Associated Students Legislative Council endorsed a local ballot initiative and tabled campus business during Wednesday night’s meeting.
Council members consented to indefinitely table a bill updating A.S. Financial Policies and Procedures and unanimously voted in favor of a resolution supporting local initiative Measure D. The measure would allow the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) to lease land in Estero Park and build an I.V. community center. Included in the center would be a soccer field, a skate park and basketball courts. The center would also have childcare, a teen center, meeting and event spaces for student groups, community gardens and job and internship opportunities for students. According to campaign organizers, plans for this community center have been in the works for nearly 30 years. The measure will have no fiscal impact, as IVRPD will use pre-existing county funds for the center’s construction if the initiative is passed.
Gretchen Begley, an organizer for the Measure D campaign, asked council members to support the initiative because she said it is necessary for the UCSB and I.V. community.
“This is something students and families [in I.V.] have been fighting for for years,” Begley said. “The best part about it all is you don’t have to pay taxes [for it].”
Off-Campus Rep. Chaz Whatley said she expects the measure, which needs a two-thirds approval by voters, to easily pass.
“There’s essentially no opposition to it,” Whatley said. “It’s not raising taxes, it’s not stepping on anyone’s toes.”
The upcoming Nov. 2 election will not be the first time such an initiative has been on the ballot. A similar measure failed when it ran in a 1980s election, Begley said. Begley and Off-Campus Rep. Adam Graff said I.V. landlords have been the main opposition to the measure in the past and are against it now because a community center would be the first step towards I.V. cityhood. Isla Vista landlords are against incorporation because increased representation for students in the form of an Isla Vista city council could decrease the landlords’ power, Graff said.
“They came out against it because it is in their best interest to keep the students divided and unorganized,” Graff said. “An organized student effort is what led to the creation of the Isla Vista Tenants Union … and the Legal Resource Center. These force the landlords to keep their properties in livable conditions to stop them from randomly evicting people and to keep rent as low as possible. An organized student effort is the greatest threat to landlord domination of I.V. politics.”
Graff said newly instated County Supervisor Brooks Firestone has also come out against the measure.
Rep-At-Large Kristen Ditlevsen, who made the motion to endorse Measure D, also motioned to indefinitely table a bill to update the A.S. Financial Policies and Procedures, which she had introduced in a prior Leg Council meeting. Ditlevsen said the bill would not accomplish what it was intended for if it was presented to council members for a vote in its current state.
“There are amendments that need to be made before we pass it,” Ditlevsen said.
After they had voted on the two business items, council members reviewed plans for next week’s first annual A.S. Congress. Internal VP Andrea Wells said all students and student groups are welcome to attend the congress to discuss important campus issues with council members.
Wells said attending students will vote on which particular issue they would like A.S. Leg Council to work on for the rest of the year at the end of the meeting.
A.S. Congress is scheduled to take place in Corwin Pavilion on Oct. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.