With the prospect of gang violence looming large, the Santa Barbara City Council affirmed its commitment to kids’ issues Tuesday afternoon, officially declaring the welfare of the city’s children to be a top priority. While the declaration was a ceremonial occasion, Councilmember Roger Horton – who has championed childcare during his time on the council – said the council’s action will have very concrete consequences. He said the council report detailing all the City Hall programs now benefiting children will serve as a baseline below which other councils can be judged and held accountable. “Whenever there’s a budget crunch, it’s kid’s programs that are cut first. By making this a priority, we’re hoping that future councils will be forced to think twice before making those cuts,” Horton said.