How Santa Cruz Perceives the Homeless

How Santa Cruz Perceives the Homeless

The following is a summary of the first phase of a study on Homelessness in Santa Cruz conducted by the UCSC Community Studies, Sociology, and Psychology Departments, as well as the Center for Statistical Research, in partnership with Civinomics. This is part 1 of a 4 part series previewing the full study. Phase 1 of […]

Voting Roundup: Pot Growing In Santa Cruz, UC Funding, Ted Cruz, and Mandatory Voting

Voting Roundup: Pot Growing In Santa Cruz, UC Funding, Ted Cruz, and Mandatory Voting

Never a dull week goes by it seems with several critical local, state, and national issues coming to the fore. Looking locally, the Santa Cruz County Supervisors are set to vote this week on whether to ban the growing of commercial cannabis within unincorporated parts of the county. Over the last several months Supervisors have been […]

To Expel or Not to Expel

To Expel or Not to Expel

It has been two weeks since the UCSC protesters blocked the highway, causing a severe traffic jam and costing many people a lot of time and money. And while the students have been suspended through finals week, and are currently facing misdemeanor criminal charges, the fate of their expulsion has yet to be decided, despite […]

A Clear Perspective and Path Forward on Homelessness

A Clear Perspective and Path Forward on Homelessness

I am writing today to announce the completion of a landmark study on homelessness in Santa Cruz and the beginning of a four part blog series to review the results. I am announcing this today as it pertains to the release of the new Strategic Plan to End Homelessness, which will be considered at both the […]

Biking in Berkeley

Biking in Berkeley

I’ve been a Berkeley resident for nine years now. First arriving in this town as a Cal student, I stuck around after graduating to work as a music substitute teacher. Schlepping from school to school, I quickly discovered that I could do away with hassle of driving and frantically looking for a parking spot by […]

Keep an Eye On: Supreme Court Independent Redistricting Decision

Keep an Eye On: Supreme Court Independent Redistricting Decision

I’ve recently covered Rank Choice Voting and some of the potential reforms around the California initiative process. Well, the Supreme Court is about to issue a major ruling on independent redistricting committees, which touches both election policy and direct democracy. Redistricting commissions are one of the election reforms Californians have successfully passed. It has lead […]

A 500 Million Gallon Pipeline for Water in Santa Cruz

A 500 Million Gallon Pipeline for Water in Santa Cruz

  Last week the loose consortium of local water advocates known as Water for Santa Cruz held a series of workshops detailing a new proposal for addressing the community’s water supply shortfall. Led by Scott McGilvray, the workshop provided information on the monthly flow of the San Lorenzo River, the infrastructure for drawing water, and the legal and […]

The Highway 6

The Highway 6

If you live in or near Santa Cruz you have probably now heard of the “Highway 6″, which refers to the six UCSC students who last Tuesday blocked off the entrance to highway 17 in protest over increasing tuition fees. The move caused hours of traffic delays on the county’s busiest highway, and is estimated to have […]

Two Supremely Important Decisions: Healthcare and Gay Marriage

Two Supremely Important Decisions: Healthcare and Gay Marriage

Over the past several years, two of the biggest national policy issues have been the advance of same sex marriage and President Obama’s healthcare law. These have dominated the national conversation and have affected the lives of countless Americans. And the future of both may finally be decided this year in the nation’s highest court. […]

A Bag Too Far – Can California Reform its Initiative Process?

A Bag Too Far – Can California Reform its Initiative Process?

The American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA), the plastic bag industry lobbying group, has just qualified a referendum on the historic California state wide ban on plastic bags that was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown just last year. As a result, implementation of the ban has been delayed from July 2015 […]

The Case For Social Entrepreneurship in Santa Cruz

The Case For Social Entrepreneurship in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is one of the most unique places on Earth, and practically everyone who lives here, or has even visited here, will tell you that same thing. However, that uniqueness can sometimes be a double edged sword. Sure we have amazing people from all over the world visiting our beautiful city, for work, fun, and […]

