Letter to the editor: Vote for Justin. He listens and has compassion

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To the editor:

What is absent from our Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is an African American renter with a PhD.

Justin Cummings is one of the most astute, articulate and compassionate councilmembers in our city’s history. After the five majority councilmembers, including Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, recently slashed much-needed funds for nonprofits’ vital services, Justin Cummings revealed a $1.1 million discrepancy in money slated for nonprofits. Cummings defended local agencies which are now forced to cut lifesaving services to our most desperate neighbors.

Watch the April 19 council meeting online, when city staff share fair, six-district election maps after integrating community input. Kalantari-Johnson, much to the shock of city staff, makes the motion to choose biased map 602, which our city is now saddled with, not the fairer Map 604b. Map 602 removes the possibility of actual neighborhoods having any council representation. It attaches lower-income areas to the wealthiest real estate areas. In what universe should Beach Flats be cut from lower Ocean Street and attached to wealthy homes on High Street and Westlake?

Kalantari-Johnson and her four cohorts are well-funded by Santa Cruz Together, which is under investigation for abusing fair election laws. We have a big, big choice in this election to allow real estate money to purchase our votes or to elect representatives who prioritize listening to our community. The current council majority clearly does not.

Ann Simonton
Santa Cruz