I am Lane Santa Cruz and I am running for the Ward 1 Council seat. I am a second generation Tucsonan born and raised on the Southside. My father migrated from Eudeve-Opata Sonora to be with the rest of his family in Tucson. He met my mother at the El Rio Neighborhood Center when they were taking GED and ESL classes. My dad, a pastor at a Latino Church for over 25 years, and my mom a patient care technician and caretaker, modeled the early teachings of community justice at the Sunday sermons where I was called to be of service. Growing up in low-income housing, I felt disconnected from other parts of the city and I had to learn how to walk and ride the city bus to have access to distant youth employment and sports commitments. As a young person, I did not know about neighborhood associations and much less who my representatives were. When I graduated from Desert View High School, I left to Alabama on a tennis scholarship and then returned home to work my way through my courses at the University of Arizona, earning a Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies.
I am bilingual-bicultural and a testament to the resiliency of the people in the Southwest. At my core, I am an educator and community organizer. Before returning to work as a Council Aide to the Ward 1 Council Office, I spent 12 years in nonprofits and grassroots community efforts working on sexual/gender violence, food justice, migrant rights, DIY bicycle mechanics, and Ethnic Studies. Since obtaining my Ph.D., I teach courses in Mexican American Studies and Education at the UA and organize community bike rides on the Southside. I have a loving partner who teaches at Cholla High School and we share our lives with our 4 children ages 11 to 1.