California Controversies: The Oil Train, Asset Seizure, Vaccinations

California Controversies: The Oil Train, Asset Seizure, Vaccinations

Happy March, everybody. Two months into 2015 and things are getting heated here in the Golden State. Here are three statewide issues to keep on your radar: Phillips 66 Oil Trains Phillips 66 has an crude oil refinery in San Luis Obispo. Currently the station gets most of its crude oil pumped to it via pipeline, […]

Senate Bill 32 And The Birth Of My Civic Consciousness

Senate Bill 32 And The Birth Of My Civic Consciousness

The opinions represented in this blog are solely those of the author and in no way reflect the stance or opinion of Civinomics. I can still remember the day my grandparents took me to see An Inconvenient Truth at the Raven Movie Theatre in Santa Rosa. I must have been 11 or 12 at the […]

Should California Put Warning Labels On Soda?

Should California Put Warning Labels On Soda?

Anti-soda activists are feeling lucky these days. In recent months there have been a series of policy battles around curbing the consumption of sugary drinks. This past election voters in Berkeley and San Francisco both decided whether to place a tax on sugar sweetened beverages. The tax passed overwhelmingly in Berkeley, and fell just short […]

What Good Is My Vote?

What Good Is My Vote?

Santa Cruz, California is, in many ways, an ideal laboratory in which to test and refine and evolve the Civinomics online platform and newsletter. Residents here are familiar with the often times polarized local political environment, especially around issues of public safety, water, homelessness, growth, transportation and a myriad of other topics. As in many […]

Update on the Coast Dairies National Monument Campaign

Update on the Coast Dairies National Monument Campaign

Last week brought together a regular who’s who of local elected leaders and conservation champions to begin the campaign to make the Coast Dairies Property off north Highway 1 a National Monument. What was easily thousands of people crammed into Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz to hear from Fred Keeley, a former Speaker […]

California Considers New Transportation Funding

California Considers New Transportation Funding

Last month the California Road Charge Pilot Program Technical Advisory Committee (CRCPPTAC) released a 12 page white paper detailing a series of new options for funding California’s chronically underperforming transportation system. The committee, which was originally set into motion by a law signed by Governor Brown, is charged with exploring all possible transportation funding sources, […]

California Policy Roundup

California Policy Roundup

Today in voting, Civinomics brings you several California issues to weigh in on. One of the biggest pieces of news to come out over the last week was California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, declared his intention to run for Governor in 2018. Wait a minute – you might think -2018? Isn’t there this presidential election thing happening […]

Vote the News: Why the Future of Voting Must Be Habit Forming

Vote the News: Why the Future of Voting Must Be Habit Forming

A video of Civinomics CEO Manu Koenig at the recent Voting and Elections Summit in Washington DC explaining how we can make democracy a part of everyday life by voting while reading,watching or listening to the news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FfwJczeyc4&list=PLtRB8fQ0zBR8B3UyEp-JupsZVsXJC2BW1&index=10

Vote on California’s “Personal Belief” Vaccination Exemption

Vote on California’s “Personal Belief” Vaccination Exemption

The measles outbreak has caused a national stir over the past several weeks. Families have been posting on social media urging their school communities to get their kids vaccinated, and politicians at all levels have been weighing in on the issue. So far, 121 cases of measles have been documented according to the Center for […]

How Much Do YOU Care About Election Reform?

How Much Do YOU Care About Election Reform?

Our election system is broken: 85% of US House Representatives come from “Safe Districts” where they are unlikely to have a significant challenger. 82% of House Representatives and Senators are male. The result? Only 10% of eligible voters aged 18-24 in CA voted in the last election. That’s right, 90% of young CA voters didn’t vote […]

Presentation from Voting and Elections Summit 2015

Presentation from Voting and Elections Summit 2015

Here is a link to full presentation given February 5th, 2015 at the 9th annual Voting and Elections Summit in Washington DC: http://www.slideshare.net/ManuKoenig/vote-the-news-why-the-future-of-voting-will-be-habit-forming Here are two examples of voting units embedded directly into this blog: Make Voting Compulsory in the United States In this year’s midterm elections, just 36.3 percent of the electorate turned out to […]

The Santa Cruz Dog Leash Debate

The Santa Cruz Dog Leash Debate

Perhaps you’ve heard that there is a debate right now over whether to allow dogs off-leash on Santa Cruz County beaches. Currently, there are some beaches in the city of Santa Cruz that allow for off-leash dogs, such as Lighthouse and Its Beach. However, there are no county beaches that allow for off-leash access. This question […]

Is Vapor as Bad as Smoke?

