational Enbridge’s laying a new pipeline that would bring Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S., crossing Anishinaabe land and the Mississippi River headwaters.
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Pesticide-Free Futures Begin with the Right to Know: A Brief History of the Fight Against Pesticide Racism in California Agriculture

Science for the People, Santa Cruz - 07.28.2021
California agriculture relies on chemical pesticides, many with known harmful effects on those who come in contact with them. On the front lines are the farmworkers and their families, who live and go to school nearby. Overwhelmingly immigrants and people of color, they are denied access to information about when and what is being sprayed.
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Santa Cruz City Council’s Cruel Camping Ban Criminalizes—and perpetuates—Houselessness

Westside Cares - 07.10.2021
As research and historical evidence shows, anti-homeless ordinances like Santa Cruz’s recently passed Camping Services and Standards Ordinance not only don’t work, they lead to further cycles of violence, more entrenched houselessness, and increases in police budgets and city legal expenses in fighting lawsuits—all in the interests of gentrification and real estate development.
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What is Affordable Housing?

Cyndi Dawson - 06.07.2021
If we are going to push Santa Cruz to build truly affordable housing, then we first need to understand what affordability is and what it is not.
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Colonialism: The True Cancel Culture

Martin Rizzo-Martinez - 06.07.2021
Decolonial removals of California Mission bells might be considered “cancel culture”—but actually it’s Indigenous history that’s erased by these monuments to dispossession and genocide.
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Abolition Ecology in the Jessie Street Marsh

Ecosocialist Working Group - DSA Santa Cruz Ecosocialist Working Group - 05.21.2021
The city of Santa Cruz acquired the Marsh in 1991 as a required mitigation for expanding the wastewater treatment plant at Neary Lagoon. However, rather than restoring the Marsh and building amenities for the public such as paths, interpretive panels, scenic overlooks, and benches, the Parks and Recreation Department’s management of the marsh has concentrated on wholesale vegetation removal and policing. This is consistent with the pattern noted by police abolitionists such as Ruth Wilson Gilmour, in which whiter, higher-income areas receive resources whereas lower-income, non-white neighborhoods are marked out for neglect or “organized abandonment”, coupled with higher rates of policing and incarceration.
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Statement on DSA-CA and the Road not Taken

DSA Santa Cruz Executive Committee - 03.24.2021
A process is underway to create a California-wide chapter of the DSA which will be voted upon by locals across California. While a statewide organization is a step forward, the current proposal represents a missed opportunity to really think creatively and democratically about socialist strategy and the appropriate form of organization for building power beyond the local level. Instead we are being be asked to vote to endorse an organization that is conceived as little more than a turn-out machine for statewide electoral campaigns and patterned on the same lines as National DSA.
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Stop the Sweeps! Defending Houseless Comrades with Coalition Organizing

Stop the Sweeps Coalition - 02.10.2021
Stop the Sweeps was also successful because of our revolutionary perspective. We know that capitalism is the problem, and so we must fight capitalism at its roots.
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Solidarity Not Charity! DSA Santa Cruz’s Mutual Aid Working Group (a.k.a Love Boat)

T. J. Demos - With input from Vicki Winters, Jo Isaacson, Abbi Samuels, and Madeleine Clyde - 10.28.2020
The Mutual Aid Working Group—a.k.a. the Love Boat—meets every Sunday morning to distribute food, hygiene, and first aid supplies to the unhoused community in Santa Cruz. Working from an anarcho-socialist theory of mutual aid, the group aims to build networks of social solidarity between the housed and the unhoused to effectively combat anti-homeless politics, meet the essential needs of some of the most disenfranchised folks living in our community, and build networks of support and collective care.
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