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Steve Pleich Withdraws from City Council Race; Urges Support for Sherman and Van Allen
Thanks and Goodbye
Today I am announcing my formal withdrawal as a candidate for City Council in 2014. While many people have expressed their belief that I would be an excellent addition to the council, the challenges of raising enough money to field a competitive campaign are simply too great to overcome at this time. But as I step from the stage, allow me to make a few observations about the political climate I leave behind.
Even the most casual and uninitiated observer would agree that the political climate in Santa Cruz has taken on a distinctly conservative cast. Special interests remain powerful in our community – even within our elected government. Wealthy groups and individuals continue to give many thousands of dollars to candidates in every election campaign, and they expect their contributions to yield benefits. Yet even within this present framework of political expediency and self-interest, there lies the grain of progressive thought and activism that the challenges of the immediate future demand.
Many of those challenges – creating positive outcomes for people experiencing homelessness, protecting and preserving our civil liberties and our inherent right to privacy, saving the planet from our own excesses, building a freely available digital infrastructure and, yes, ensuring public safety, demand progressive solutions.
Implementation of a forward thinking, progressive public policy is just as important to good governance as the vision that underlies it. The task is to design wise, innovative, and cost-effective programs to address our challenges. Unfortunately, when it comes to bold and innovative programs to meet critical human and social needs, our community seems out of practice. It is time to begin anew and a full-throated statement of progressive vision will point our community in the right direction.
Finally, to my supporters who have shown unstinting loyalty and confidence in me personally and my politics throughout the past four years and two council campaigns, words cannot adequately express the debt of gratitude I owe to each and every one of you. And although this may not be our year, our time will come.
As I exit this campaign, I make on final request. I ask that all those who have supported me with their time and their pocketbooks do as I plan to do. That is to support the two candidates who I believe best exemplify what we believe and who, in my opinion, will serve Santa Cruz best in the coming years. Those two candidates are Leonie Sherman and Bruce Van Allen. They are both worthy of our trust and confidence and I urge you to give them whatever support you can. That having been said, let these officially be my final words for this 2014 City Council Campaign:
Thank you Santa Cruz and, for now, goodbye.