Santa Cruz Neighbors
Civic Group
Santa Cruz Neighbors

A strong neighborhood gets their voice heard.

Years of service: 20

Leadership: Deb Elston, president and co-founder

Their story: Two decades ago, Elston and a group of fellow Santa Cruz residents got together to start talking about the problems in their respective neighborhoods and what they could do about it. Starting with fliers and phone trees, the group helped establish a network of neighborhood groups who could come together to take action on everything from proposed construction projects, city council elections and crime. “We empower residents to create core connections,” says Elston. “In addition to connecting neighbors, it’s about educating and helping them navigate the complexities of civic processes through our shared experience.” In the years since its founding, Santa Cruz Neighbors has grown to include 60 neighborhood groups, and they’ve tackled projects ranging from getting bike lanes put in to successfully petitioning the city to abate a drug house. The group helps demystify the civic process, helping residents navigate the ins and outs of petitioning the city and getting their voice heard on issues that impact them directly.

Fundraising focus: SCN is providing meals and sweet-tooth-treats to frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic. Buy a meal made with love and appreciation and give a virtual hug to those on the frontline of COVID-19. All donations raised to produce these loving meals of hope and appreciation go towards ingredients + labor (and are tax-deductible). Go here for more info.

Having each neighborhood strong will go a long way to making a stronger community.

Santa Cruz neighborhoods