Letter to the editor: Get rid of the ‘old guard’ in Santa Cruz County politics; boost up those with passion and ideas

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To the editor:

Lack of political experience doesn’t equal a “weak” candidate.

We need to shift away from the dysfunctional mindset that “old-guard” type candidates make “strong” candidates. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is why we are seeing such low voter turnout when it comes to millennial and Gen Z constituents.

Before you think this is an “ageist” statement, I’ve seen firsthand that various committee members make comments about candidates being naive, “too young,” and/or that they “don’t know enough about how the world works yet.” As an advocate for new progressive ideas in this town, I am always shocked when I hear those comments being made by those who supposedly care about improving the conditions of living in Santa Cruz.

When was the last time we had a candidate as motivated and passionate as Hector Marin and/or Joy Schendledecker?

Instead of tearing down those without political experience, we should be boosting them up and helping build a political foundation for bold, progressive ideals and those who are passionate about helping the community.

To simply dismiss them as being too young or inexperienced is a slap to the face to the work they’ve done organizing in the community.

Thank you,

Jordan Vascones
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz METRO employee, serving as SEA chapter president representing local SEIU-521