santa cruz county supervisor felipe hernandez
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez. Contributed photo

In the heart of Santa Cruz County, our community is rallying around a powerful commitment to equity. 

Our recent equity statement reflects a transformative spirit, embracing every individual with support, dignity and compassion. Together, we’re striving for systemic changes to address historical underfunding, language barriers, and inequities in public services, ensuring intentional opportunities for all. 

The Bill Wilson Center’s Shared Housing Host Home Program exemplifies our collective dedication by providing stable homes for unhoused youths, and they’re actively seeking hosts, especially LGBTQIA+ allies. 

METRO is calling on community members to become bus operators, contributing not only to a transit system but also to community service. 

Join us at the Trunk or Treat event for family fun, and on Veterans Day, let’s unite in honoring our veterans with a parade and program featuring special guest Leon Panetta. 

Our community is stronger when we come together—join us in shaping a brighter future.

County Equity Statement

Santa Cruz County recently adopted the following equity statement: “Equity In Action In Santa Cruz County is a transformative process that embraces individuals of every status, providing unwavering support, dignity and compassion. Through this commitment, the County ensures intentional opportunities and access, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and belong.” The statement is a dynamic document that will evolve to better address historical underfunding and inequities in communities. We also need systemic change, particularly in how public services are delivered and funded.

Host Homes Needed

Santa Cruz County’s Bill Wilson Center extends a lifeline to unhoused youths through the Shared Housing Host Home Program. Formerly homeless, Ayanna and Tony, living in a van and on a friend’s couch, found stability with host Joël in Bonny Doon, guided by case manager Valerie Arno. They secured jobs and an apartment, exemplifying the program’s transformative impact. Seeking hosts, particularly LGBTQIA+ allies, the program offers a monthly rental assistance stipend of up to $1,500. This mutually beneficial initiative not only aids vulnerable youths, but also supports hosts in creating a stable foundation. Contact Valerie Arno at [email protected] or 408.679.8732 to be part of this impactful journey.

METRO is Hiring

METRO is actively recruiting bus operators, a role highlighted by CEO Michael Tree as offering not just competitive compensation and benefits but also the opportunity to contribute to community service. Tree emphasized the ongoing efforts to enhance METRO’s bus service, making it more frequent, reliable and convenient. As part of this initiative, bus operators play a pivotal role. Previous driving experience isn’t a prerequisite; instead, METRO is seeking individuals with excellent customer service skills. Those interested in joining the movement to create a world-class transit system in Santa Cruz County can apply at or call 420.2542.

Trunk or Treat

On Friday, Oct. 27, Trunk or Treat will take place at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 East Lake Ave. in Watsonville. The event is free. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the prizes, treats, games and more! The start time is from 3-6:30pm. We hope to see you there.

Veterans Day Sequence of Events

All veterans, families, community members and vehicles are invited to join the parade/march on Nov. 11. Assembly is at 9:30-9:55am at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church parking lot, 721 Main St. The procession starts at 10am down Main Street, turns onto East Beach Street, and concludes at the Mello Center. Doors open at 10am, with the Watsonville Community Band playing at 10:30am. The ceremony/program commences at 11am. This year’s special guest speaker is Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. Join in honoring veterans and commemorating the event in a community-wide celebration.

Office Hours

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, from 2-4pm. Office hours for November will be on the first Friday for November due to Veterans Day. 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.

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