Blog and News

The next City Council meeting is Tuesday February 12th.   Item 16 on the agenda is a rental housing task force that appears to be starting with Measure M.  Homeowners should be aware that the City is likely to regulate single-family homes, which is possible even with the state law known as Costa Hawkins.  

A stated task force goal is determining how to implement “just cause” evictions, JCE, (item 4 on page 1 of the Agenda Report).   A draft application for task force applicants asks what should be changed about Measure M (page 3 of the application). This implies the task force is using Measure M as a starting point!   Likewise the recommended firm to run the task force proposes the background research be oriented around Measure M (page 3 Process Development from CCP).

These documents supporting the task force agenda item can be found here.   Click on item 16 of the agenda to find the documents.

We need a complete reset, Measure M should not be the starting point of the task force.   Please take a few minutes to write and let them know that the rental housing task force must be a reset, cover a range of rental housing issues, and not begin with Measure M, which was already overwhelmingly rejected by our community.    The Council talks about using a data-driven process while ignoring these data points; nearly 19,000 voters opposed Measure M and over 1,000 people wrote to oppose the JCE ordinance, compared to less than 35 in favor. Please take the time to help us continue to build a public record of massive objections to JCE and Measure M.

A sample letter that can be sent, modified, or used for inspiration is available through the mailchimp version of our newsletter that can be found here:


As you know, the City Council continues to address rent control related issues even after Measure M’s massive defeat in November. We are really proud of all we have accomplished on this issue so far. Because of your support we defeated Measure M with 62% of the vote, and last week, the council backed away from adopting many of the worst aspects of Measure M and just cause evictions. SCT sent hundreds of letters to Council and packed the chambers. Our voices made a huge impact.

Santa Cruz Together continues to remain heavily engaged on this important issue. As you saw from last week’s Sentinel story, it’s unclear how the Council plans to proceed. The SCT board is meeting regularly to strategize and we have open lines of communication with several councilmembers. There’s a lot of uncertainty and we must continue to make our voices heard.

A complete reset is required to ensure an open and honest dialogue about the housing crisis. The City Council took an important step by tabling the just cause eviction ordinance last week. Moving forward, we will remain engaged to ensure our voices are heard and respected. Keep reading the newsletter to stay informed and aware of Council’s actions. SCT has been extremely successful thus far and your continued support and engagement will help move the council towards good housing policy decisions.

January 23 - City Council Tables Just Cause For Evictions (JCE) Ordinance 

Last night our voices were heard.  The City Council tabled the JCE ordinance, instead of voting on it.  Your engagement contributed to this outcome.    Thank you!   

Santa Cruz Together greatly appreciates the Council members that voted to table the JCE ordinance.   Mayor Martine Watkins, Vice Mayor Justin Cummings, Cynthia Mathews, Donna Meyers, and Sandy Brown should all be commended for their leadership.   They all brought common sense to rental housing policy.  We particularly appreciate the strong leadership of Justin Cummings who based on feedback from the community made the motion.

We are encouraged by the Council’s action.  There is discussion about a task force or committee, and we will continue to watch this closely.   The ordinance or a variation is still likely to be voted on later.     

In the last two weeks, Council received over 1,000 letters opposing Measure M equivalent JCE, compared to around 30 in favor.   Thanks to everyone that participated in this wave of letters.    

Feel free to contact with any questions or comments.

Heads up..! Next city council meeting is next Tuesday January 8.  Both the final reading of the Relocation Assistance for Displaced Tenants Ordinance and the first reading of a new Just Cause Eviction: Community Process and Interim Ordinance are on the schedule for the evening 7:00 session.  Here is the meeting agenda and where the materials for the Just Cause Eviction: Community Process and Interim Ordinance and the new final draft of the Relocation Assistance for Displaced Tenants are posted.  

