Longtime local and state politician Fred Keeley
Fred Keeley.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Keeley talks 2024 housing bond; oversized vehicle ordinance’s threat to unhoused

Greetings, Santa Cruz County. It’s Tuesday, May 9, and it’s looking to be another clouds-to-sun kind of day, with temperatures heading into the middle 60s.

Rather fly solo than wait around for the guided tour to Lookout’s latest? No worries.
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Santa Cruz City Hall is our first stop, with Christopher Neely reporting on how Mayor Fred Keeley is approaching a possible 2024 bond measure to fund affordable housing. Such a bond was a key part of his 2022 mayoral campaign, but Keeley says he’s content to let residents take the lead in getting it on the ballot.

And while we’re on the topic of housing, Christopher is moderating a discussion next week on the housing squeeze in Santa Cruz County, part of Housing Santa Cruz County’s Affordable Housing Month programming. On hand for the May 18 Zoom session will be Keeley, Watsonville Mayor Eduardo Montesino, Scotts Valley Mayor Jack Dilles, Capitola Mayor Margaux Keiser, and County Board of Supervisors Vice-chair Justin Cummings. Find more information here.

Policy is also the topic in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, where homeless advocate Reggie Meisler takes on Santa Cruz’s approach to oversized vehicles parking on city streets. As the oversized vehicle ordinance goes before the California Coastal Commission later this week, Meisler writes, “we believe that all evidence demonstrates that, when it comes to balancing law enforcement with human need, the City of Santa Cruz just can’t be trusted to get it right.”

The Tuesday headlines, including farmers changing what crops they grow to cope with climate change, are ahead — onward.

Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley will leave it to residents to figure out 2024 affordable housing bond

Fred Keeley at a Lookout candidate forum in October.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley says he plans to let community members lead on organizing the housing bond he has touted since he was on the campaign trail. Christopher Neely has details.

MORE ON HOUSING: Is Santa Cruz’s housing plan too dependent on UCSC’s new development?

Don’t trust the city: Oversized vehicle ordinance poses an existential threat to the unhoused

RVs parked along Delaware Avenue on the Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Reggie Meisler, an advocate for the unhoused, has a simple message for the California Coastal Commission members set to vote Thursday on the validity of Santa Cruz’s contentious oversized vehicle ordinance: Be wary. The city, he writes, has “had numerous opportunities to practice restraint” in ticketing and towing vulnerable people and has repeatedly proved itself untrustworthy. He says the ordinance is “discriminatory” and makes the lives of needy people worse. Read his Community Voices opinion piece here.

PREVIOUSLY: Santa Cruz must end unlawful harassment of people living in vehicles


That’s a first taste of this Tuesday for ya — and there’s more on the way from Lookout. We’ll have the latest in food and drink news from around Santa Cruz County coming in mere hours, courtesy of Jessica M. Pasko, and you can get that delivered directly to your inbox (along with our other newsletters and breaking news alerts) by clicking right here. Social media is also a great way to keep up, and you can follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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May your Tuesday be a good one, and I’ll see you back here Wednesday a.m.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz