• 2 days ago
This op-ed piece fails to address a few vital facts about crime and the demographics of Santa Cruz. Without understanding precisely why Santa Cruz suffers the highest rates of crime in the state, and the highest rates of homelessness in the nation, it is impossible to make prescriptions.
The city of Santa Cruz is unique in California, and perhaps in the nation, in that it has the demographics and property values of a well-to-do resort and university community, but has the crime levels of the worst blighted communities. Santa Cruz has levels of education, income, property values markedly higher than the national and state averages. And yet it has levels of property and violent crime that equal or surpass the worst blighted communities. There is no other community that looks like it. http://santacruzcrime.com/abou ...
The immediate question to ask is 'why'? What has Santa Cruz done differently from other communities? Places with many university students, places with many tourists, warm weather, and plenty of retail alcohol outlets, none of them suffer Santa Cruz's anomalous combination of relative affluence, and catastrophic public safety. Cities with similar characteristics - Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Diego - don't even come close, and cities that are demographically most similar, such as Petaluma and Davis, suffer a small fraction of the rates of crime and homelessness as Santa Cruz.