What you are reading is the result of years’ worth of talk in The Santa Barbara Independent’s office. We know all too well how hard it can be to successfully call our little corner of California home and have long wanted to properly celebrate the people who navigate this challenge day in and day out. To that end, we have packed this issue with all sorts of survival stories, from born-and-raised fourth-generation residents to UCSB students who refused to leave to border-crossing immigrants who have risked life and liberty to live here. It would be impossible to tell all of the survival stories that make up the wildly vibrant fabric of our community, but there are bits and pieces of all of our individual stories in the ones you will find in the pages ahead and throughout most sections of this week’s paper: Just keep an eye out for the “Surviving Santa Barbara” logo complete with St. Barbara herself. Like the act of living here itself, we hope it is worth your effort.