Picture of Manu Koenig

Supervisor Manu Koenig

District 1


(831) 454-2200; fax: (831) 454-3262


Manu Koenig beat incumbent John Leopold, a longtime supervisor, by 14 percentage points in November 2020 for the right to represent District 1 on the county board of supervisor. Koenig was born in Santa Cruz, but moved around quite a bit for his father’s job, living an itinerant childhood around California. However, his grandparents’ continued residence in Santa Cruz made the community his lodestar. He attended Stanford University, graduating in 2007, and joined an internet advertising startup soon thereafter. Quickly disillusioned by the Silicon Valley startup world, he moved back to Santa Cruz, where he founded Civinomics. Civinomics used tablet technology to allow voters to vote quickly and their votes to be tabulated in real time to provide timely insight into the electorate’s position on a variety of issues. 

First elected: Nov. 3, 2020

Alma mater: Stanford University (bachelor’s degree, German studies)

Notable quote: “This election is about making better decisions so our community works for kids, families and seniors. I grew up in Santa Cruz and enjoy the many benefits of living here.”

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Lani Faulkner, a biotechnology researcher and public transportation advocate, will challenge Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manu Koenig when his District 1 seat comes up for reelection.

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Supervisors unanimously approved self-nominations of Justin Cummings and Manu Koenig and reaffirmed a previous selection of Capitola City Council member Yvette Brooks.

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One year and three months into his first political term, First District County Supervisor Manu Koenig has learned some things the hard way. But he doesn’t seem deterred by the challenges he’s come up against.

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The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on accessory dwelling units and adopted amendments to the county code on Oct. 5. Supervisor Manu Koenig voted no, arguing that the amendments will make ADUs harder to build.
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