With the deadline for boundaries of Goleta Now!’s cityhood proposal approaching in less than a month, local activists took to the street this weekend to solicit support for Isla Vista Too!
On Saturday, approximately 25 members of Isla Vista Too! – a local coalition formed to support the incorporation of I.V. in the proposed city of Goleta – went door-to-door in I.V. to gather signatures for submission to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the governmental body responsible for drawing city boundary lines.
Isla Vista Too! hopes to gather at least 5,000 signatures in order to exceed the number of signatures gathered by Goleta Now!, an organization that has petitioned to incorporate the 93117 zip code areas, excluding UCSB and I.V., in a cityhood measure on November’s ballot.
I.V. homeowner and Isla Vista Too! supporter Rob Gibson said local residents will have more representation if they are included in the city of Goleta.
“Being part of a city gives local empowerment. This means we could have more control over I.V. issues – like living standards,” he said. “Landlords are opposed to the I.V. vote because they want to leave student tenants powerless and underrepresented.”
Senior philosophy major Keenan Lampkin said inclusion in the Goleta cityhood measure would ameliorate some of the housing problems in I.V.
“I’m out here today to fight a good fight. There are many unfair practices by landlords in I.V. We pay these astronomically high prices, and the standard of living here does not justify these prices,” he said.
Landlords would be held more responsible if I.V. were part of a city, Gibson said. “You can get away with things in counties that you can’t get away with in a city,” he said.
Pegeen Soutar, I.V. Recreation and Parks District director, said the petition’s purpose is to designate I.V.’s place in the city of Goleta.
“We want to demonstrate to LAFCO that I.V. is interested in self-governance. If we are left out now, annexation by Goleta will not be likely in the future,” she said.
Soutar said UCSB students and I.V. residents should realize the benefits of I.V. inclusion and take part in the cause.
“The average UCSB student will have the opportunity to have more control of this area,” she said. “These next couple weeks, people need to be really aware about this issue.”
Isla Vista Too! supporters will be collecting signatures through the April 26 LAFCO meeting, where a decision will be made on the final boundaries for the November ballot. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at 105 E. Anapamu St.