Community Health Starts From The Heart -
Our Downtown

Our Downtown, Our Future is a grass roots organization formed to bring community-based improvements to the heart of our community - our downtown.  

Our founding members come from organizations such as Downtown Commons Advocates, the Campaign For Sustainable Transportation, Santa Cruz Climate Action NetworkreImagine Santa Cruz, and Don't Bury The Library.

We envision a sustainable, equitable, engaging and community-forward downtown that creates and maintains a level of affordability for our diverse society.  

Take part in shaping our future.  Support this measure that mandates the City to:



  • Preserve the large, sunny and centrally located Lot 4 parcel as a public space that provides a permanent location for the Farmers’ Market, saving 10 Heritage trees, and creating the future potential for a green community space – a Downtown Commons.

  • ​Create the City’s first dedicated funding stream for affordable housing by using parking revenue saved from not building an unnecessary garage. Parking revenue would also supplement Measure S funds for Library renovation and Lot 4 improvements for the Farmers’ Market and community space.

The History - What Initiated This Initiative


Members from many community organizations realize that though our focuses may be different, one thing shared is a desire for a sustainable future - a future that more directly includes our community in the decision making that shapes our City.


Specifically considering the City's proposed "Mixed-Use Project", the City did not accommodate the concerns of the hundreds of citizens who contacted the City Council over a four year period regarding the proposed project. The main objections were the construction of an unnecessary parking structure, the destruction of the Downtown Library, and the relocation of the Downtown Farmers Market.
General housing and land use concerns are also one of the top categories of community concern documented by City Council correspondence.  
The City's Mixed-Use Project includes 4 elements - building a new library, a large concrete parking garage, more commercial space, and an affordable housing project.
We agree on 2 of the elements - the need for a "renovated" library and more affordable housing.  
We believe there is a better way to involve the community in deciding how we shape our City, and a better way to implement shared goals - by way of a citizen's initiative that gives us an avenue to concretely vote on the details.

Good City planning should look at the current needs of a community and then look at the current land use mapping of the City and carefully decide where each element should go to best serve those needs.


Our Downtown, Our Future was formed to allow us to vote on specific elements of our downtown that the City is currently taking steps to change.  We present a community-driven proposal for why affordable housing would better serve those who need it in a different location, how we can generate funds to build more affordable housing instead of a parking garage, why the Farmer's Market and community space serves our residents and businesses best in its current location, and why our library should be renovated where it is.

This measure also directs City officials to make any further conforming changes to the General Plan, Downtown Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Local Coastal Program that are necessary to comply with this Measure and State law.

Read the full ballot initiative here.

To view a plan for a thoughtful and inclusive development for downtown, please click here