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City of Santa Cruz City Council Councilmember Cynthia Mathews

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Address:   809 Center St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Picture of Cynthia Mathews

Councilmember Cynthia Mathews


No one on the council has nearly as much experience as Cynthia Mathews does. Out of her six fellow councilmembers, five of them are currently on their first terms. Mathews is on her sixth. Her leadership is fleeting, because—after eight consecutive years on the council—the longtime leader will get temporarily termed out at the end of 2020.

On the council dais, Mathews is a pragmatist. Even though she was next in line for the post, she was unmoved when an opposing council majority passed her over for a term as vice mayor that would have put her next in line for her fifth term as mayor. She has never had the most liberal record on issues like homelessness or public safety, but she quickly tacked to the left when a different coalition held power, with an eye toward collaboration and consensus building. Mathews has served on the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency board, which is working to achieve water sustainability for the local groundwater basin.

Mathews helped start the local chapter of Planned Parenthood in 1971, and she served as its founding executive director.

Prior Terms:  1992–1996, 1996–2000, 2002–2006, 2006–2010,

City Council Standing Committees:
Community Programs

City Council Ad Hoc Committees:
Health in All Policies Subcommittee

External Governmental Agencies/Intergovernmental 
Coordinating Committees:
Library Financing Authority
Measure U Implementation Working Group
Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District Board
Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency

External Community Organizations:
Downtown Management Corporation
UCSC 2020 Long-Range Development Plan Community Advisory
Visit Santa Cruz County


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City Council
Tuesday October 10 2023   3:30 PM