I just realized that no article has run in the Nexus on the Goleta City Council election, except for one sarcastic op-ed piece, and I am concerned. Not because the one piece characterized me as a juggler and unicyclist while ignoring a few other achievements like being Sierra Club chair and helping create one of the largest businesses in Goleta. I’m concerned because there are real issues at stake facing UCSB students.

This election will determine how Goleta treats UCSB students and how Goleta treats local housing, transportation, oil development and environmental issues that affect everyone at UCSB.

One-third to one-half of UCSB students live within the proposed Goleta City boundary. If this proposal passes, you should be very concerned about who is elected. Feel free to vote against the Measure H Cityhood plan if you don’t like it, but pay attention to who is running in this race and vote for those candidates who are supportive of student concerns.

I have been a community activist for 19 years and am the only candidate who actually lived in Isla Vista for years and has UCSB connections. I currently live in University Village just outside Isla Vista and am one of only two candidates who are renters. Other candidates like to see their house prices go up to increase the value of their investment, rather than look at the importance of lower housing costs.

With the exception of my friend David Bearman and Ray Yberra, the other candidates are openly hostile to Isla Vista and to the student community.

I am the only candidate who actively lobbied the Board of Supervisors and the LAFCO Board to include Isla Vista in the Goleta plan.

In previous rounds of Goleta Cityhood discussions, which I have been involved in since 1982, Isla Vista wanted to be separate from Goleta, to be its own city. If this plan passes, it is still possible for Isla Vista to incorporate as its own city.

That would give Isla Vista and Goleta each a seat at regional planning meetings, on the Airport Board and more. So, even though I asked for inclusion of Isla Vista in this Goleta plan, all is not lost if Measure H passes.

If Measure H fails, then we can set about working on a new plan, which could take years to achieve. In the meantime, our representative at the Board of Supervisors, 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, is under a serious attack by North County special interests who are waging a recall campaign against her.

If she is removed and the North County developers prevail, you can say goodbye to our remaining open space and wildlife habitat. They will build more malls to cater to motorists rather than promoting the bicycling lifestyle we know and love at and in the vicinity of UCSB.

Either way, the election matters.

Now, some background on who I am …

Twenty-two years ago, as a physics student at MIT, I became politically active opposing U.S. support under Carter and then Reagan for the religious terrorists who later became the Taliban. It is no consolation that I was right then about the terror that they would unleash around the world; I only wish I had been wrong.

As a graduate student at UCSB, and ever since, I continued global activism and also started making the local connections. Connections to the local businesses that made weapons, and connections to the local use of land and transportation which drives global resource consumption.

I helped found the peaceful-technology company, Digital Instruments, while getting more involved in local issues. I became a member of the Old Town Goleta Design Committee, president of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, chair of the Sierra Club and a director of the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST).

When Goleta Cityhood became a possibility, fellow activists urged me to run for a city council seat.

I am proud to have the endorsement of 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, Latino Action Voter Alliance, League of Conservation Voters, SEIU Local 620 and the Sierra Club.

If you support the preservation of our environment, social justice and good quality of life, locally and globally, then please vote for me for Goleta City Council on Nov. 6.

Take this election seriously. Read the ballot statements and decide who will support your concerns. Remember, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt! And with the likes of Jean Blois, Jonny Wallis, Jack Hawxhurst, Colonel Wasil and the other candidates who fought to keep students in Isla Vista out of the plan, a lot of UCSB folks may get hurt after this election!

Robert Bernstein is a Goleta resident and a candidate for city council in the proposed city of Goleta.