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New Jet Path Impacts Our County 

My office has received a barrage of complaints related to the change in commercial airline flight path to Bay Area airports. Called "Next Gen", the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is undergoing a massive restructuring of airspace for commercial aircraft throughout the United States. The realigned path goes directly over the 1st District and has turned otherwise quiet and serene neighborhoods into pathways for loud jets.


The County did receive a letter indicating there were going to be changes in the jet path in 2013.  I am attaching the letters (here and here) so you can see the benign language that the FAA used. Additionally a series of public meetings were held in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda counties but none here in Santa Cruz County. An environmental assessment was done that indicated there would be no noise issues with the new path.  This perspective was shared by the FAA in news reports that you can see by clicking here. With an existing flight path over our county for decades and a federal report claiming no increased sound impacts, there were no indications that this "Next Gen" change would create a problem.


Now that the jet path has changed, the impact is clear and definitely greater than what was described by FAA officials and the correspondence they provided the Board of Supervisors. After the Sentinel reported on the sound impacts of the new jet path, scores of constituents reached out to our office. We have been actively working to educate ourselves on the Next Gen program, identify the appropriate points of contact for key agencies, and to identify strategies to present to the FAA as well as request a community meeting with the FAA in attendance.  We have been working with Congressman Sam Farr and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo on getting the FAA to come to Santa Cruz, witness the impacts, and discuss the issue with local residents. We have contacted the FAA, and we are researching possible legal action that could be taken to change the pathway. Local aviation experts have shared their analysis that has helped inform me and my staff about why we are experiencing more noise than before, and what changes may reduce the current noise levels. 


As a County Supervisor I am working to represent my constituents to federal authorities in the hopes of getting this pathway changed or the impacts reduced. The FAA is under fire across the country for these changes and I am working hard to share the personal stories that I have heard with the FAA so they will make a change that will reduce the impacts on our local community.  If you have contacted my office, we will let you know when the FAA meeting will be held.


There will be a meeting this week on this issue hosted by concerned constituents of the Happy Valley neighborhood at: 

Branciforte Fire Station 

in Happy Valley

Thursday, April 16th

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Support for Working Parent 
Women's Policy Statewide Legislation

I recently brought a suite of resolutions backing working parent and women's policy statewide legislation to the County Board of Supervisors. This included five bills that prioritize the health, well-being, and economic stability of women, children and working families: AB 908, which strengthens California's existing Paid Family Leave Program, AB 357 the Fair Scheduling Act, SB 579 the Family Engagement Act, AB 302 Lactation Accommodation for Students, and SB 358 the California Fair Pay Act. All five resolutions passed with nearly unanimous support from the Board.


Robbie Gonzalez-Dow, a Regional Breastfeeding Liaison with Community Bridges spoke in favor of the bills, citing that "50% of babies born in Santa Cruz County are eligible for WIC benefits," an indication of the great need for social support for low income families. Michelle Williams, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, also spoke in favor of the bills, saying that her paid maternity/paternity leave policy and the California Paid Family Leave program helped her stay home for a few months after the birth of her children, but that her family still suffered "a dramatic loss of income and is still in debt because of it, which is compounded by the immense cost of daycare."    


Women and working families face significant social and economic challenges in our community. In Santa Cruz County, a total of 36.2% of households are below a self-sufficiency income standard, including 40.5% of married couples with children and 65.5% of female-led households with children. Nearly 50% of Santa Cruz County residents spend more than 30% of their family income on housing. I believe that policies that promote family engagement, breastfeeding, equal wages, and fair and predictable work schedules will be a huge benefit to our entire community.

16th Ave In All Its Bloom
By Teresa Campisi
Email me a favorite "First District" Photo and it may appear here next month
Wednesday, April 15
5:30-6:30 p.m
Loma Prieta Community Center
23800 Summit Rd. 
Wednesday, May 6
5:30-6:30 p.m. 
Michael's on Main
2591 Main Street - Soquel

Wednesday, May 13
5:30-6:30 p.m.
People's Coffee
1200 17th Ave -
Live Oak
Important Events

Unified Corridors Workshop

Thursday, April 16, 6:30 pm

Mid-County Senior Center

829 Bay Ave,Capitola

Affordable Housing: A Community 
Call to Action
Saturday, April 25,
2-4 p.m.
Center for Spiritual Living
1818 Felt St. 
Santa Cruz 

County Planning Meeting on the
Safety Element of the General Plan 

Wednesday, April 22,

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Board of Supervisors Chambers

701 Ocean Street, 

5th Floor


KZSC - Heard It Through The Grapevine

April 21st 7pm

John will be taking calls on local issues with host Bruce Bratton

Like us on Facebook Check out my Facebook page for more regular updates, board agenda items, and community happenings like the Soquel Cemetery cleanup I did with Greg and Toni below!
Office Contact Info
Phone: 454-2200
701 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Tony Sloss

Supervisor John Leopold | 701 Ocean Street | Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | 831-454-2200