By Kayla Gomez
Hi everyone! My name is Kayla Gomez, and I am a Program Coordinator with Ventures. You might remember me from my time as an intern in 2021 when I started working with Ventures trying to paint a picture of our local government in SC county. I was really excited to work on this project, “A Santa Cruz Like Me,” which was in part inspired by a bill introduced at the state level called “A California Like Me.” In analyzing the data, I was especially surprised to find that even though our County is made up of 35% Latino population, there were only 16% of representatives who identify as so. My hope was that identifying and recognizing these kinds of variances could help the County move toward a more representative Santa Cruz.
Fortunately, all the recommendations in our report, including encouraging cities to conduct a similar study, were adopted by the County Board of Supervisors in 2021. I am so honored to be see this effort have such an impact.
I also just learned that the state is taking on the state bill again (SB 1387) and I am excited at the opportunities to identify ways to ensure a more representative government throughout California. This process at the local level has been so insightful and it inspires me to see these efforts moving forward at the state level. I would love to do it in other communities so that we can continue to identify existing gaps so we can work together to close them. Stay tuned because our report for the City of Santa Cruz is coming soon!
If you would like to read our 2021 report, “A Santa Cruz Like Me” you can visit our website sccvonline.org
You can read more about SB 1387 “A California Like Me” by visiting leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.