A UCSB alumnus and candidate in the upcoming race for Santa Barbara County District Attorney will visit UCSB this evening to talk to students and local residents about his campaign.
Doug Hayes is currently competing against two other candidates for the June 6 primary election. The UCSB chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is hosting the 7:30 p.m. event in South Hall 1431.
Amanda Stein, a third-year law & society major and organizer of the event, said Hayes will tailor his statements to the NORML audience but will also address issues pertaining to all local residents.
Hayes said he wants the event to be an open forum for student questions.
“I’m giving a little introduction to myself and hopefully will field some questions,” Hayes said. “I don’t want to come just with a speech. It’s an opportunity for some of these kids that have questions, and I’m there to answer them.”
The D.A.’s office is one of the most powerful nonpartisan positions in the county, Hayes said, as the D.A is responsible for deciding which cases go to court.
Hayes said he is concerned about how students who are found guilty of committing minor crimes are affected by their convictions in the future.
“I understand the problems students have with excessive enforcement of the law,” Hayes said. “I’m very much in favor of public safety, but I also feel that people should be able to lead their lives. I don’t want to see students out there who screw up in a minor way get strapped with a conviction that will make it difficult to get a job after graduation.”
Hayes said he wants to ensure that UCSB and I.V. are safe communities. He said his daughter goes to UC Davis, which he said is 10 times safer than UCSB.
“I’m serious about enforcing serious laws,” Hayes said. “I’d like the women of I.V. to walk home at night without fear. I also want to decriminalize activity that is not harmful to people, like personal use of marijuana.”
Hayes said he has several characteristics that distinguish him from the other DA candidates, such as his status as a UCSB alumnus. He also said he has a significant knowledge of the legal system stemming from his experience as a Deputy District Attorney and a Santa Barbara judge.
“I’ve got a balance of experience that will allow me to do justice as opposed to just winning cases,” Hayes said. “You name it in this system, I’ve done it.”
His speech today has one major goal, Hayes said.
“Get votes, how’s that for honesty?” Hayes said. “And that’s one thing you’ll get from me, honesty.”