Santa Cruz mayoral candidates Joy Schendledecker (left) and Fred Keeley (right)
Santa Cruz mayoral candidates Joy Schendledecker (left) and Fred Keeley (right).
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Morning Lookout: Q&As with Santa Cruz mayoral candidates; city eyes tourist tax increase

A pleasant good morning to you! It’s Wednesday, Aug. 10, and it’ll be a sunny one around Santa Cruz County as many local students and educators head back to school, with temperatures ranging from the 70s to the low 90s.

Election Day might still be nearly three months away, but the temperature is also rising on the mayoral race in the city of Santa Cruz. Artist and activist Joy Schendledecker has already thrown her hat into the ring, and veteran politician Fred Keeley plans his announcement for later Wednesday — and Lookout sat down with both for Q&As.

Their would-be colleagues on the Santa Cruz City Council, meanwhile, are looking to get the city’s hotel tax in line with the rate passed via June ballot measure for the county’s unincorporated areas, and Santa Cruzans will get to vote on that tax increase in November, too.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point you to Lily Belli’s latest newsletter, where not only does she herald the arrival of some fall fruit favorites but asks for your help in finding Santa Cruz County’s best BLTs.

Much to chew on, so let’s hit those headlines.

Time for a ‘laser beam’ of action: Fred Keeley says he hopes to move Santa Cruz’s biggest issues forward

Santa Cruz mayoral candidate Fred Keeley
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

One of two candidates to lead the city of Santa Cruz into its district-elections future, the noted consensus-builder as both state Assembly leader and as an involved Santa Cruz County changemaker is looking to speed up the way things get done around here on important issues like homelessness and affordable housing. Check out Keeley’s Q&A with Mark Conley here.

MORE ON LOCAL ELECTIONS: Find all of Lookout’s coverage in one place

Joy Schendledecker thinks Santa Cruz’s first elected mayor doesn’t need to be a professional politician

Joy outside
(Via @joyforsantacruz2022 / Instagram)

Despite having never held elected office, Joy Schendledecker says her mutual aid work in the community has provided her with a unique perspective on what the city needs, and that she is well in tune with the area due to her standing as a typical Santa Cruz resident. Here’s her Q&A with Max Chun.

MORE FROM LOCAL NEWSMAKERS: Find all our Lookout Q&As in one place

DAILY DIGEST

No shortage of hump day reading there. Lookout has more coming, too, so I recommend you bookmark our site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs throughout the day.

And the ramp-up to Election Day underlines how crucial local journalism is to keeping Santa Cruz County informed and this democratic experiment of ours running. Our coverage just isn’t possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Slow down and watch out for the back-to-school crowd if you’re on the roads, and much love to the students, parents and educators kicking it back into gear!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz