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Candidate Joy Schendledecker

Candidate Joy Schendledecker poses with friends in front of a sign that reads, "All power to the people." Candidate Joy Schendledecker wearing an Elect Good People tee shirt

Joy Schendledecker, running for the Santa Cruz City Council, District 3

District 3 stretches from University Terrace Park to West Cliff Drive, between Bay Street and Western Drive. 

Joy is a community organizer, an artist, a mom, and a long-time Santa Cruz resident with a plan for a better future.

This City Council seat is responsible for representing the interests and concerns of residents of Santa Cruz. As a candidate for this position, Joy aims to bring her progressive values and community-centered approach to local governance, advocating for policies that address housing affordability, homelessness, and social justice issues within the district.

After running for mayor in 2022, Joy gained valuable insights into the electoral process and the community dynamics of Santa Cruz. Now, she has decided to run for city council to improve the lives of the community she has called home for nine years. Joy is driven by a desire to impact policies and budget decisions positively in the city, aiming to restore balance to the city council. As a member of the Progressive Caucus and aligned with the California Democratic Party platform, Joy aims to bring more progressive perspectives into her city council, which she believes has become too focused on corporate businesses instead of the people.

Housing and homelessness are the most pressing issues facing Joy’s community. With Santa Cruz being the country’s most expensive rental market and over 50% of city being renters, many are burdened by high housing costs. Joy advocates for community land trusts, public housing on public land, and tenant protections to ensure housing stability and prevent homelessness. Additionally, she supports measures like rent control, just-cause eviction policies, and wealth taxes to generate funds for affordable housing initiatives. Joy underscores the importance of proactive measures to protect residents from housing insecurity and alleviate the broader impacts on the community.

Joy imagines a future where the people of Santa Cruz experience a better quality of life. She envisions less time and money spent on housing and transportation, allowing for more leisure and quality time with loved ones. Joy anticipates increased community engagement, with residents actively shaping their neighborhoods and contributing to initiatives that enhance city life. She emphasizes the importance of creativity and cultural pursuits in fostering vibrant cities, highlighting the value of art and music as essential human needs for personal fulfillment.

According to Joy, Santa Cruz is a vibrant, beautiful community with a rich history. She acknowledges the complexities of the city’s past, including its colonial legacy and ongoing efforts by indigenous people to reclaim land stewardship. She says that she sees Santa Cruz as a place with immense potential but underscores the importance of resisting the influence of real estate and business interests that may prioritize profit over community well-being.

Outside of politics, Joy has a passion for art and her unique creative process involves repurposing trash into art pieces. She also has two sweet cats who keep her company at home. Through her artistic process, Joy demonstrates her ability to find beauty and inspiration in unexpected places, which sets her apart from other candidates.

Joy stands out as a candidate with innovative solutions, deep community engagement, and unwavering commitment to creating a more inclusive and sustainable future for Santa Cruz.

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