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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

CEC, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, and the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) developed a questionnaire for candidates running for Santa Barbara City Council. The questionnaire focused on current transportation issues, such as the attractiveness of alternative transportation and the jobs/housing imbalance.

We asked the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with the City’s Circulation Element vision statement, “Santa Barbara should be a city in which alternative forms of transportation and mobility are so available and so attractive that use of an automobile is a choice, not a necessity”? If not, how would you improve it?
  2. Given that dangerous walking conditions that exist in Santa Barbara’s Eastside, what might you do to make the Eastside a safer place to walk – more lighting, re-pavement of crosswalks, speed bumps, more police enforcement, or something else?
  3. Is it the City’s duty to improve the jobs/housing imbalance in Santa Barbara? If so, what would you have the City do to accomplish this? If not, how can this imbalance be best addressed?
  4. Please list three specific things you would prioritize to improve our regional transportation. How would you pay for them? How long would it take to accomplish them?
  5. Do you support the State of California’s goals for new and retrofitted “net zero energy” buildings that generate as much energy as they use? If so, how can the City be a leader and help its citizens meet this challenge? If not, why?
  6. Given projections of increased traffic levels in Santa Barbara, how would you best mitigate our upcoming street congestion?

Eight Santa Barbara City Council candidates responded to the questionnaire. As CEC’s status as a 501(c)(3) does not allow us to endorse candidates, the unedited answers are provided here:

Responses sorted
by candidate
Responses sorted
by question
Sharon Byrne Question 1
Iya Falcone Question 2
Dale Fransisco Question 3
Jerry Matteo Question 4
Cathy Murrillo Question 5
Randy Rowse Question 6
Deborah Schwartz
Michael Self

Please vote, and remember that the City of Santa Barbara’s upcoming election is entirely vote by mail.

  • Monday, October 10: Voter Information packets mailed including pre-paid postage for returned ballots
  • Monday, October 10: Vote-by-mail period begins
  • Monday, October 24: Last day to register to vote
  • Tuesday, November 8: Election Day – Last day City Clerk’s Office can receive vote-by-mail ballots.  There will be also be five drop-off centers throughout the City, allowing voters the option to vote in person
  • Three City Councilmember seats are on the ballot.

More information at

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I am grateful that these groups teamed up to gather these responses from the candidates. I also am impressed by the candidates’ responses. They took this seriously.

    I live in “Noleta” and not the city. But when I travel into SB, I most often go in via bike or MTD — or both (using a folding bike). Because I am lucky to be fully abled, I find it easy to leave my car behind when I head into town. The sidewalks are nice, the buses run on time, and it’s usually not raining.

    If I have this right, about 1/3 of all people in SB don’t drive. We all have a duty to make sure that many seniors, kids, and car-free folks can get where they need to go safely.

    In my view, a candidate’s understanding of our “complete streets” is a good indicator of their civic smarts. A candidate who cares about my older relative’s ability to get to a coffee date at a downtown cafe is my kind of a leader and is likely to possess a sensibility that leads to a much wider range of good decisions.

    A friend of the beautiful bulb-out is a friend of mine.

    Don Lubach

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