This November, 24-year-old UCSB alumna Olivia Uribe will vie for a position on the Santa Barbara City Council.

The Democratic candidate currently works as associate director for Santa Barbara County Action Network and serves as a board member for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee. Uribe’s campaign has attracted controversy, however, due to her recent DUI citation in Isla Vista.

Uribe called criticism of her behavior a “blame game” and said she wants to encourage voters to look beyond her past actions.

“I believe voters want what is best for their community and [can] focus on the issues and not just the personalities of the candidates,” Uribe said. “I think it’s a matter of priorities, timing and taking priority for issues in the future.”

Uribe said her experience with local organizations will support her platform of “inclusiveness.”

“The three issues I want to focus on are wrapped up in inclusiveness,” Uribe said. “Housing, sustainability and youth violence… we need to have discussions about issues that matter to the whole community.”

Uribe argues that the cost of housing prevents promising youth from being able to live in Santa Barbara after graduation and named the issue as one of her top priorities. She also said that a lack of workforce housing causes individuals to make a longer commute or choose work elsewhere, resulting in a less effective labor force.

“We’re losing a lot from people not living here,” Uribe said.

Uribe also cited fundamental sustainability issues regarding water, food and land as serious concerns and said she will develop a long-term plan to address effectively maintaining resources.

“A lot of the planning happens with the next five years in mind, not the next ten or fifteen,” Uribe said. “We, the younger generations, will be living with those consequences.”

In addition to uniting the community to tackle public issues, Uribe said she wants to hear from residents about their concerns.

“Elected officials can’t do their jobs unless their voices are there,” she said. “I think people don’t become engaged until issues are relevant to them.”

Uribe, who was born in Mexico and raised in Santa Barbara, said her age and racial background will work to her advantage. She said that being bicultural and bilingual will allow her to act on behalf of the previously unrepresented. If elected, Uribe would be the first Latina elected to the city council.

“It would be a change in Santa Barbara politics,” she said.

Now that she has launched her campaign, Uribe said she will be out in force in the Santa Barbara community to achieve her goals.

“[The campaign is] about the work that needs to get done and walking and talking to voters,” Uribe said. “…Inclusiveness promotes the best democracy that we can have.”