Steve Pleich, 53, has been a fixture around City Hall, representing various communities. As a legal advisor, he was one of the more rational voices behind the Occupy Santa Cruz movement. He also worked hard to raise money for the Harvey West pool when it was closed for lack of funds.
An East Bay native, he's lived in Santa Cruz since 1999. He moved from Live Oak into an RV at the Circle Church in order to be a Santa Cruz resident. He also volunteers at the church.
Patch: 1. Where do you stand on the issue of a desalination plant, and do you think it should be left up to the people of Santa Cruz to decide as outlined in Measure P?
Pleich: There are a number of reasons why I will vote YES ON MEASURE P on the November ballot. First and foremost, Measure P gives the voters of Santa Cruz a guaranteed right to decide on the construction of a desalination plant. I believe that the voters of our community must have “access” to the decision making process that will determine its water future and MEASURE P will provide that “access”.
Secondly, my support of MEASURE P provides us with a platform to discuss a wide range of water conservation measures so that together we can develop a sensible and sustainable water policy for our community.
Thirdly, it provides a starting point for a serious discussion about the truly innovative Blue/Green Jobs Initiative, a conservation based jobs program that will provide employment for local residents.
Patch: 2. How do you plan to fight crime in the wake of the ongoing economic doldrums? Do you think gang violence is growing within the city? If so, what do you think should be done about it?
Pleich: We, as elected officials, must find ways to fund ongoing gang education programs such as PRIDE. Although I was initially opposed to the Warriors franchise, I believe that the new arena and the projected revenue from its operation can be used to fund such programs and provide a platform for employment opportunities for local youth.
Patch: 3. How do you plan on supporting the Arts in Santa Cruz?
Support of the Arts, and particularly through the Cultural Council and the Tannery Arts Center, will be a council priority for me.
Patch: 4. What do you think the best plan is for bringing back the local economy and creating jobs in Santa Cruz?
Pleich: I believe that the best way to revive our local economy is to create the opportunity to both work and live locally. Additionally, we must do everything we can to encourage and support our young entrepreneurs as they envision and build a new, technology-based economy in our community.
Patch: 5. What do you think Santa Cruz's greatest problem is and how do you propose we fix it? What are the city's greatest strengths that you'd like to see preserved and/or built upon?
Pleich: As I have said many times, the lack of access to our elected officials and to the decision making process is the greatest obstacle to progress in our city. I will provide that access. Conversely, one of our greatest strengths as a city is our desire to engage on the important issues of the day and take a hand in solving them. Access will maximize that engagement.
Patch: 6. If it were up to you, how do you see Santa Cruz five years from now?
Five years from today we will see a vibrant, prosperous city fueled by a new enthusiasm and new age economy. We will also see a serious discussion about a Personal Rapid Transit system which will address and solve many of our environmental and transportation challenges. More information about this innovative and real world alternative can be “accessed” on the BLOG spot of my web site at steveforsantacruz.org.