Mike Rotkin

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Mike Rotkin is a former lecturer in community studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, long-term city council member and the ex-mayor of Santa Cruz, California (mayor as of November 2009, the mayoral post of Santa Cruz passing yearly to a councilmember selected by a majority of other councilmembers). A former motorcycle mechanic with a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness, he first ran for city council on a protest campaign as a "socialist-feminist" in 1979, taking first place among voters at a time when Santa Cruz was more Republican than Democrat. He has taught Marxist theory at UC Santa Cruz for over 40 years, while serving six terms as city councilman, including five terms as mayor, longer than anyone in the city's history. During his more than 20 years in city government, city spending on social services and programs increased from $80,000 a year in 1979 to $2 million by 2000. While he has also served as president of the UCSC teachers' union, he has recently been criticized by some as taking conservative positions on various issues affecting the economic development of the city, including labor issues.[1][2][3][4]