Selma Rubin moved to Santa Barbara in 1964. During her long and active life, she was a catalyst for change in local politics and environmental issues. She played an integral role in establishing The January 28 Committee formed in response to the 1969 oil spill, which went on to become the Community Environmental Council. On March 16, 1970 CEC became a legal non-profit, and Selma served as the Treasurer, as well as serving on numerous other CEC committees during her many years of service.
In 1970, she played a primary role in halting the proposed development slated to build 1,500+ homes on the Gaviota Coast. In 1995 she received the SB Independent Hero Award recognizing her many contributions. Selma has been honored with numerous prestigious environmental awards over the years. She remained active on the CEC Board continuously from 1970 until March of 2006.
Selma was a Santa Barbara legend and treasure, and has been a founder and/or Board member of at least 42 organizations, including the Environmental Defense Center, Fairview Gardens, the American Civil Liberties Union, SBCAN, PUEBLO, Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee and many other community organizations supporting Santa Barbara’s social and environmental well-being.