County Administrative Office

Representational Government

A Santa Cruz County Like Me:
Balance and Equity in Government

The County of Santa Cruz has approximately 40 standing committees and commissions that must be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The majority of these advisory bodies are made up county residents and serve to advise the Board on a large number of issues around housing, land use, gender, race, historic resources, and access among others.

To better represent the County, a greater range of voices is needed! The County is seeking to expand commission/committee participation by South County residents, renters, Hispanic/Latino residents, those with disabilities, and especially younger adults.

The County is collaborating with local cities, community based organizations, and community leaders to align efforts focused on representation. The County put out an online survey to gather information from county residents on what is needed for increased participation; in addition to, hosting three in person community workshops during the month of June to facilitate conversations around representation. Information gathered from the survey, the workshops, and any other collaborative efforts will inform future strategies and reform efforts.

To learn more about County commissions, committees, and advisory bodies, click here.


A Santa Cruz County Like Me Committee

A group of community leaders who are knowledgeable and experienced in working with the target population was established to review variances between the composition of current County commissions and advisory boards and actual county population and propose solutions that lead to aligned government representation.

Antonio Rivas

Former Watsonville Mayor. Currently serving on the Mental Health Advisory Board.

Elaine Johnson

Currently serving on the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Commission.

Karina Moreno

Program and Leadership Coordinator with MILPA Collective. Currently serving on the Women's Commission.

Yadira Flores

Parks Activities Designer and Promotora with County Park Friends. Currently serving on the Latino Affairs Commission.

Mireya Contreras

Administrative Co-leader with Esperanza Community Farms and Deputy Director of the Arts Council Santa Cruz County.

Cesar DeSantos

Sheriffs Deputy for the County of Santa Cruz. Currently serving on the Latino Affairs Commission.

Aligning Efforts with Cities and Community Based Organizations

The County is also collaborating with representatives from the City of Watsonville, City of Santa Cruz, and continues to partner with Santa Cruz Community Ventures.


In the Summer of 2023, the County held three Community Workshops and issued an online survey to engage with county residents around representational government.


Participated in a community workshop or completed an online survey in Summer 2023


Participants between the ages of 18 and 24


Residents from South County and/or identified as Hispanic/Latino

Community Workshops

Who Showed Up?

Our goal with these workshops was to hear from South County residents, renters, Hispanic/Latino residents, those with disabilities, and especially younger adults.
I’m happy to say we accomplished that!


Participated in one of three community workshops in either Watsonville or Capitola


Housing status of renter or other


Participants identifying as having a disability


South County resident


Participants identifying as Hispanic/Latino


Participants between the ages of 18 and 24

What's Next!

Learn More, Tell Others & Join

  • Find out which district you live in and who represents you Click Here
  • Learn about commission vacancies Here
  • See the latest report to the Board of Supervisors Here
  • Learn about other efforts to increase representation in local government Here
  • Apply!

Our Work

Our next update on A Santa Cruz County Like Me will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on October 17, 2023. The progress report will include:
  • an update on the A Santa Cruz County Like Me (ASCCLM) committee
  • outcomes of the community workshop held in June
  • a proposal for commissioner compensation, and
  • a report on possible commission restructuring.