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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Santa Cruz CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 1

Photo of John Leopold

John Leopold

13,544 votes (42.75%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • To lead the community through the COVID crisis with funds to help people affected, expanded testing and accurate public health information that is readily available.
  • Ensure that we have strengthened our resiliency through the creation of plans for fire safe evacuation routes in the district, sea level rise policy to protect our coastal homes, and the hiring of a Climate Action Manager.
  • Continue to pursue criminal justice reform, empower the Justice & Gender commission for success and address structural racism in our community.



Profession:Santa Cruz County Supervisor, 1st District
County Supervisor, 1st District, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors — Elected position (2009–current)
Develop Director, Division of Social Sciences, UC Santa Cruz (2001–2008)
Trustee, Area 3, Cabrillo College Governing Board — Elected position (2000–2008)
Administrative Director, Working Partnerships USA (1997–2001)
Executive Director, Santa Cruz AIDS Project (1994–1996)
General Manager, Santa Cruz Mail & Data Service (1991–1994)


UC Santa Cruz Bachelor of Arts, Politics (1988)

Community Activities

Member and Past Chair, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (2009–current)
Member, Task Force on Justice and Gender (2017–current)
Member, World Surfing Reserve Stewardship Council (2012–current)
Board member and Past Chair, California Association of Local Agency Formation Commission (CALAFCo) (2009–2018)
Coach, Live Oak Little League (2005–2005)


As a member of the Board of Supervisors, John has experience to lead our county through the crisis of COVID. He created a $1 million rent assistance fund, and worked to change the permitting process to allow businesses to operate outside. John has helped draft the innovative policies to address sea level rise and led the County to be the first to ban fracking in the state. He has had the County declare Racism a Public Helath Crisis and is working with the BIPOC community on a new platform to address racism and economic and social justice.  

Previously John worked with the community to develop an effective Vacation Rental Ordinance, sensible gun shop regulations, a set of budget policies that prioritize services to the community, and cannabis regulations. John engaged hundreds of community members in developing community projects as part of the Redevelopment Agency and criminal justice reforms efforts in response to the state’s prison realignment. John played a leadership role in the acquisition of the branch rail line through Santa Cruz County and the development of a master plan for the Monterey Bay Scenic Trail (sometimes known as the Rail Trail).  He has secured funding and land and approval of a 57-unit affordable housing and health center project in Live Oak and new 40-unit senior housing project at St. Stephens. He has worked collaboratively with our schools in the creation of a Boys & Girls Club with the Live Oak School District and the Santa Cruz Boys and Girls Club, and new recreational facilities with the Loma Prieta and Happy Valley School Districts.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (5)

  • Central Fire Santa Cruz Firefighter’s Local 3605
  • Live Oak Elementary Teachers Association
  • Democratic Women’s Club
  • Deputy Sheriffs Association
  • Monterey Bay Central Labor Council

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Local government works best when it is comitted to working with the community. I believe that our community should be involved with decisions that affect their lives.  Before COVID, I held at least three Constituent Meetings per month in different neighborhoods and since COVID I hold weekly meetings online and email a weekly newsletter.  I have also organized community meetings around critical issues of development, criminal justice reform, restorative justice, housing and health services.

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