I grew up in Santa Cruz County and have had different relationships to Downtown over the decades. I remember wandering the makeshift aisles of Lily Wong's in a huge tent after the 89 earthquake. As a young adult I danced in First Night parades and worked at the Java House. On the streets of Downtown Santa Cruz I have fallen in love more than once. Here I walk, eat, shop, watch, visit and celebrate life. Here I bring my family and friends.
This past decade I have also lived and worked Downtown. I joined the Santa Cruz Community Farmers' Markets crew in 2012 and have worked the Downtown Market nearly every Wednesday since. I love that farmers' markets are ephemeral, transforming parking lots into bustling places of commerce. In the dynamic space of the market residents are educated, build relationships, participate in the local economy and advocate for their health and the health of their families. Food growing and community building is sacred and essential work - at farmers' markets these things intersect. I feel fortunate to be a part of it and to be working to expand our reach in the County focusing on increasing access to healthy food while supporting small farms and local businesses.