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Candidate Joe ThompsonCandidate Joe Thompson with friends Candidate Joe Thompson receiving award

Meet Joe Thompson, running for the Santa Cruz City Council, District 5

District 5 contains parts of the UC Santa Cruz campus, faculty housing, and communities outside of the university.

Joe is a student at UC Santa Cruz, a young activist, and a future leader looking to create a more equitable future for Santa Cruz.

Joe decided to run for city council because they recognized a need for representation in the newly formed student district. Drawing from their background as a Starbucks union organizer and experience in the state legislature, Joe felt compelled to step up and advocate for the interests of students, seniors, and working families in Santa Cruz. They saw this as the right moment to make a positive impact locally, motivated by their desire to contribute to their community in a meaningful way.

Securing stable housing and fair wages for workers are two of Joe’s main focuses. They emphasize the urgency of addressing housing affordability, particularly in Santa Cruz County, which has one of the most expensive rental markets in the country. Additionally, Joe highlights the importance of advocating for project labor agreements which establish terms of employment and ensure that workers receive fair wages and benefits. Lastly, they underscore the impacts of climate change on the community, citing recent events like winter storms and damage to the boardwalk while emphasizing the need to preserve Santa Cruz’s status as a tourist destination.

When asked about the future, Joe envisions a Santa Cruz where everyone can afford to live and thrive, thus reversing the trend of people leaving due to high living costs. They aspire to create a vibrant downtown area that serves as a community hub, offering access to essential services like food, groceries, and farmers’ markets. Joe emphasizes the importance of preserving Santa Cruz’s sense of community by ensuring affordable housing, advocating for workers’ rights, and taking local action to combat climate change. They also highlight the significance of collaborating with state and national partners to address climate change on a broader scale. Ultimately, Joe’s vision encompasses a Santa Cruz that fosters inclusivity, sustainability, and a strong sense of community for all its residents.

Joe wants everyone to know that Santa Cruz isn’t just a place; it’s a feeling of belonging. They describe it as a warm and welcoming community where strangers quickly become friends. Whether strolling through town or biking along the coast, Joe feels a sense of home in every corner of Santa Cruz. As a 20-year-old student at UC Santa Cruz, they’re deeply rooted in the student culture. Joe’s attachment to Santa Cruz runs deep, evident in their passion for the community and its unique spirit!

As a coffee Connoisseur and an indie band lover, Joe finds many ways to connect with their local community. Their favorite band is Wild Party— an indie band that tours around the U.S.. Outside of their community involvement, Joe enjoys spending time with their family and their pet lab named Thor!

With a focus on housing affordability, workers’ rights, and climate action, Joe’s vision for Santa Cruz is one of inclusivity, sustainability, and vibrant community life. Their passion for their hometown, coupled with their dedication to serving its residents, makes Joe a compelling choice for City Council District Five.

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