Sebastian Aldana, one of the founding members of the Milpas Community Association (MCA), was asked to part company with the group because he’s one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the City of Santa Barbara challenging the current at-large election system. Aldana, who has run for City Council before and now serves as chair of the Neighborhood Advisory Council, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit to compel the City of Santa Barbara to elect councilmembers by districts instead.
Sharon Byrne, cofounder with Aldana of the MCA, said, “We need to get stuff done by working with the city, and you don’t do that by suing.” Byrne said the organization has taken no position on district elections. “Sebastian was wearing too many hats. People would look at us and think we were together. We asked him to take one of his hats off.” Aldana said he’s always been involved with many different groups. “When people see me, they see someone who wears various hats. But that’s hardly new.” With the MCA, Aldana said he helped focus community attention on the needs of Milpas Street. “Now I can focus on the needs of the neighborhood,” he said.