Jay Freeman operates with a hypnotizing depth of knowledge, and has been an active participant in the I.V. self-governance movement since its inception.
Freeman began studying at UCSB in 1999, and has lived in I.V. ever since. During the day, he runs the technology consulting business Saurik IT and oversees Cydia, the marketplace application he created for jailbroken iPhones.
He co-founded the Isla Vista Downtown Business Association to advocate for business owners, and is wary of County and University interference with community issues.
“I do not like the way the university and the county parent Isla Vista,” Freeman said, referencing an op-ed he wrote in the Nexus in 2003.
- Policing: Freeman hopes to expand a civilian non-officer system structured similarly to the Student Neighborhood Assistance Program used at SBCC, and the Community Service Officers used by the University Police Department. He said it is important to hire a Spanish-speaking liaison for local police departments, and to work toward correctly filing and advocating for victims of sexual assault.
- Graffiti Abatement: Utilizing one of the powers of the Community Services District (CSD), Freeman hopes to lift a burden off of the I.V. Recreation and Park District by getting graffiti abatement out of the way during the beginning stages of the CSD’s existence.
- Tenant-Landlord Mediation: By contracting with organizations like the UCSB Community Housing Office and the Santa Barbara Residential Mediation Task Force, Freeman hopes to create a strong tenant-landlord mediation program and offer more agency to Isla Vista residents.
Freeman is opposed to the CSD’s plan to put University and County representatives on the board of directors, and said when others have interest in his company, “I give them stock, I don’t put them on the board.”
He has accumulated his information by attending hundreds of community organizing meetings in I.V. He ran for Third District County Supervisor to address I.V. issues, but lost to Joan Hartmann in the primary.
Freeman has thought critically about the CSD for two years, and has the conviction to hold the government accountable for its decisions.
“The CSD in its existing form is limited in what it can do,” he said. “But it’s useful and it’s something.”
Although Freeman needs to improve in his outreach efforts, he continues to dedicate his time and energy to Isla Vista — this does not go unnoticed.
“If we can get a little bit of power…just a little bit, maybe we can spend that money to get something done.”
Is the CSD a grassroots movement? “Even the most ludicrous version of the narrative will say it’s still a grassroots movement.”
What’s your superpower? “End-to-end process understanding optimization.”