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New Workshop: Santa Cruz City Council Agenda

With a new year comes new challenges. Let’s start 2014 off on a good note by becoming more civically engaged in what’s going on in Santa Cruz proper. Beginning this Tuesday, the city council will formally convene for the first time this year with a plethora of important issues to tackle. First and foremost, should the council accept the amended plan for the already approved 106 room Hyatt hotel, to be built at 407 Broadway Ave near Ocean Street? What about granting Cruzio an encroachment permit to expand their fiber network further into downtown? These are the types of issues that we need feedback on the most. Make your voice heard by voting on the City Council Agenda Items for January 14th, 2014.

Tell the City Council What You Think.

Updates on the Abandoned Bike Issue

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Last week we explained that the city of Santa Cruz was in the process of deciding what to do with all of the abandoned bikes left around town. Originally scheduled to be considered during the January 14th session, the issue has since been pushed to the January 28th meeting, in part because of the already packed list of items needing to be addressed early on in the year (water committee, anyone?). But just to recap, every year the police department collects hundreds of abandoned bikes and bike parts throughout the city. If no one claims the items within 90 days, they become city property. Previously the city has worked with local nonprofits, including the Bike Church, to distribute these spare bikes to low income youth. However, that program has been discontinued. So what should the city do with all of these extra bikes? Sell them at an open auction? Reinstate the previous program? Tell us what you think and we will present the results to the City Council on the 28th.

Tell the City Council What You Think.

Additionally, new Civinomics member Esther Greenburg has created an initiative about the proposed Hyatt Hotel Development. More specifically, Esther’s initiative proposes to conduct a more in depth traffic study to assess the true impact that the proposed 106 room hotel would have on the surrounding neighborhood. At one point, she states that “City planning guidelines were not followed during the approval process for this hotel project, including the traffic impact portion.” Furthermore, she elaborates that hotel employees would be forced to park in the surrounding neighborhoods, creating an undue burden for existing residents.

View Her Initiative.

Crowdfunding Gabe Zimmerman’s UCSC Memorial Scholarship

In January 2011 Gabriel Zimmerman, Congressional Outreach Director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and UCSC alumni, was among those tragically shot while holding a constituent meeting in a supermarket parking lot. In his honor, UCSC has set a memorial scholarship fund that recognizes outstanding students in the social sciences who have demonstrated a commitment to public service. Recently the university has also set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise an additional $10,000 for the fund by February 6th. If you can, please donate to help support other young adults who have dedicated their life to improving our community and world. RIP Gabe.

New Features & Bug Fixes

In the last week, the developers have squished quite a few bugs (a never ending job, alas).

New features being worked on include adding Initiative updates to weekly digest emails, statistics and graphs in Workshops and Initiatives, and new tools for organizations and work groups.

As always, if there is a feature you’d like to see included in Civinomics, please let us know in the How Can We Improve Civinomics workshop.

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