Letters to the Editor / Opinion

Is She the Farr Better Candidate?

In 2008 Steve Pappas lost the 3rd District Supervisor seat to Doreen Farr by a slim margin. Disgruntled by the two-to-one majority that the student population of UCSB and Isla Vista gave to Farr, Pappas began a lengthy appeal process which aimed to invalidate all I.V. votes due to what he declared was improper voter registration proceedings. His claims were repeatedly dismissed in court but Pappas was not discouraged.

Last December, Pappas announced that he would once again run against Farr in this year’s June 5 election for 3rd District Supervisor. Last week, Anna Vlahos, executive director of Stop Voter Fraud — an organization co-founded by Pappas — sent an open letter to the Santa Barbara Voter Registration Office asking them to discount voter registrations from before 2010, specifically the student population of UCSB and Isla Vista — just in time for the upcoming district supervisor election.

Pappas has made it clear that he does not respect the student voter. Pappas not only disregards student concerns, but also is actively striving to exclude students from the election process. He claims that since we are constantly changing our addresses, we are not true constituents and do not deserve representation.

On the other hand, Doreen Farr has consistently focused her attention on student concerns. Her platform is student-oriented and is designed to promote student interests. For example, Farr was the only member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to vote against the now infamous Social Host Ordinance, which gives the IVPD the power to enter any residence with over five people that they suspect of harboring underage drinking.

Farr not only shows consideration for student issues but also encourages student activism and participation in local politics. She has a grassroots-oriented campaign that includes a multitude of local students. Farr attempts to truly represent her community by making herself available to listen to individual voters.

She holds office hours the second Tuesday of every month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. outside of Coffee Collaborative, aiming to give her constituents a forum for expressing their concerns.

While Pappas wants to deny us our vote, Farr actively promotes student voter registration. While Pappas’ priorities lie outside of UCSB and Isla Vista, Farr places student needs at the heart of her politics.

Voting for Farr helps promote YOUR interests. Voting for Pappas means that future I.V. residents and UCSB students may not get the chance to vote for anyone.

Margarita Baliyan is a first-year religious studies and political science major.

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