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Humanity for Habitat: 10 Candidates Trekking To First Campaign Forum on Housing

Bendy White noted a key political fact the other day that’s crucial to remember amid Santa Barbara’s roiling debate over housing.

“This is going to be a discussion amongst a very different council,” mayoral hopeful and termed-out council member White said, amid a far-flung conversation about the AUD, ADUs and vacation rentals, plus affordable, work force and millennial units, not to mention neighborhood impacts of all the aforementioned.

“This is going to be a council of districts, there’s going to be some new faces there,” he added. “How is it all going to play out?”

His words serve as a keynote comment for a community forum tomorrow evening (Thursday 9-14) at the New Vic Theater – the first major up-close-and-personal political event of the 2017 election campaign.

Organizers for the sponsoring Coastal Housing Coalition said a total of 10 candidates - four from the mayor’s race and six running for district council seats – have confirmed.

The inestimable Dave Davis, the city’s ex-longtime Community Development Director, will bring his encyclopedic knowledge of housing controversies to bear as moderator.

So count on a substantive policy discussion, if not wild outbreaks of unhinged Trump-style debate shenanigans, among and between the candidates, who all will be on stage at the same time.

“Housing is important in every election for social, economic, and environmental reasons,” said Craig Minus, board president of the coaliton. “Our community has consistently struggled at providing housing and particularly housing available for our local workforce.”

Good policy is good politics. Beyond policy, the event may also offer some hints of future political dynamics at City Hall, with contenders from all three council districts on the ballot mixing it up with the mayorals.

Shannon Clark Batchev, executive administrator for the coalition, said these candidates have said they’ll show up:

For mayor:

Hal Conklin

Angel Martinez

Cathy Murillo

Bendy White (Frank, we hardly knew ye!)

For 4th District

Jay Higgins

Jim Scafide

Kristen Sneddon

For 5th District

Eric Friedman

Warner McGrew

For 6th District

Jack Ucciferri

“Both locally and at the state level there are promising programs developing to help address this issue,” said Minus. “It is important to understand from our candidates their desire and ideas to address this lack of available housing for our local workforce."


Check it out

Coastal Housing Coalition campaign forum

Thursday Sept. 14

4-6 p.m.

The New Vic Theater

33 W. Victoria Street

Santa Barbara

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