The first Santa Cruz Youth City Council took office Monday with its members eyes on the same problem that has been gripping the rest of the city's residents: crime.
The council, born a year after a similar one started in Watsonville, took office with gleams in their eyes. This wasn't just lip service or role playing. They expect to produce results that can be used by the – what shall we call it? – the old City Council? elder City Council?.
Several elder statespeople watched with pride. Mayor Hilary Bryant sat beaming in the seat normally occupied by the City Clerk. David Terrazas and Cynthia Mathews addressed their youth peers, noting they are also on the public safety committee.
Lynn Robinson watched from a bendh in the packed house. Don Lane stopped in before he had to attend a meeting himself.
The new council's first goal is to survey all the high school students in the city and get their feelings on whether Santa Cruz is safe and what can be done to improve it. The results are expected next week, they said. They will offer those to the other Council, which Tuesday will meet for a big study session on homelessness.
The students from all of the city's high schools may have set a record for the most sincere and sane public comment session from peers at other high school. Not one looney came up talking about interplanetary trade, organic weed gardening or chemtrails. Robert Norse didn't even come by for a Nazi salute. They must have felt that governing is a mostly sane practice.
Check the videos of the introductions and swearing in, above.
Santa Cruz Youth City Council are:
Mayor: Casey Monahan, Harbor High School
Vice- Mayor: Winter Miller, Costanoa HIgh School
City Attorney: Rachel Zhang, Santa Cruz High School
City Manager: Joaquin Nelson, Costanoa High School
City Clerk: Malakai Wade, Alternative Family Education
Chief of Police: Austin Park, Santa Cruz High School
Assistant Chief of Police: Jasmin Castelan, Costanoa High School
Chief of Fire: Hannah Allen-Young, Alternative Family Education
Parks and Recreation and Public Works: Greta Langenberg, Soquel High School
Council Member: Jeremy Waltzer, Costanoa High
Council Member: Alexander Morris, Santa Cruz High School
Council Member: Connor Williams, Costanoa High School
Council Member: Omar Fabian, Harbor High Schol
Council Member: Nick Holombo, Pacific Collegiate High School
The Santa Cruz Youth City Council formed the following week under the direction and guidance of Robert Acosta, Reyna Ruiz, Lori Butterworth and Mayor Hilary Bryant.