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Powering A Green Future
On February 28 th,  the Board of Supervisors took a critical step in the creation of a locally run, municipal power utility that will greatly increase the amount of renewable energy in use in Santa Cruz County and beyond. Since 2013, the County has joined with San Benito and Monterey counties and the cities in each county to examine the feasibility of using the Community Choice Energy (CCE) model to provide clean-source power at a cost equivalent to PG&E. This model is used in a number of other counties and would allow our community to choose what kind of power we wanted to pursue while still having PG&E maintain the power lines and provide customer service. Importantly, revenues that have historically flowed to PG&E will stay in our community to help fund renewable energy projects and local jobs.
Known as Monterey Bay Community Power, the new utility will have rates equivalent to what is now charged by PG&E. A local board of elected officials would set rates and determine the type of energy mix that best serves the community.  My priority will be the reinvestment of revenue from this new entity to create local jobs by creating new renewable energy projects locally.
Cities and counties in the three county region have been signing on quickly. While there are still some issues to be resolved, the next step in implementation is putting together the financing for the startup of the operation.  You can read about the Board's action here. C heck out the website for Monterey Bay Community Power here for complete information and updates.
The Immigration Battle Hits Home
On Monday, February 13 th , the Santa Cruz Police Department organized a raid with the Departmen t of Homeland Security for gang members in both Santa Cruz and Live Oak.  While I am thankful that no one was hurt and that several dangerous gang members have been removed from our community, I am not comfortable with the way in which this law enforcement action was carried out in our community.  This military style operation involved flash bombs, armored vehicles and helicopters. The impact of this "invasion" has been widespread and required quick action to support members of our community.
Within days of the event, I helped organize a "Know Your Rights" training with the Live Oak School District and the Santa Cruz Immigration Project. With over 80 people in attendance, participants heard from local lawyers, the health centers, the Human Resources Department and the Sheriff, about what are their rights and what they can expect when dealing with the school, the County, and other community-based organizations. The Sheriff reiterated his support for working with the community and suggested other ways that we can keep dangerous criminals off the streets without involving the federal government. I highlighted the recent resolution passed unanimously at the board that prevents the use of County funds to do the work of immigration agencies. Most importantly, people got to ask specific questions about how to protect the care of their children, their homes, what to expect in interacting with local law enforcement, and concerns about safety in accessing local services.
We have seen the impact in the large number of cancelled appointments at the health centers, domestic violence agencies and even some cancelling their food assistance programs with the County. Additional efforts to help answer questions will occur when Community Bridges holds a rights workshop on March 22 nd and the Soquel School District hosts an information night on March 27 th.
Wednesday, March 8
5:30-6:30 p.m.
People's Coffee
1200 17th Ave 
Live Oak
Wednesday, March 15
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Loma Prieta School
23800 Summit Rd. 
Summit Area
Wednesday, April 5
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Porter Memorial Library
3050 Porter St. 


   Friends of the Capitola             Branch Library
           presents a
       Capitola Library              Community Workshop
    Wednesday, March 8
              6:30 pm
City of Capitola Community                Room
   420 Capitola Avenue
Community Bridges presents
Immigrant Preparedness Forum
Sup. Leopold Guest Speaker
Wednesday, March 22
6:00-8:00 pm
Ther Live Oak Senior Center
1777 Capitola Road
Santa Cruz
For more information click  here
Soquel Union Elementary School District 
presents a 
Community Forum to Support Immigrant Families
Monday, March 27
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Soquel Elementary School
2700 Porter Street

Not paid for with County Funds