Known for his rapid-fire public-speaking style, Isla Vista resident and 3rd District supervisorial candidate Jay Freeman waged a brutal attack this week on District Attorney Joyce Dudley’s I.V. Safe program. Freeman blasted the task force — a $60,000 publicly funded “rebranding” campaign responding to the Deltopia disaster of 2014 — as a “group of people who meet in secret” to make politicians look good and “twist public perception” of I.V.
Objecting to the notion that I.V. is a problem needing to be fixed, Freeman held up several large banners printed with the campaign’s past slogans. One, he charged, egregiously drew blurry boundaries between consensual sex and rape: “Sex can last a few moments. Rape charges can last for a lifetime.” Similar ads appeared on TV and in print newspapers, including The Santa Barbara Independent.
On Tuesday, Dudley praised the task force, which brought together 20 or so public employees every other month to hash out Isla Vista issues. It is not entirely clear what happened behind closed doors because media requests to attend — save for 15 minutes at the end of one meeting — were denied.
Dudley credits the task force in part for decreasing serious crimes by 25 percent since 2013. Couch burning, she added, is down 94 percent in the past few years. “We never want the horror of 2014 again,” Dudley said. Their tagline — “keep it safe, keep it local” — helped deter out-of-towners from showing up in droves, she added.
Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr also lauded the task force, noting “the proof is in the pudding.” She added the relatively new county-funded community center has acted as a hub to foster many types of coming together.
Last weekend’s Deltopia saw just 3,500 partygoers at its 3 p.m. peak — compared to as many as 25,000 people in 2014. In addition, Deltopia 2014 had nearly four times the citations, triple the arrests, and quintuple the medic transports compared to last weekend.