Episode 40: Victor Gomez, Pragmatic Lobbyist

Victor Gomez is perhaps best known as having been a member of the City Council of Hollister for eight years, and was Mayor of Hollister for one of those years. He also served as the President of the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California League of Cities, and has worked for a number of local politicians as well.

Victor is a born storyteller, and we love a good story. In this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast, Victor shares a number of stories with us – and they are riveting. Victor shares stories about his grandfather and father, both of whom were Mayors in Mexico, about how he came to own a number of Papa Murphys take-and-bake pizza franchises at a very young age, the story of how is family immigrated to Hollister from Mexico, and the tragic murder of his sister, and the effect that’s had on his life.

This episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast is one for the record books! Please listen and share. Victor also mentions at the end how he is participating as he has for years in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.” If you’d like to sponsor Victor for the walk, you can do so by clicking the link below:

Sponsor Victor Gomez for Walk a Mile in her Shoes San Benito

Or check out Walk a Mile San Benito:

You can reach Victor Gomez and learn more about his professional services by visiting

Episode 35: Manu Koenig talks Santa Cruz Rail Corridor

One of the most divisive issues in Santa Cruz County today is what to do with the Santa Cruz Branch Line Rail Corridor. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission is about to vote on it’s “preferred scenario” for the rail corridor (and a number of other transportation projects) at its meeting on January 17, 2019 – where it is quite likely to approve $1+ billion in spending over the next 30 years, which will likely include the creation of passenger rail service along the corridor.

There’s a competing, and much more compelling, vision for the future, which is advocated by Santa Cruz County Greenway. The folks from Greenway want to establish a multi-mode pedestrian / bicycle / e-bike etc. trail. The Greenway folks feel that their vision can be achieved much more quickly, with significantly less expense, and with far better results than what’s being proposed by the Santa Cruz RTC.

In this episode of the Podcast, Manu discusses many of the issues surrounding the future of the rail corridor, and will be very useful for anyone interested in informing themselves about the debate.

Greenway Web Site

Email Manu directly at

Email the Santa Cruz RTC: – comments due by Wednesday 1/16/19 @ noon

Episode 25: Lynn Renshaw and Santa Cruz Together Fight Rent Control

In this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Lynn Renshaw of Santa Cruz Together. You may not live in Santa Cruz, but the topic of our discussion is of interest to all Californians: rent control. Santa Cruz Together is a grassroots organization of Santa Cruz voters who are opposed to Santa Cruz Measure M on the November 2018 ballot.

There’s no denying that there is an affordability crisis in Santa Cruz, both for homeowners and renters as well. In fact, Santa Cruz is rated as one of the least affordable cities in the entire U.S.A., so it’s not surprising that there is a lot of concern in the community about the high cost of housing.

The question before us is, how do we deal with that? The folks behind Measure M believe that the best way forward is to establish strong measures to limit increasing rents. The folks who oppose Measure M point out that rent control actually does not control the cost of rent for most people, but rather it has the inverse result: rents increase, because rent control removes units from the rental housing stock while at the same time discouraging the construction of new rental housing.

Whether you’re in favor of or opposed to rent control, this is a very informative episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast. Please do share it with anyone you know who is concerned with housing affordability and rent control, regardless of if they live within the city of Santa Cruz or beyond.

Episode 20: Zach Schwarzbach Judges the Criminal Justice System

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Zach Schwarzbach. Zach grew up in the San Lorenzo Valley, in the northern, wooded mountains of Santa Cruz county. Now in his late 30’s, Zach has been working with the Santa Cruz County public defender’s office for the past ten years or so. With a decade’s worth of experience in the court room and all around our system of criminal justice, Zach is today running to get elected as a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge.

How did Zach go from a small mountain town to running for Superior Court judge? As a child growing up in the mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz county, Zach didn’t plan on having a stand-out legal career. In this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast, we learn about the force Zach drove to get to where he is today. In a word, it’s passion. Zach didn’t expect to become an ardent practitioner of the law and criminal defense in particular, but he got the bug young in life and he’s been all-in for well over a decade, throwing himself unreservedly into the work.

You may have never wondered what kind of people end up becoming Superior Court judges – I can honestly say I never gave it much thought. But listen to what Zach has to say about the criminal justice system, and the power that judges wield. You’ll come away impressed and with a greater appreciation for the important role that judges – and people like Zach Schwarzbach – play in all of our lives.

Zach has the following public events coming where interested parties can come and meet him:

Wednesday, May 16th 2018 at the Monterey College of Law Campus on Water Street in Santa Cruz, from 12:00 to 1:15 – Candidate Forum

Thursday, May 17th 2018 at 6:30 PM, the NAACP is hosting a candidate forum at Resource Center for Nonviolence on Ocean Street across from the Santa Cruz county courthouse

Saturday, May 19th from 2018 4:00 to 7:00 PM at 2720 South Rodeo Gulch Road in Soquel – campaign rally and fundraiser

Episode 4: Capitola Discusses Future of the Rail Corridor

On January 11, 2018 the Capitola City Council held a public meeting to discuss the future the Santa Cruz Branch Line rail corridor as it passes through the city of Capitola.  The council heard from advocates for a rail-with-trail (as specified in the Monterey Bay Scenic Sanctuary Trail plan) as well as though preferring a trail-only solution (as advocated by the folks at TrailNow and the Santa Cruz County Greenway). The meeting was packed – it was standing room only before the meeting commenced, which shows the high amount of interest in the future of the Santa Cruz rail corridor.  Many of the speakers did not live in Capitola, although owned businesses, work in, or visit the area frequently.  Many good points were raised by the speakers and by the audience. If you want to learn more about the issues surrounding the use of this valuable community asset, listening to this meeting is a great way to start.

You can also watch the video of this presentation on