This letter is to set the record straight on statements made about our effort to hold a special election in Santa Barbara’s Westside (District 3) to fill the vacancy left open by Cathy Murillo’s election as mayor.
As plaintiffs in the original Banales vs City of Santa Barbara case to create districts, we did not obtain monetary compensation at all as plaintiffs. We volunteered because we believed in a more representative voting structure. This is also the case for others involved with the current effort, including retired Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge Frank Ochoa and president of the California Center for Public Policy Lanny Ebenstein. We do this to prevent costly litigation and help our City Council work more closely with our majority-minority communities.
None of us seek to fill the 3rd District vacancy, nor do we seek a particular individual to fill the vacancy. Rather, we are motivated by one thing alone: that the City Council fill the vacancy by letting the voters of that district choose their own representative. It is the right thing to do.
We are pleased that at its January 9 meeting, the new City Council voted to consider a special election, to be discussed at the January 23 council meeting. We encourage all who support a special election to attend this meeting and let your voices be heard in support of a special election for the Westside in June.