Many people are scared about the potential impacts of a Trump presidency. I and the leaders in my community issued this statement to let our residents and the Trump administration know that our values and policies will not change. It is important for cities, counties and school districts to speak up.
In the wake of the national election results, we, your locally elected officials, have a message for County residents.
This election has shaken many of us to our core. Because of Donald Trump’s campaign of bigotry, misogyny, hate and vague policy proposals, we have heard deep concerns from you about mass deportations, religious intolerance, cancellation of health care, assaults on the environment, and so much more. There is no doubt that the Congress and President-elect will make decisions that will harm people, especially the most vulnerable.
However, while Donald Trump may think he has a mandate for these policies, we, as your elected officials, have a mandate too. The majority of Americans, and an even greater majority in our county and state, voted overwhelmingly to preserve the Affordable Care Act, protect immigrant rights, support our LGBT community, support religious freedom, fight for climate change policies, and maintain safe access to women’s reproductive rights/health care.
We will represent your voice and your values. The President-elect will soon learn that federal government relies on local governments to accomplish much of the work of the country – public safety, education, infrastructure, safety-net services and health programs to name a few. We will not further any of his goals that violate our county’s values.
As such, we commit to doing the following over the next four years:
1. We will resist any efforts to deport families and hardworking undocumented residents, unless they have been found to have committed serious crimes. We are one community in Santa Cruz County, and all of our children, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, regardless of immigration status, contribute to the social and economic fabric of this community.
2. We will use our regulatory and incentive powers to continue an aggressive program of reducing carbon emissions and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels in accordance with international agreements (whether President-Elect Trump chooses to abide by those treaties or not).
3. We will protect full access to reproductive healthcare and a woman’s right to choose. We will support increased funding, if possible, to organizations that provide these essential services.
4. We will not enforce any laws that discriminate against people on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
5. We will work hard to ensure that every person has access to healthcare regardless of their income, immigration status or medical condition. We will resist any effort to take away healthcare from any individual.
6. We will continue to pass and support laws that require reasonable background checks on people seeking to buy or sell guns or rifles.
7. We will model professional and civil behavior for our children and community.
8. We will support a free and unfettered press, even (and especially) when the press are critical of us.
We know that a strong community is one that includes people of all backgrounds and invests in all of its people. We will work tirelessly to ensure our county is a model for a more just and equitable society for everyone.
Authored by: Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, County Superintendent of Education Michael Watkins, County Clerk Gail Pellerin, Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Mathews, Watsonville Mayor Felipe Hernandez, Capitola Vice Mayor Stephanie Harlan, Pajaro School District President Maria Orozco, Santa Cruz Schools President Alisun Thompson, Cabrillo College Trustee Christina Cuevas, Soquel School District Trustee Amanda Jackson Miller, San Lorenzo Valley School Trustee George Wylie, Scotts Valley School Trustee Sue Roth