Joan Hartmann, On the Front Line

Joan Hartmann’s supporters know of her impressive career and many accomplishments that contribute to making her the ideal 3rd District supervisor. But there are many sides to any candidate, and much can be revealed about a person’s character by knowing what he or she chooses to do outside the election-season spotlight.

Ten years ago, Joan and I trained to volunteer for CASA, Santa Barbara County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children program. During our multi-week training, I observed Joan’s compassion and determination to roll up her sleeves and improve the lives of others through hard work and unwavering dedication.

Volunteering for CASA isn’t for the faint of heart. The children are neglected or abandoned by their parents, who are often drug addicts or felons. Many of the children are abused, yet ignored by an underfunded and overworked juvenile court system.

Joan dedicated herself to helping a child move beyond her difficult circumstances. She saw her every week for six years, and she met regularly with her caregivers, social workers, and teachers. She attended court hearings and presented reports to the judge, always advocating for the child.

Joan took on this task, not for fame or fortune, but because she saw a critical need and wanted to help. Because of her intervention and perseverance, this child now has a bright future.

Her work for CASA is one more example of her problem-solving abilities, dedication, and sense of justice. Whether a cause is large or small, Joan Hartmann makes a huge difference.

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