Michael Duffy came all the way from Oakland to support the Santa Cruz Starbucks workers in their push for unionization.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Assembly candidates make their cases; local Starbucks’ union milestone

Hiya, Lookout fam! Today is Thursday, May 12, and we have another pleasant day ahead in Santa Cruz County, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60s and low 70s.

It’s a big day for local politics, and Lookout is one of the sponsors of a forum tonight featuring candidates for 3rd District County Supervisor and State Assembly District 28, moderated by our Community Voices editor, Jody K. Biehl. And ahead of the event, we have op-eds from the Assembly District 28 candidates making their cases: Liz Lawler, Gail Pellerin, Rob Rennie and Joe Thompson. You can also find similar op-eds from the 3rd District County Supervisor candidates — Justin Cummings, Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson and Ami Chen Mills — in our Election Op-Eds section here.

It’s also a big week for Digital NEST, a Watsonville nonprofit that aims to prepare today’s students, especially those with limited access to technology, with the tools they’ll need to succeed. It announced yesterday that it’s expanding to Stockton, and aiming to open four more locations by 2026, Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda reports.

We’ve also got coverage of yesterday’s milestone in local Starbucks unionization and of a groundbreaking for affordable housing units in Live Oak, so hang around as we page through the headlines.

State Assembly District 28 candidates make their cases

Ahead of tonight’s forum, the four candidates for California State Assembly District 28 speak directly to voters via our Community Voices opinion section:

Liz Lawler for Assembly District 28: Vote for a hard worker who cares about details
Gail Pellerin for Assembly District 28: We need an experienced, empathetic Santa Cruz leader — and a dog in Sacto
Rob Rennie for Assembly District 28: We need a proven, experienced leader
Joe Thompson for Assembly District 28: We need to empower young people to vote

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‘We’re bringing the NEST to more kids’

Jacob Martinez at his home office.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

Digital NEST, the acclaimed youth workforce development nonprofit based in Watsonville, is focused on rapid expansion, to nine cities within four years. Stockton is next — after Watsonville, Salinas and Gilroy — and the organization is now figuring out where else to set up shop. Hillary Ojeda has the details.

MORE: Jacob Martinez and the fine art of nest-building (Lookout)

Two Santa Cruz Starbucks vote in favor of unionization, a first in California

19-year-old Joe Thompson speaks to a crowd of over 70 people in front of the Starbucks on Mission St. on May 11, 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Workers at Starbucks locations on Mission Street and Ocean Street in Santa Cruz have voted in favor of joining the Starbucks Workers United union, becoming the first two stores in California to do so. Max Chun reports.

FROM FEBRUARY: With two Santa Cruz Starbucks locations moving to unionize and more on the way, why are we an epicenter of organizing? (Lookout)

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MidPen celebrates 1500 Capitola Road groundbreaking

Development partners groundbreaking
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After five years of development, a local nonprofit developer broke ground Wednesday on 57 units of affordable housing in Live Oak. Said MidPen CEO Matt Franklin: “This was remarkably hard to bring all of this together.” Grace Stetson was on the scene.

RELATED: Affordable Housing Month gets into the affordability nitty-gritty (Lookout)

With Roe vs. Wade in the balance, abortion takes center stage in political ads

The crowd outside the downtown Santa Cruz courthouse Tuesday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

More Democrats than Republicans are highlighting the likely overturn of abortion rights. Here’s what our partners at the Los Angeles Times are seeing.

LAST WEEK: Santa Cruzans react quickly to threat of Roe v. Wade overturning (Lookout)

Is Paxlovid, the COVID pill, reaching those who most need it? The government won’t say

Capsules of Pfizer's drug Paxlovid.
(Via Pfizer)

Many public health workers are unable to see how many doses of Pfizer’s antiviral treatment are shipped to their communities and cannot tell whether vulnerable residents are filling prescriptions as often as their wealthier neighbors. Read more here from our partners at Kaiser Health News.

THE LATEST WAVE: ‘Significant uptick’ in California coronavirus outbreaks brings new warnings (Los Angeles Times)

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Around the county ...

Santa Cruz bolsters homeless plan with new city hires (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Watsonville police seeking driver in fatal hit-and-run (The Pajaronian)
Aptos High School student wins congressional photography competition, art will be displayed at U.S. Capitol (KION-TV)
Incredibly rare creature, the highfin dragonfish, captured on film in the depths of Monterey Bay (SFGate)

There’s plenty of gas in the tank as you take on this Thursday morning ... but wait, there’s more! The end of the workweek is in sight, and that means another edition of Weekender, Wallace Baine’s newsletter highlighting the best events and tidbits from the Santa Cruz arts and entertainment scene, is on the way. Hit up the Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to sign up for that plus our other newsletter and breaking news alerts, and keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

None of this local journalism is possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Have a great day!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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