About 75 students vocalized their endorsement of one of today’s ballot initiatives at “Isla Vista Measure D Critical Mass,” a rally and parade held yesterday in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park, which aimed to encourage citizens to cast their votes in favor of the measure.
The Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board hosted the event in hopes of increasing public support of Measure D, an initiative that would renew a one-half percent sales tax in Santa Barbara County – established by the approval of the original proposition in 1989 – for 30 more years. If approved, a one-fourth percent tax increase would also be added to the tax, which funds area transportation projects and aims to develop local public transit systems.
Maintaining consistency with the initiative’s goal of expanding alternative modes of transportation, students paraded from Ansiq’ Oyo’ to Del Playa Drive via bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades and on foot, looping around I.V. to Sabado Tarde and Trigo Roads. To further express their support for the measure, participants chanted slogans, honked bicycle horns and carried campaign signs above their heads throughout the course of the march.
Ryan Andersen, a fourth-year music composition major and co-chair of EAB, said the Critical Mass rally and parade was a unique and creative way to inform I.V. residents about the ballot measure. He also said the UCSB community has a particular investment in the passage of the measure, because so many of the university’s students utilize the transportation services Measure D already funds.
“We [hosted] Critical Mass as a fun and exciting way to get students in Isla Vista excited about Measure D… because they are a huge user of alternative transportation,” Andersen said. “It is a celebration to get the word out.”
The hour-long event concluded at Giovanni’s Pizza on Pardall Road – where Bill Brown, one of two candidates running for the position of Santa Barbara County Sheriff – treated Critical Mass attendees to pizza and spoke further about the importance of today’s election.