Is Vapor as Bad as Smoke?

Last week the California Department of Public Health released a report aimed squarely at e-cigarettes, also known as “vape pens”. In it, the State claims that vaporizing pens, while not as harmful as conventional cigarettes, still pose a significant threat to public health, and that “second hand vapor” in public spaces is cause for alarm. […]

Introducing the Inspiring Enterprise: Social Entrepreneurship in Santa Cruz

Introducing the Inspiring Enterprise: Social Entrepreneurship in Santa Cruz

The following is a guest blog written by Janneke Lang of the Inspiring Enterprise, announcing a new Santa Cruz accelerator program for socially and environmentally conscious organizations. Santa Cruz is best known for its university, beautiful coastline, redwood forests, and progressive lifestyle, attracting everyone from environmentalists and artists, to extreme sports enthusiasts. Meanwhile a tech industry […]

Vote on President Obama’s State of the Union Proposals

Vote on President Obama’s State of the Union Proposals

On January 20th, President Obama delivered his second to last State of the Union address. Despite having been delivered a blow in the most recent midterm elections – losing Democratic control of the Senate and watching as more seats turned red in the House – the president laid out an ambitious and unapologetically left-leaning agenda. […]

Leash or Let Loose?

Leash or Let Loose?

This December the Santa Cruz County Parks and Rec Commission recommended that the Board of Supervisors explore a pilot program for off-leash access on Live Oak Beaches. Right now, taking a dog off-leash could result in a $300+ ticket. Since no one cares about politics so much as when it effects their daily life, or the […]

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day

Today there are ceremonies all across the country to remember Dr. Martin Luther King. President Obama spent the day volunteering at a Boys and Girls club, the stars of the recent film Selma gathered to march in Alabama, and countless cities and towns held events to commemorate the civil rights leader. Near where I grew up, […]

On Again Off Again Civics

On Again Off Again Civics

  At last week’s Santa Cruz City Council meeting hundreds of locals showed up to express their concern about the purchase of an armored rescue vehicle known as the BearCat. As someone who frequently attends these meetings, the showing was awe inspiring. Yet what was truly moving was the level of discourse that took place, […]

Raising the Federal Gas Tax

Raising the Federal Gas Tax

As strange as it seems, Congress may be on the verge of a major bipartisan compromise, and one to raise taxes, no less. Given that by all accounts the 113th Congress of 2014 was the least productive session in modern history, combined with the election year fervor and grandstanding that surrounded it, it would seem […]

Stay Away Ordinance Featured in Santa Cruz Waves

Stay Away Ordinance Featured in Santa Cruz Waves

In case you missed it Santa Cruz Waves ran an article on the proposed “Stay Away” ordinance to be considered during tomorrow’s City Council meeting. If passed, the ordinance would ban repeat offenders from public parks and beaches, and could result in a misdemeanor for those who ignore their bans. Read more about the proposal […]

On Transportation Funding and My Six Hour Trip Home

On Transportation Funding and My Six Hour Trip Home

I’m writing this on the Caltrain, on the third leg of my public transportation journey for the day. I had spent the past couple of days up from Santa Cruz visiting family in Santa Rosa for the holidays, a mere 2 and a half hour drive away if you don’t hit traffic. Yet here I […]

Vote on the “Stay Away” Ordinance: Parks and Beaches

Vote on the “Stay Away” Ordinance: Parks and Beaches

During their January 13th meeting the Santa Cruz City Council will be hearing the second reading of the so called “Stay Away” ordinance. For those of you who haven’t heard of this before, the ordinance would give Parks and Recreation staff and other enforcement officers the ability to ban repeat offenders from entering public parks and […]

New Changes for Santa Cruz County Cannabis

New Changes for Santa Cruz County Cannabis

Last week you would have thought the world was ending, or at least that was the sentiment in the room during a recent meeting of the impromptu activist organization Cannabis Advocates Alliance (CCA). Formed in November as an immediate response to a move by the Board of Supervisors to reign in illegal cannabis gardens, the group […]

