This past Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson came to Unity Church in downtown Santa Barbara near Alameda Park for afternoon tea and discussion time with some community leaders. Williamson had been making stops on her California tour this past week, starting in Oakland and visiting San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara to spread her message of “Love in Action.”
Williamson is known for her public speaking and writing on A Course in Miracles, “a unique spiritual self-study program designed to awaken us to the truth of our oneness with God and Love,” according to the website of the course’s publisher, Foundation for Inner Peace. Beside liberal activist Tom Steyer and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Williamson is the only other remaining Democratic presidential candidate whose background is not in government. As of now, she has not yet hit 130,000 unique donors to qualify for the fall debates.
Though Williamson is not a California native, she does have roots in the state and in Santa Barbara specifically. She attended Pomona College for two years and later in life lived in Montecito with her daughter for a period of time in the 1990s.
In the speeches through her tour, Williamson acknowledged and gave homage to the great movements that altered the course of our nation’s history: the crusades for abolitionism, women’s right to vote, and civil rights. The changes that came about from these movements did not come out of the government, she said, but from the actions of the people. “Let’s not be the first generation to wimp out on doing what it takes to push this government,” Williamson pronounced in front of her audience.
Williamson also spoke in depth on the crisis of student hunger, which is not a foreign issue to Santa Barbara County, as it affects youth from elementary school children to the young adults who attend local colleges and universities. She also spoke on the roadblocks that prevent accessibility to quality education for kids and young adults who come from disadvantaged communities — an issue relevant to Latinx high school seniors in Santa Barbara and youth who want to attend summer camp.