I guess we can have some nice things in 2020 after all, because Santa Cruz Restaurant Week is back! It wasn’t a sure thing, believe me, but I see it as local restaurants and GT taking a stand for a little normalcy—and for the community’s dining scene, which has been devastated by the pandemic. We have made some changes to our annual event—for which all the participants will feature a special prix-fixe menu beginning today and running through next Wednesday, Oct. 28—like a takeout option (you can read about all the particulars in our pullout section in this issue, and at santacruzrestaurantweek.com). But despite the changes, I found I get a lot of comfort just flipping through this issue and reading the quotes from locals chefs and restaurateurs talking about what they love to do, and feeling the excitement of an actual dining event. Every year, this issue makes me hungry; this year, it makes me feel better about life in general.
Also, I want to remind you that our election coverage continues on our website goodtimes.sc. This week we’ll have a closer look at all the state propositions, so if you’re still undecided on some of the many complex measures on the ballot, let us help you sort them out. Meanwhile, hope to see you on a patio for some SCRW dining this week!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Rebuild With Equity
My heart sank as I walked by two shuttered, beloved locally-owned businesses, apparently ravaged by the pandemic: Buttercup Cakes and Bad Animal bookshop. I thought about 99 Bottles, Poet and Patriot, Nourish, also closed in the heart of Santa Cruz. I fear community businesses will be replaced by cookie-cutter chains, losing not only our character, but also revenue—local ownership circulates three to four times more money.
Employee ownership has proven adaptive, resilient and a valuable resource for preserving Covid-challenged businesses. Last year, Santa Cruz City Council approved a resolution affirming support for “the development and growth of worker cooperatives throughout the region,” declaring the month of October Cooperative month. The Main Street Employee Ownership Act —national legislation spotlighting worker cooperatives—also took effect, facilitating funding sources, mandating that SBA actively engage.
Let’s rebuild—with equity—through employee ownership. Oakland-based Project Equity offers free consultations and has available masterful webinars that can point the way and identify funding sources.
Sheila Carrillo | Santa Cruz
Re: Voter Guide (GT, 10/14): As a business owner in Pleasure Point for the past 25 years I have worked with many local government agencies and representatives to improve our business community. No person has been more helpful than John Leopold, especially these past six months through the shelter-in-place. John has worked tirelessly to help local merchants find ways to survive. He is the most approachable county supervisor I have ever known. He has provided our business community with the most up-to-date information regarding Covid restrictions from the local and state level. When our services could no longer be offered in our studio John helped pave the way for free county permits to be issued so our business could continue running curbside. It is no secret that John Leopold has an agenda: to build, support, and nurture Santa Cruz County. I endorse John Leopold for County Supervisor.
Rocky Snyder | Santa Cruz
No on Prop. 22
Why are Uber and Lyft spending $100,000,000.00 to pass Proposition 22? They would rather spend that kind of money to continue to exploit their drivers who they refuse to acknowledge work for them. AB5, passed by the Legislature, declared that those who drive for Lyft and Uber—as well as thousands of other workers—are entitled to benefits such as unemployment insurance and workers compensation if they are hurt while working. These app companies would rather have the burden of providing these benefits fall on the taxpayer and not on them.
Their claims of wanting to help their drivers is disingenuous. Drivers can be employees entitled to benefits like all other employees and still maintain flexibilities in their schedules.
Years ago, farmworkers were denied standard benefits that were provided to most workers, but we ended that discrimination in California. Let’s not let the billionaires at Lyft and Uber continue to exploit many of our most vulnerable Californians.
Also, keep in mind that their business model calls for these drivers to be eventually replaced by self-driving cars, thus putting them out of work anyway.
Gil Stein | Aptos