Deborah's Plan for Santa Barbara

Open Communication with the Mayor's Office

Open Communication with Mayor’s Office

As the only citywide elected official, the mayor has a duty to be accessible and responsive to all Santa Barbara residents. Whether it’s addressing problems and concerns from families and individuals, to fielding questions from our diverse community, I want to ensure every person has a direct line to the Mayor’s Office. To do that, I pledge to:

  • Ensure prompt responses to all communications from community members.
  • Hold public forums to address broader issues and concerns.
  • Foster constructive community engagement through communication, teamwork and collaboration.

City-wide Economic Development Plan for a Broader Economy

Priorities City-wide Economic Development Plan

We need strong leadership to build back a vibrant local economy. Whether supporting existing businesses’ continued operations or attracting new startups, we need to strengthen our economic base in a locally-responsive way, which is why I pledge to:

  • Advocate for Development Plans that properly address all of City’s geographic areas (Downtown, Milpas Corridor, Mesa, Waterfront, Funk Zone, Upper State Street Corridor) in a sound and responsive fashion.
  • Support economic diversity in business areas, from start-ups to long-standing local businesses.

Balanced Housing Priorities

Renters comprise the majority of residents in our city. High land prices and local government practices that do not support reasonable permitting timelines are failing renters – resulting in the increasingly high cost of housing. Until 2013 and for more than 40 years, new rental units were not constructed in the city. Our city needs decisive, accountable leadership on policies and government practices, which is why I pledge to:

  • Make middle-income housing for individuals and families a priority for new development.
  • Balance growth and redevelopment to meet new and existing state laws and targets for creating a livable, diverse city.

Business Advocacy

Priorities Business Advocacy

Many of our local businesses have struggled to survive in recent years and since the pandemic are on the brink of closure. When businesses close jobs are lost and with them our important sense of community, which is why I pledge leadership in proactively teaming with colleagues to:

  • Speed up and simplify the city's lengthy, complicated permitting process, development and operational procedures for businesses, while encouraging green construction and practices.
  • Conduct frequent check-ins with businesses to promptly address issues and concerns, rebuilding confidence in local government as partners.

Strategic Plan Addressing Homelessness

Priorities Strategic Plan Addressing Homelessness

Santa Barbara is a city of extreme financial disparities with pockets of poverty nestled between multimillion dollar homes. City leaders have an obligation to ensure that public dollars are being effectively used for optimal community benefit. We need new leadership to successfully address the growing homeless crisis, which is why I pledge to:

  • Develop a new framework to fund and assist local non-profit organizations that successfully address issues relating to homelessness.
  • Expand new and existing collaboration with regional partners for effective solutions.
  • Identify and implement additional City actions to support individuals experiencing homelessness or those at risk.
  • Data from the 2020 Point in Time Count

Sustainable Environmental Strategies

Priorities Sustainable Environmental Strategies

Santa Barbara is the birthplace of the modern environmental movement and therefore we should be a model for green cities across the country. As Mayor I want to ensure our homes, neighborhoods and open spaces are as sustainable as possible for generations to come, which is why I pledge to:

  • Identify key environmental threats to the safety of our City and its community members.
  • Encourage multi-pronged strategies, including those that benefit greenhouse gas reductions and resiliency to climate change/sea level rise.
  • Advocate for proactive, responsible policies that use the best-available scientific data for climate change and sea level rise.

Historic Resources Preservation and Protection

Priorities Historic Resources Preservation

Santa Barbara has a rich and vibrant history. In partnership with cultural organizations, we should explore new ways to collectively honor and appreciate our community's rich heritage, which is why I pledge to:

  • Encourage development policies that respect, protect and value our historic resources.
  • Honor our historic resources with seasonal community educational events.