If you have opinions send them in to the city council ahead of time, preferably before Monday but Monday noon at latest…    Send mail to

Good news, looks like Measure M has lost by close to a two to one margin.   Final count not in yet, but Measure M results are clear.  Latest updated results are kept by the county and can be found here.  

Next Steps..!  Mark your calendars for City Council meeting Tuesday 11/27 at 7PM.

The City Council will be considering alternatives to Measure M that evening. Plan to attend, bring friends, give a public comment and submit letters in advance.  The City Council race is very close and critical to housing policy. Please make time to attend this critical City Council meeting! 

Letters to the city council count a lot.  Send email to Make your views clear.  Possible points to mention might start with that continuing the emergency measures is a bad idea.  The two emergency ordinances are very close to what was in Measure M which was just rejected 2-1 by city voters and cause more harm than good for almost all the same reasons.  Similarly with any other rushed plan such as the exorbitant rent increase proposal.  Studies from other cities have made it clear that rent control will take existing rentals off the market, discourage construction of new rentals, and make housing more scarce and expensive for the majority of renters.

What is needed is a considered proposal agreed to by all parties after a public review and input period. The election results give clear indication as to where two out of three Santa Cruz City residents stand on rent control and tenancy protection, request that the council keep this in mind.

On the Resources>References page there are links to both the emergency temporary rent control and tenancy protection ordinances now in effect and also the new proposed tenancy protection measure developed by the city and shelved prior to the election due to opposition by pro-Measure M advocates.

November 9 Newsletter

Click to see the Santa Cruz Together November 9 Newsletter

Local UCSC Economists line up against Measure 10 in this letter. Two recently published this op-ed on the subject in the Los Angeles Times and one, Jesse Cunha, also recently published this paper on Affordable Housing and Rent Control in Santa Cruz. 

September 18 Newsletter

Click to see the Santa Cruz Together September 18 Newsletter

August 30 Newsletter

Click to see the Santa Cruz Together August 30 Newsletter

July 21 Newsletter

Click to see the Santa Cruz Together July 21 Newsletter.


July 8 Newsletter:

The rent control ballot measure qualified and is on the November ballot.  The Measure will be voted on by city residents on Nov 6th.  

Chin up!  We're going to beat this thing, with your help.   Santa Cruz Together is a local, grassroots campaign exceeding 1,200 people.  We have our campaign plan laid out through November and need help reaching our fundraising goal.   We believe once voters truly understand the real implications of this reckless measure, it will be soundly rejected.  This requires a substantial public education campaign.   

Upcoming Events:

Public Input on "Exorbitant Rent Increase Ordinance"

When:              Tuesday, July 17, 6PM

Where:              Santa Cruz Police Community Room

                         155 Center St., Santa Cruz

Planning department seeking input from the community in this one hour meeting.  Attend the meeting and the breakout on the "Exorbitant Rent Increase Ordinance" that will go into effect WHEN we defeat this measure.

Santa Cruz Together Meeting:

When:             Wednesday, July 11, 6:30 PM

Where:            Santa Cruz Police Community Room

                        155 Center St, Santa Cruz

Come meet the team and other fired-up citizens like yourself.  Just know we will be educating Santa Cruz voters about the unintended consequences of this Measure - and we need your help.

Please continue spreading the word and steering folks to to join our email newsletter.  If you each tell 10 folks and they do the same, we can defeat this awful and damaging Ballot Measure.  Thank you for all of your support and advocacy.  


Your Campaign Team

Santa Cruz Together

Saving Rental Housing For Everyone


Santa Cruz Together June 8 2018 Newsletter

Our campaign team has been working - and so have you apparently!  Because of you, our membership has grown and we've had the most outstanding talent, advisors and volunteers step up to work on the campaign's behalf.  Thank you for spreading the word.  The proposed rent control ballot measure is extremely ill-informed housing policy and will, as all experts agree, do precisely the opposite of what is intended.  Evidence clearly shows that rental quantity and quality will decrease and further stress the already-stressed rental stock in our town.

