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Santa Cruz County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Zach Friend

Candidate for
County Supervisor; Santa Cruz County; Supervisorial District 2

This information is provided by the candidate

I spent my childhood using city baseball fields, parks, school facilities and libraries, and never considered the fact that somebody had to make the policy decisions to build and support them. The leaders who created my childhood environment were faced with options and they chose to create a safe, family-friendly community and protect open space.

Growing up within walking distance of one of the largest urban parks in the United States helped shape my interest in environmental stewardship and the public policy decisions that keep the areas open, safe and accessible to the community.

I took a road trip to Santa Cruz on a college tour with my parents. Like so many, I fell in love with the natural beauty, vibrant arts scene and sense of community. This was 15 years ago and I have considered our county my home ever since.

I became a student at Cabrillo and UC Santa Cruz earning my Bachelor's Degree with Honors in History from UCSC enjoying my time playing Slug Baseball and working as a music director at the college radio station, KZSC.

Our county's natural and social environment inspires public service and after college I knew I wanted to expand my education to focus on public policy.

I went to Washington DC to earn my Master's Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and work for Congressman Sam Farr, keeping my heart close to the area I knew I would return to. I spent time working in both houses of Congress and took a position in my last year with the International City/County Management Association + an organization that strives to improve the management of local governments.

But most importantly, I met my wife, Tina, and we returned to Santa Cruz County immediately after school to start our lives and our family together. We've both dedicated our professional lives to public service, spending the better part of the last decade in local government.

I serve as the Crime Analyst and Public Information Officer for the Santa Cruz Police Department, managing a $23 million budget and using statistical analysis to help design beat coverage and staffing. I implemented the department's predictive policing program, a data-driven modeling tool that helps target police patrol and have written over $4 million in grants for the department that helped prevent officer layoffs during the current budget crisis.

I am a believer in improving community access to their local government. This past year I launched the department's iPhone app, the first consumer law enforcement mobile app in the country that holds a suite of online interactive programs including crime mapping, reporting, and a blog. In addition, I brought a bilingual online crime reporting system, Facebook and Twitter feed to ensure transparency and access to our community.

In addition to my work, I serve on local non-profit boards including the Community Advisory Board of KUSP, the Santa Cruz County Jazz Festival board and the Red Cross.

I served as Chair of the Santa Cruz County Democratic party for six years working toward the passage of bonds to support library services and funding for our local schools, as well as fostering greater voter participation countywide.

Similar to the decisions that were made by policymakers before me I would like to be able to create a sustainable community for our children. I believe that together we can create a community that supports public safety, parks and farmland, working families, human services, responsible economic development and infrastructure improvements.

The challenges our county faces are not insurmountable. I know that together we can create a vision for our county that will make our children proud. Thank you for your work in our community and I look forward to working with you over the next few months.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 6, 2012 20:10
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