Various students and community members gathered at a UCSB professor’s home in Isla Vista this past weekend to hear both Congresswoman Lois Capps and 3rd District Supervisor candidate Doreen Farr discuss the June 3 ballot.
While at the Del Playa Drive home of Global Studies Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, attendees listened to speakers like Capps and Santa Barbara City Council Member Das Williams give their support to Farr. The winner of the 3rd district race will sit on the County Board of Supervisors and approve plans and policies in an area that includes I.V., Solvang and the Vandenberg Air Force Base. Speakers encouraged students to become involved with Farr’s campaign.
Farr said she recognizes students as an integral part of her campaign and said that if she is elected, she will hold well-publicized town hall meetings in I.V. so students’ concerns are addressed directly.
“That way students don’t have to go all the way down to Santa Barbara and we can hammer it out and see what you want,” Farr said.
Capps said she was confident in Farr’s experience and ability to address pertinent issues. Capps referenced the oil platforms that are visible from Del Playa’s bluffs and warned that such structures could become more common without a district supervisor who cares about the environment.
“This is a beautiful place to go to school, but all of this could be oil platforms,” Capps said. “There is so much at stake. I think it’s significant to be right here on the bluff working on electing the person who will deal with the responsibility of protecting this natural environment that we have.”
Capps also spoke of the historical significance of the student vote in past supervisor races and encouraged local supporters to turn out and vote for Farr.
“Don’t underestimate your power,” Capps said. “The Supervisor has a lot of responsibility and a very important role in the county. We need every student vote to get Doreen Farr elected.”
Campus Democrats president and third-year environmental studies and political science major Chrissy Elles said her organization has officially endorsed Farr. Elles said Farr’s attention and respect toward student voters is far beyond that of other candidates.
“She’s the only candidate who has been on campus with us registering voters and we feel she is the most dedicated to representing student views,” Elles said. “We are fully 100 percent behind Doreen.”
Campus Democrats member and third-year Middle Eastern studies major Zach Skigen said that he appreciated the effort made by local politicians to include college students in the discussion of current issues, however, he also said he was skeptical of the discourse.
“It’s nice to see politicians reaching out to Isla Vistans and college students, as it doesn’t happen as much as we would like it to,” Skigen said. “My opinion may be jaded since I’ve been to so many of these, but it seemed like just more of the same.”
Meanwhile, Capps said she applauds the activism and voting record at UCSB.
“There is this stereotype out there that this generation doesn’t care,” Capps said. “I’ve never believed that stereotype. This is the most active student group I’ve worked with. It’s fabulous to have educated and concerned people at UCSB and in Isla Vista. It really speaks well for the future.”
Supporters of the campaign will gather at Juergensmeyer’s house again in June on election day to await the results.