Portrait by Devi Pride Photography.
Kara Meyberg Guzman
As the CEO and co-founder of Santa Cruz Local, a local newsroom, I focus on serving communities not otherwise served by local media. I’m passionate about producing fair, accurate, reliable news that’s free and accessible to all residents, including those who will never be able to pay for it.
I believe local media has the power and responsibility to lift up voices not often heard. When local media serves everyone, local democracy works better and everyone’s needs can be met.
I was raised in the Midwest by parents—both Filipino immigrant doctors—who taught me to value hard work and service. I moved to Santa Cruz County in 2013 for an internship at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. In 2017, I became the first woman and first person of color to hold the newspaper’s top editor position.
My dream for Santa Cruz County is that all residents feel like they can build a life here, with a good job and a stable home.
The Santa Cruz area has one of the least affordable housing markets in the world. In the past two years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of locals who dream of a stable home and jobs with better pay. Many of these residents are from Latino immigrant families, and for many of them, this dream feels out of reach due to the extremely high housing costs and relatively low wages.
I believe that the road to racial equity starts with our local democracy. We need communities of color to not only participate in elections, but also stay involved with city councils and the county board of supervisors. We need all residents to watch what happens in local government and voice their needs.
I’m motivated by my love for Santa Cruz County and my desire to serve. When I’m not working, I love to swim and surf at Cowell Beach and hike with my husband and two dogs.