Our campaign is to defeat the measure.

Growing SCT's ranks is vital to building public awareness and ultimately getting out the vote in November.  Ads, mailers, district walks and yard signs are important, but you talking with your friends and neighbors about the negative consequences of the ballot measure is far more effective.  Keep it up.

Contribute to the Campaign:

We are fundraising for the costs associated with direct mailings, yard signs and other campaign materials.  You've been extremely generous and our expenses to-date have been well below budget.  We are building a war chest for the battle ahead and anything you contribute is appreciated.  Donating on the website is quick and easy.

Last, please continue to be a polite and patient voice of reason in our community regarding this ballot measure.  As frustrating as it is, it's important we debate with both heart and reason.  Take a deep breath as we press all the way to November.  Share and suggest others join our email newsletter. 

Santa Cruz Together April 27th 2018 Newsletter

First, welcome to our newest members!  We are growing fast and very much appreciate all of your personal notes/stories that you've been submitting via the "Join" button on the website.  Please continue helping us understand how this Rent Control Ballot Initiative would affect you, your family and your renters.  To the many of you that have also donated, we are extremely grateful for your trust and support.  Everyone working on the campaign is a volunteer so donations are used for expenses like print and social media ads and direct mailings. You are helping to preserve the integrity of our small town.

Stopping The Signatures

Most of you are aware the Housing Justice Warriors are out in force seeking signatures.  They have until May 9th to submit the petitions to the City and indications are they are struggling.  You and your SCT cohorts are creating awareness and we believe it is having an impact.  Keep it up!

If you see a petitioner, let us know:

If you are inclined, engage with him/her to perhaps test their knowledge of the proposed law.  We love to hear your experiences with petitioners so shoot us an email afterward!

Spooked?  Planning to Sell Your Property?

A major argument against this ballot initiative is that housing supply will shrink drastically - and actually hurt renters.  There have been 86 rental properties placed on the market since Feb and in discussions with you we understand many more are headed that way.  It's tragic and needs to be communicated to city leaders.

Please mail and let us know if you plan to sell and how many rental units it represents.  Your information is strictly confidential.

You may have seen SCT recently:

  • Santa Cruz Sentinel Article

  • KSCO interview (April 25th episode)

  • Leaflet Training Session

  • March For Science Leafletting

  • Attending UCSC Student Union Assembly Meetings

..and we're just getting started.  But the real difference is you talking with your neighbors, coworkers and friends.  People just need to know it's a horrible law and that it impacts everyone in Santa Cruz.  It definitely hurts more renters than it helps.  Once folks hear the facts, they won't sign the petition.

Downloadable Flyers On Our Website

If it helps when communicating your concerns to your neighbors, coworkers and friends, you can download our latest flyers in color or B/W.  Also, the FAQ section is helpful and can be printed as well.

Upcoming events

Campaign Kick-Off Redux

When:             6:30 pm, Wednesday, May 2nd

Where:            Santa Cruz Police Community Room

                       155 Center St, Santa Cruz

This is a repeat of our successful kick-off in April.  If you are a new member, you are invited and encouraged to attend.  We will introduce the campaign leads, review the ballot initiative, and walk through the many unintended consequences and our campaign to defeat it.  If anything, come out to meet your neighbors.  We have amazing members in Santa Cruz Together and it has been our honor to be working on behalf of concerned folks like you.

Like Us On Facebook!

Visit your fellow SCT members online and join the new Santa Cruz Together Facebook group.  Find discussions inside!

We are Incredibly Proud

Of our members for your balanced, thoughtful and cordial debates on NextDoor, Facebook, around town and in your neighborhoods.  Others faced with similar initiatives in other cities were not so polite and it very much hurt their ability to communicate the pitfalls of these measures.  Please avoid personal attacks and focus on the problems with the initiative.  Keep up the great work and continue sending concerned folks our way.

