Op-Ed published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel
Raymon Cancino is chief executive officer of Community Bridges.
I will be thinking of Xochitl when I vote for Measure D, Santa Cruz County’s half-cent sales tax increase to improve our region’s transportation system.
Xochitl is a 62-year-old retired accountant. Because of her health, she can no longer drive. But she remains active and engaged, and depends on Community Bridges’ Lift Line program to get the care she needs.
The half-cent sales tax will pay for a wide range of transportation improvements, generating $500 million over the next 30 years. It’s called Measure D, the “Safety, Pothole Repair, Traffic Relief, Transit Improvement Measure.” But that name doesn’t fully convey the nature of the need, nor what it can do, for people like Xochitl.
“I’ve been waiting for a kidney transplant for over 10 years now, so I use Lift Line three times a week to make it to my dialysis appointments,” Xochitl said. “I can’t drive anymore because of my health, so I really rely on them.”
The money would improve much more: neighborhood projects including local road repair; Highway 1 improvements; the coastal rail trail; analysis of rail as a transit option; and a full 20 percent to support transit for seniors and people with disabilities, provided by Lift Line and Metro ParaCruz.