“There are so many issues I care deeply about—environmental, social, economic—and this is the chance to really have an impact on them,” says Leonie Sherman, who just announced a bid for Santa Cruz City Council. She contemplates her words carefully and delivers them with bold enthusiasm. “This is the moment.”
Sherman left Massachusetts in 1995 to visit a friend in Santa Cruz, where she fell in love with the natural beauty and unique characters. She began teaching self-defense courses for the city in 2004 and then took her classes to the school district in 2007—winning the United Way’s Community Hero Award two years after that.
Always inquisitive, Sherman enrolled at UC Berkeley for a master’s degreee in journalism in 2006. Since then she has written all over the world, covering a broad range of topics, including human rights abuses in Cambodia. She also wrote an opinion editorial for the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the water crisis.
“The drought really brought it home that we need to accept the limits inherent in any natural system,” she says.
The anti-desalination advocate thinks we can do something to reduce and recycle the millions of water dumped daily into the sea.
Leonie—pronounced “Lay-ah-nee”—Sherman joins a City Council race with up to three open seats. Others, including council members Hilary Bryant and David Terrazas are considering bids too.
Sherman says Santa Cruzans can find common ground on any issue and move forward. She believes we can keep the atmosphere that attracts tourists and street performers while still maintaining a safe city of neighbors, not strangers.
“I really want to see us move towards evidence-based solutions to the issues we face around neighborhood safety and the quality of life in our town,” Sherman says. “Statistics show the more people you know within a 15 minute walk of your neighborhood, the less likely you are to be the target of a violent crime. That means getting to know your neighbors—bringing them cookies, babysitting their kids—not only improves the quality of your life but actually makes you safer.” MW
The Santa Cruz Warriors weren’t crying in their beers after falling short in the D-League championship for the second year straight when they gathered at KC’s Sports Bar to say goodbye to each other, the city and their fans.
“The fans came out and sold out the games, and they’re just passionate about things that go on here,” said power forward Lance Goulbourne, who had 20 points and 14 rebounds in game two of the team’s championship loss. “It’s a small family type of town.”
Family vibes were palpable as the players made their way through the restaurant to the back patio, saying hello and giving hugs to fans—the players were even on a first-name basis with some of them.
“I love it here a lot. The fans really embrace us,” said Cameron Jones, an all-NBA D-League guard. “All the time we have people talk to us and tell us they love us being here. It’s been a blast.”
The Santa Cruz players held their unofficial going away party at the newly opened bar, blocks from their home arena, to watch their NBA affiliate Golden State Warriors battle the Los Angeles Clippers in game five of the Western Conference playoffs.
Although Golden State didn’t pull away with the win, there was an exciting moment at KC’s when, with 24 seconds to play, former Santa Cruz Warrior Hilton Armstrong joined the lineup—to the delight of his Santa Cruz teammates. Armstrong took a desperation three-pointer didn’t hit rim—causing the players in the bar to crack up laughing, slapping each other’s shoulders.
“Watching this is motivation to get there,” Goulbourne said. “I enjoy watching them play but man, I’m still trying to get there.”
With only 17 teams in the D-League to the NBA’s 30, many of these will get their shots at the big leagues, if they haven’t already. But it’s a dark road to get there—one filled with uncertainty.
“It’s tough, but it’s the business,” guard Kiwi Gardner said. “I wouldn’t want tonight to be my last night in Santa Cruz.” AB