Get To Know Deborah

About Deborah Schwartz for Santa Barbara Mayor 1

Get To Know Deborah 

Thanks for taking a moment to learn more about me and my vision for our beautiful city of Santa Barbara. I am a business professional and experienced public servant and would be honored to be serve as your next Mayor.

About Deborah Schwartz for Santa Barbara Mayor 2

A Santa Barbara Local

I first fell in love with Santa Barbara after my family – my mother Naomi; my father Arthur; and my brothers Paul, Joel, and Michael – relocated from the East Coast and settled in town in 1967.

I'm a proud graduate of local Santa Barbara schools. I attended Santa Barbara Junior High School, Santa Barbara High School and UCSB, where my major focus areas were Political Science, Linguistics, and English.

A local renter, I live with my longtime partner, Hap Ziegler, in the Eastside neighborhood. We are currently looking to adopt another rescue cat from ASAP (Animal Shelter Assistance Program).

A Business and Policy Professional

After graduating from UCSB, I moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in business development, financial services, and regulatory affairs. I have conducted market research and led strategic development for businesses and product launches, managed teams at a statewide and nationwide level, and oversaw negotiations with California utility regulators. Currently, I work as a land use planning, policy, and government affairs consultant for individuals and community-based organizations.

About Deborah Schwartz for Santa Barbara Mayor 3

A Successful Track Record of Public Service

My interest in public service began with participating in a voter registration drive in the fifth grade. I accompanied my mother, Naomi, to various community events following the 1969 Oil Spill.

My passion for direct service led me to participate in Project Homeless Connect, a San Francisco Department of Public Health program designed to serve residents experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

I am passionate about maintaining Santa Barbara's special character and I have tirelessly volunteered time and efforts to organizations that reflect this passion. I am now entering my 12th year as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Santa Barbara.

Since my appointment in 2010, I have built a reputation as a thoughtful and responsive decision-maker. I have served as a guiding influence on the Commission in their plans to approve new and affordable housing development in the "Santa Barbara style", build a stronger local economy, and improve public safety and community resilience.

In addition to the Planning Commission, I contribute to the community as a long-term Board member and 2021 Board President of Santa Barbara Beautiful, a 65-year-old nonprofit supporting community projects in arts & culture, natural environment, and education. I also serve as Board Director with the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara and I previously served on the Dean’s Council for the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

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