Picture of Justin Cummings

Councilmember Justin Cummings


Justin Cummings said public service is in his blood, having watched his mother serve as a public health nutritionist and his father serve as a public defender in Chicago. When he was elected as mayor of Santa Cruz in December 2019, he became the first black man to serve as mayor in Santa Cruz history. He came to Santa Cruz to pursue a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from UC Santa Cruz. Having successfully obtained the degree, he transitioned to working for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, which sought to help college students from diverse backgrounds become future leaders in the conservation movement. He first ran for council in 2018 and promised to represent working-class voices. 

First elected: Nov. 6, 2018

Day job: Drone operator and environmental sensor technician at UC Santa Cruz

Alma maters: UC Santa Cruz (Ph.D., ecology and environment); Eastern Illinois University (bachelor’s degree, Spanish literature and language, biology)

Notable quote: “We deserve a City Council that works for the many, not the few.”

City Council Committees
Public Safety Committee
Council Ad Hoc Revenue Committee

External Assignments

Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
Climate Action Task Force
Local Agency Formation Commission (Santa Cruz holds the city seat through May 2022)
Measure U Implementation Working Group
Santa Cruz County Integrated Waste Management Local Task Force
Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency

Related News

→ View All

Good Times logo From Good Times...

Image for display with article titled New Chair Chosen for Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed Justin Cummmings as this year’s board chair, and Felipe Hernandez as vice chair.

California Local Pin Marker From Lookout Local...

Justin Cummings trailed Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson by nearly 5 percentage points after Election Day. More than a week later, he pulled ahead, giving credence to the local axiom that Santa Cruz progressives just vote later.
Join Us Today!