Check my Facebook page for updates about the
August Lightning Complex Fires in Santa Cruz County
Members of our community in the San Lorenzo Valley and Bonny Doon are being evacuated as wildfires in our area continue to progress. Our County Emergency Operations Center has been activated and the Sheriff's Office is working to assist in evacuations. Smoke from the River, Warnella, and CZU August Lightening Complex wildfires currently burning in our region has also degraded air quality throughout Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. The concentration of smoke has reached levels of the Air Quality Index (AQI) that are MODERATE (yellow) or UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITVE GROUPS (orange) in some areas of the region. Air quality will be variable and unpredictable as conditions change depending on wind and fire activity. The Air District will continue to follow the situation and issue advisories when appropriate.
The Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) monitors air quality in our region. Updates on the current and forecasted air quality and information about the health effects of wildfire smoke can be found on the MBARD website by clicking here.

County Approves Funding To Address The COVID-19 Crisis
The County approved nearly $28 million in funding provided by the State through the CARES Act to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to rules set by the federal government, the money must all be spent by the end of the calendar year. Funding included money for a partnership with UC Santa Cruz to increase COVID-19 lab testing and tracing capacity, supporting new locations for shelter for the homeless and for those who need to quarantine outside their home to prevent virus spread to their family, food support for vulnerable populations through the Great Plates Delivered program and Second Harvest Food Bank, enhanced cleaning of park facilities, and childcare for essential workers. New funding programs have been created to provide $1.1 million in rent and utility assistance, $1 million to support small businesses, and a grant program for non-profits affected by the crisis. A special Health Community Partnership Grant program has also been created to align with the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) Equity Impact Areas. These areas of focus include requiring basic health protections for workers, rebuilding financial stability for families, small businesses, and social enterprises. It also focuses on creating a more racially and equitable world by reconnecting communities and protecting mental wellness and revolutionizing the status quo to protect people of color. You can read the entire list of priorities by clicking here

New Eviction Moratorium Put In Place
At my request, the Board instituted a new Eviction Moratorium through September 30. With the State Judicial Council voting to end the state moratorium on evictions as of September 1, the Board voted unanimously to reinstate our local moratorium that prevents evictions if a tenant has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It is not a rent holiday but provides time to negotiate terms of repayment. The new rental assistance fund will help address the lack of resources. We are looking for a statewide solution as several bills work their way through the Legislature, which concludes its session by the end of September. You can read more about it here.

Labor Day Weekend Beach Closure
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to close the beaches on Labor Day weekend starting midnight on Friday night of the weekend through 5 p.m. on Monday. The beaches will open on Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This change in beach closure times was at the request of the cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola. Beaches will also be closed throughout Monterey County during the same period.
Racism As A Public Health Crisis

The Board unanimously adopted my proposal, developed with our local NAACP, to direct County government to consciously and systematically address issues of racism in our community as a way to acknowledge that racism affects the health of our community on an individual and community-wide basis. A declaration of racism as a public health crisis elevates the issue to the forefront of our programming decisions. Committed efforts to ensure that our hiring, vendor selection, and funding decisions are free of implicit bias are critical to assuring the community that County government is meeting the needs of all of its residents. Other communities across the country have declared racism a public health crisis, including the County of Santa Clara, the City of Milwaukee, the City of Pittsburgh, and the City of Boston. Read the declaration here
Town Hall: On The Frontlines Of Healthcare
Join me for an online Town Hall Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. with Leslie Conner, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Community Health Centers, and Dori Rose Inda, CEO of Salud Para la Gente. They will discuss what is happening on the front lines of the pandemic, their partnership with UCSC to expand access to COVID testing, and how these organizations are working to meet the health needs of our community during the COVID crisis. In addition to Zoom, this meeting can be viewed on my Facebook page.
August 19
6:00 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Or Dial: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 953 1117 0811
Join Me for a Virtual Kickoff
Leadership matters now more than ever. As your Supervisor, I’m using my experience to lead our county through the crisis of COVID. I am building on my record of accomplishments to continue to tackle the climate change crisis, fighting to lower water bills and continuing the fight for social justice by addressing structural racism and promoting effective criminal justice reform. Join me as we kick off the campaign for the General Election with guests including Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Mayor Justin Cummings, Live Oak education leader Stacey Kyle, former Assembly Pro Tem Fred Keeley, and our special musical guest, Melissa Etheridge.
Join from the comfort of your home to find out what’s planned!
Link to join us: 
or dial +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 916 6949 2272
Email John and his staff!