Santa Cruz Together April 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to our first Newsletter!  We need and appreciate your support to defeat the terrible rent control ballot initiative.  Most important is continuing to spread the word about how the initiative’s unintended consequences will hurt renters more than it helps them. 

Campaign Up And Running

Santa Cruz Together is up and running.  We had well over 100 concerned people at our kickoff meeting, and we have a growing list of email subscribers.    Our campaign is run by concerned volunteers donating hundreds of hours of work to the campaign.  If you haven’t already, please post and share the URL with friends.  We’re are particularly interested in building our email list through the website.

Send Us Stories, Help Us Find Stories

To put a face on our campaign, we are seeking those willing to tell their stories.  The types of stories we want are the following:

·      Renters living in rent controlled cities finding housing scarce and pricey.   Consider if you have any family or friends willing to share their experience.   Rent controlled cities include Mountain View, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Monica.

·      ADU owners who are withdrawing from renting or deciding not to add an ADU because of the 'Just Cause' loss of ability to evict or move family in restrictions in the measure.

·      Renters who have thought through the initiative's unintended negative consequences that actually harm them.

·      Renters losing their housing when Property owners who have rented decide to sell to owner occupants because the property owners selling due to rent control or are afraid about the initiative taking away their control of their rental property.

·      Your story.

We seek people willing to do a video clip since we have professional video production donated to the campaign.  We also request quotes or 150-word stories for our website and Facebook.

Volunteer to Help

We are seeking people willing to distribute leaflets at community events.  Please RSVP and attend the volunteer training listed below, if you want to leaflet.  Please submit questions about the initiative that you would like to see answered.  Also, email us if you are willing to submit a letter to the editor.  We have a list of themes, if you are interested. Contact

Next Events

Volunteer Training – RSVP Required

April 18th 6:30

Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room, 155 Center St, Santa Cruz

Ballot Initiative Overview and Our Campaign to Defeat It

May 2nd, 6:30 PM 

Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room, 155 Center St, Santa Cruz

This will be the same presentation given on April 4, with some updates, and is intended for new members or those who didn’t make that last meeting. 


Rental Housing Supply Greatly Reduced

Property managers are starting to understand the impact of these new draconian rental housing laws.  In particular, the inability to control who is living in your home, is a serious problem.  Housing providers lose the ability to decide who is living in their property, and for how long.    This makes many uncomfortable and less interested in owning rentals.  Already rentals are on the market.  More will be listed after a 120 day notice to tenants.

Extreme rent control makes providing rentals extremely difficult and less attractive.  In San Francisco rent control lead to a 30% decrease in available rentals.  Santa Monica lost 25% of rental housing.

Here in Santa Cruz an estimated 14,500 people live in rental houses.  Many that own these rentals will simply sell them to owner occupied buyers.  Over several years thousands of renters will be displaced.  Where will they go?   Onto our freeways in long commutes.  Housing insecurity is already a serious issue.  If this initiative passes, those in rental houses will find themselves with increased housing insecurity.  Even long term rental situations will change. 

Rent control effectively become Rental Supply Control, where fewer and fewer rentals are available.   


Lease terms become meaningless

For six weeks we have been organizing and talking to people about how the ballot initiative works .  One of the most common areas of confusion is the impact on rental leases.  The initiative changes the law so that tenants cannot be required to move, because of the end of a lease.  Tenants can only be required to leave for specific reasons like failure to pay rent or committing a crime.  The end of a lease is no longer a reason that a renter can be asked to move.  You can no longer control the length of time a renter is in your property.   

You also can no longer prevent subleases through a rental lease agreement.   Renters gain broad rights to sublease and an ability to add family members or partners to a property without housing provider consent.

It’s confusing to see such a fundamental part of real estate law change so dramatically.   We have heard quite a bit of disbelief.   In the 2/13 city council meeting, the Santa Cruz City Attorney is on the record stating that the end of a lease is no longer an adequate reason to require renters to move.