In the vibrant tapestry of our community, positive change is often driven by the dedication and collaboration of individuals who care deeply about the betterment of our shared spaces. From rejuvenating local landmarks to fostering future leaders, and recognizing outstanding contributions, the recent events in our area have highlighted the power of unity and progress.
Veterans Hall Face Lift
Over a weekend in late July, in partnership with my office, Watsonville American Legion Post 121, youth from the Young Supervisors Academy, my staff, Randall and Gabriel LaMere of LaMere Painting, The Home Depot, Santa Cruz County Parks and volunteers undertook the task of prepping the Veterans Hall building for a vibrant new coat of paint. The restoration included sanding and refurbishing the stair rails, which not only rejuvenated the physical structure but also symbolized our community’s enduring respect for our veterans’ sacrifices.
Young Supervisors Academy
My office hosted the inaugural class of the Young Supervisors Academy in Santa Cruz County history this summer and came to a wrap on July 31. Twelve local high school and college students got the opportunity to learn about county government. They visited with the CAO, Carlos Palacios, Human Services, Sheriff’s Office, Health Services, Public Defender, District Attorney, Elections Department, Community Development and Infrastructure. They also talked to local nonprofits MILPA, Arts Council Santa Cruz County, O’Neill Sea Odyssey, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Santa Cruz County Land Trust. They also visited Roaring Camp, Live Earth Farms, Whiskey Hill Farms, and Gizdich Ranch. Adriana Frederick Sutton of Univision also talked to them about the role of media in local government. One of the participants shared, “It’s good to be involved in your local government because you as a constituent do have a say in the community.” Another participant shared, “I enjoyed the diverse range of people we encountered; we didn’t just talk about politics.” For information on the next class, call Celeste Gutierrez at 764.4712.
Child Support Awareness Month
August is Child Support Awareness Month in California and nationwide. California Child Support Services, in partnership with 47 county and regional offices, recognizes that every co-parent has unique wants and needs for their children, but they all share the goal of seeing their children thrive. Let’s remember that every family, no matter its shape or size, shares the same goal of protecting and uplifting future generations. For information, visit childsupport.ca.gov or call 763.8850.
National Night Out
The 40th Annual National Night Out took place on July 31 and it was a great success at Mesa Village Park and throughout the Watsonville community. More than 1,000 community members enjoyed music, hot dogs, nachos, over 30 information booths, free giveaways, a cake walk, photo booth, folkloric dancing, drum gathering, races and the opportunity to interact with Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s and County Fire/Cal Fire, District Attorney and Probation staff. The event helped enhance the relationship between the neighbors and law enforcement to improve public safety.
Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture
Congratulations to the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture for putting on a great event congratulating Lifetime Achievement recipient Guy George, Man of the Year Dana Sales, Woman of the Year Trina Coffman-Gomez, Business of the Year El Vaquero Winery, Organization of the Year Casa de la Cultura and Event of the Year Fairgrounds Foundation Crab Feed. It was wonderful connecting with friends and community members and being able to highlight the accomplishments of the various recipients.
Join us for a community cleanup of the Salsipuedes Creek, Thursday, Aug. 24 from 9am to noon. We will be meeting and parking next to the levee near 2202 East Lake Ave. The cleanup is supported by my office, Trash Talkers, Watsonville Works, Santa Cruz County Community Development and Infrastructure and Watsonville Wetlands Watch.
Open office hours will be held every second Friday of the month at the satellite office located at the Veterans Building, 215 East Beach St. in Watsonville. Walk-ins welcome, no appointments are necessary, and residents can discuss issues or just meet me.
Supervisor’s Update is a recurring column from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez’s Office.