Third district supervisor candidate John Buttny came to UCSB Tuesday to join the Campus Democrats for some pizza and politics.
Buttny was invited to the club’s first meeting of the quarter, where a crowd of about 40 students gathered in the Graduate Student Lounge to hear about Buttny’s campaign.
Buttny emphasized the important role that the student vote has played in the past and will play in the upcoming election.
“It’s absolutely incredible the influence this vote has had,” he said.
UCSB alum Harley Augustino, Isla Vista Outreach Coordinator for Buttny’s campaign, also spoke at the meeting. He explained to the club’s members that because I.V. is not a city, the third district supervisor is the most important elected official I.V. has.
“Isla Vista is not a city; it’s kind of its own island in the third district,” Augustino said. “We’re really lucky to have someone like John to go out there and say what he believes and stand up for us.”
Buttny said he is optimistic about winning the student vote this year because his platform for election focuses on issues students care about.
“The Campus Democrats have always helped with elections,” Buttny said. “I think the issues we focus on are the issues that students are interested in, like preservation of open space, clean air and water, and social justice issues like tenants’ rights.”
During the question-and-answer portion of the evening, senior political science major Scott Talkov asked Buttny about the major differences between him and his biggest competitor, Republican candidate and local vintner Brooks Firestone. Buttny’s first answer was “about $40 million dollars.”
“We certainly disagree on environmental issues. I’m also very pro-union, and I know he’s not,” Buttny said.
Augustino said Buttny’s campaign strategy is similar to the grassroots organizing that presidential candidate Howard Dean is using, with “block leaders” who will be in charge of talking to voters on different blocks in the I.V. community. Buttny emphasized that his approach will rely heavily on the support of student volunteers in the community.
“I look forward to seeing you all in the streets with your clipboards and your folders,” Buttny said. “Let’s do this. Let’s win this election.”
Marissa Brown, president of Campus Democrats, announced the club’s endorsement of Buttny at the meeting. Buttny said he wasn’t surprised since he is the only democratic candidate running, and that “they could have withheld their endorsement, but I’m very thankful [that they did not].”
Buttny has also been endorsed by State Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, California Coastal Commissioner Pedro Nava, Congresswoman Lois Capps and the Sierra Club.
Buttny said he would be returning to campus soon to work with students on his campaign.
“I’ll be here just about every day,” he said.