“The Time is Always Right, To do What is Right”

Martin Luther King

Early Life That Shaped Me

I was born in the deep forests of Alabama, which reminds me so much of our own beautiful mountains. I think this is why the San Lorenzo Valley is the place I want to live and raise my children; this just feels like home.

My upbringing was wonderful. The child of teen parents who were successful because of our extended family and community and a hard-won work ethic, I was raised by loving and dedicated parents who inculcated within a solid family focus, a strong sense of community, and faith. My father was a Nuclear Engineer in the Navy, and so we lived in many different places— from the Pacific Northwest, to Hawaii, to the Bay Area and a myriad of places in between. I have had the immense privilege of meeting people from all walks of life and cultures, and it taught me how to work with just about anybody

We weren’t wealthy, certainly I didn’t come from what many would say is privilege. My parents always worked hard to make sure we had what we needed, and my family and community have shown me over and over that with love and support anything is possible.

Life Events that Challenged Me

Even with a robust family life, my journey has been marked by incredible challenges. I have experienced the heart-wrenching loss of a young special needs child and the death of my first spouse from suicide. My son Micah taught me so much in his short time of four years. He taught me the importance of perseverance, empathy, and unconditional love. Those lessons helped me tremendously when I lost my first wife to depression a few years later. Suddenly a single father of four I, had to not only take care of myself, I had to make sure they were ok too. Resilience wasn’t an option, it was a necessity. I’ve carried those lessons forward, and took that resilience and ability to endure forward into life as small blessings that arose from personal disasters.

Life hasn’t always been easy, but the hard parts have made me tough in ways I didn’t expect, and gentle in ways I never knew I could be. 

Being a CZU Fire Survivor

One of the hardest educations of my life has been the effort to rebuild the home that my family lost in the CZU fires; this was my first deep learning experience about the importance of government. I learned how a poorly run or adversarial bureaucracy could present nearly unmanageable obstacles to residents, how choices made by individuals in city and county government could have devastating effects on constituents who are just trying with everything in them to get back home.

I learned that who represents you at these levels *matters*.  I’ve seen and experienced so many roadblocks, difficulties and problems dealing with our local government that I felt that I had to do more than figure it out for myself. I need to be part of the solution, and help make sure my communities have real representation in local government that cares about what happens to us. That shows that care through action, and not just voiced platitudes.

It is through these experiences, and working for solutions, that I’ve come to embrace the idea of service – to serve my community and create a brighter future for all of us who call the 5th District home, as County Supervisor.

Hope abounds after much fighting to rebuild. We are pushing to be home by summer of 2023, a solid three years after the event.

Community Organization and Advocacy

My experiences as a CZU Fire Survivor have shown me explicitly how an adversarial government can cause great harm, especially to the most vulnerable in our communities. Santa Cruz County’s “No-Growth” culture and policy perspective is foolish and has been horrifically harmful to everyone in the community. Disaster victims are often the canary in the coal mine; the policies that hurt us and prevent our brethren from successfully rebuilding our homes are the same ones causing a devastating housing crisis in our community. They are the same policies that will prevent our children from having homes here, and will destroy the contiguity of our neighborhoods.

I am proud to have lead the charge and participated in several facets of community based recovery that include:

  • CZU Fire Victim Support through social media and events. This included mental health support, housing, insurance understanding, rebuild support and advocacy at the state and county level.
  • CZU Remembrance Event: An annual event at Brookdale Lodge that brings community together to both honor those that lost everything and come together as a community to mitigate our risk of future fires
  • Water and Sewer Infrastructure Advocacy: Led the charge with a dynamic group of citizens to fight for clean potable water, a functioning sewer system to protect our waterways for the customers of Big Basin Water and Sewage in Boulder Creek. We have made tremendous headway and it’s all thanks to the community coming together to collaborate with elected officials at the county, state and federal level, including the CPUC and State Waterboard.
  • CZU Barnraising: Seeing that so many fire families were underinsured I have been collaborating with the Santa Cruz County Board of Realtors, local businesses and community members to support rebuild efforts of those who are trying to get home. Beautiful things happen when community comes together! We are about ready to launch and with the recent storms we are working on including storm victims in our efforts of support. 

Professional and Personal Accomplishments

 I’ve been blessed over my life to have a myriad of careers and experiences; discipline has made things possible for me that might have been out of reach, and I’ve put this hard-won discipline to work to acquire skills and expertise that I’ll bring to bear in my work as Supervisor of District 5.

  • CFO of Dream Home Images, a local Real Estate Marketing Firm
  • Black Belt in Kui Lima Kenpo Karate
  • Mentor and Web Development Instructor
  • Business Owner
  • Licensed sUas Pilot
  • Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • Published Author

I’m proud of the life I’ve lived, and I think it’s important that we all have the opportunity to live a life that we are proud to share.

A Brighter Future is Possible

There are so many challenges we face here on the mountain. Disaster victims rebuilding. Crumbling infrastructure. Fire risks that seemingly last year-round. Even with all of these challenges there’s nowhere I would rather live and raise my children with my wife Antonia.

A brighter future *is* possible for every last one of us, if we can come together as a community to move things forward. When I’m elected Supervisor, we will have a Supervisor who lives and breathes what it means to be a person from our mountain home. I have skin in the game in all areas of the district….my family rises with your family, and I intend to work in such a way that we make policy that lifts us as a community into a better quality of life.

My love for the mountains and the people who live here is unwavering. The beauty of our surroundings and the resilience of our community are a constant source of inspiration. As your County Supervisor, I pledge to work tirelessly on your behalf, ensuring that our collective voice is heard and our needs are not neglected. It’s well-past time all of us, especially in the unincorporated areas, had representation in County government to go along with our taxation.

Together, we can create a brighter future for our neighbors, our children, and the generations to come.

I ask for your support and your trust as I embark on this journey to serve the community we all love. Together, let us stand united for a better tomorrow.

With deepest gratitude and hope,

Christopher Bradford