Getting Home for the Holidays: The Case for Expanded Highway 17 Bus Service

Getting Home for the Holidays: The Case for Expanded Highway 17 Bus Service

  When it comes to the Highway 17 Express Bus (which goes from Downtown Santa Cruz to Diridon Station in San Jose and connects to CalTrain, Amtrak, and Mineta Airport), you can expect it to leave once every hour. That is about all you can bank on. No guarantee that there will be enough seats (or […]

Does Santa Cruz Need an Armored Rescue Vehicle?

Does Santa Cruz Need an Armored Rescue Vehicle?

I went to the Santa Cruz City Council last week expecting to hear about the “stay away” ordinance that may be adopted for city parks. As it would turn out, another issue proved to be so controversial that the council chambers were forced to close half way through the afternoon session due to citizen protest. […]

The Two Things You Should Know About – And Vote On – From the Omnibus Bill

The Two Things You Should Know About – And Vote On – From the Omnibus Bill

Over the last week Congress has been debating the Omnibus bill, a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government funded through most of 2015. As the name implies, countless programs and measures are included in it, and given its expansive scope oftentimes legislators will add in a couple miscellaneous provisions that actually have a […]

Cast Your Vote: Wearable Cameras for Law Enforcement

Cast Your Vote: Wearable Cameras for Law Enforcement

As a resident of Berkeley, I am a little ashamed to say that I was oblivious to the demonstrations that took place here over the weekend. I don’t live near the city center, and though I did find it odd that there were a couple helicopters in the area on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t think much […]

Oh the Weather Outside

Oh the Weather Outside

I feel rejuvenated. The rains are here, and like the rest of Santa Cruz I couldn’t be happier getting a little wet. Being in one of the worst droughts in history has provided an interesting backdrop to our work. In a literal sense we have been working to gather input on proposals related to the […]

On Strategy & Tactics

On Strategy & Tactics

Stipulated: The social contract has been abrogated by a corrupt system of unequal justice. The banksters who brought the economy of the planet to the brink of total and absolute collapse and who ruined countless lives were not prosecuted and continue their destructive schemes to this day. A black man was tackled by multiple police […]

In Case You Missed It, Civinomics in the Sentinel

In Case You Missed It, Civinomics in the Sentinel

Last Monday we were featured in a Sentinel article about our work with the Water Supply Advisory Committee. Our online ratings for the citizen submitted ideas and our exit polling data from the “Our Water Our Future” Ideas Convention will be used by the committee in helping to understand how the public feels about our […]

A Dinner Party Conversation Prep Guide: Local, State, and National Issues That Deserve Your Vote

A Dinner Party Conversation Prep Guide: Local, State, and National Issues That Deserve Your Vote

This past week has seen action taken on a number of hugely consequential issues. Whatever explains the timing,  today Civinomics presents three issues – local state, and national – all explained in plain language, so that you can catch up in case you missed them and then cast your vote on these these measures. Without further ado, here is your dinner […]

9 Water Proposals Worth Your Rating

9 Water Proposals Worth Your Rating

Still haven’t rated the proposals for the future of Santa Cruz’s water supply? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. “Water for Santa Cruz County” is a 19min video overview by Water Aware Founder and Santa Cruz local Scott McGilvray. (Note: this video in no way represents Civinomics opinions or those of its staff). It covers 9 of […]

Four History-Making Bay Area Races

Four History-Making Bay Area Races

Election day is here at last! Of course much of the attention has been given to the struggle for Congress, whether the Democrats will maintain control of the Senate. But a significant amount of national attention over the past year and this election season has been given to northern California in the Bay Area. The San Francisco […]

Santa Cruz City Council Election Guide

Santa Cruz City Council Election Guide

There is never a dull moment in Santa Cruz politics, which revolve around the City Council. Every other week the council chambers become a place for discussion, disagreement, and sometimes entertainment. From protests to marathon meetings that can sometimes last more than 8 hours, one thing is for sure, it takes some thick skin to serve as […]

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