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Luz Reyes-Martin

Luz Reyes-Martin
Goleta City Council – District 1 Candidate: Luz Reyes-Martin
Candidate Name:Luz Reyes-Martin
Position Sought:Goleta City Council – District 1
Website / Social
Facebook: LuzforGoleta
Instagram: @luz.reyesmartin
Why are you running for office?
As a proud Goleta resident, I’ve worked hard to make a difference in the lives of children and families in our community. I’m a parent, nonprofit executive, community volunteer, and environmental advocate.  For the last eight years, I’ve served on the Goleta Union School District Board. In this leadership role I have followed through on my solid commitment to high-quality education and serving our community’s students, teachers, staff, and families. 

I am running for the Goleta City Council’s newly created District 1 seat because I’m committed to preserving the character of our neighborhoods, safeguarding our treasured open spaces, and delivering essential services to our residents. With Masters Degrees in land use planning and in public administration, I have a deep understanding of how city government should work, how it should be accountable to the community, and how essential thoughtful planning is to a sustainable community. 

As a council member, I will be a committed, proactive, and responsive representative for the residents of District 1 and the Goleta community as a whole. I am confident that working together we can preserve the character of our Goleta neighborhoods, enhance public safety, address traffic congestion and improve our roads, expand bicycle and pedestrian accessibility, support our local economy, and safeguard our precious environment.

That’s why I’m proud to be endorsed by our Goleta police officers and firefighters, by the Santa Barbara Sierra Club, the Santa Barbara Independent, and the Goodland Coalition for Goleta.
What makes you qualified for the job?
I am the granddaughter of a farmworker and a grandmother who worked as a housekeeper before ultimately owning her own small business. My father is a retired US Postal Service employee, and my mother worked for over 25 years as a public employee. Their sacrifices and determination made it possible for me to have greater education and career opportunities. They are my role models as my husband and I raise our two children in Goleta. They taught me the values of hard work, perseverance, and public service. 

I am the product of Head Start preschool, public K-12 schools and a graduate of Stanford University and USC. I began my professional career working to support economic development and community programs at the city level. Later in my career, I developed expertise in communications and community building as the Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Santa Barbara City College. I have extensive local experience conducting bilingual community outreach and working with residents to develop community-based solutions. To further serve my community, I completed comprehensive training as a Public Information Officer (PIO) through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and FEMA. Most recently, I used this training as a volunteer PIO alongside Santa Barbara County’s first responders, providing critical information to our community during local emergencies like the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow.
I have proudly served on the Goleta Union School District Board for the last eight years. In this leadership role I have followed through on my solid commitment to high-quality education and serving our community’s students, teachers, staff, and families. During these years, I’ve been honored to meet and get to know so many parents and community members throughout our City and particularly in District 1 where I am a parent at a local elementary school.
I have Masters Degrees in Land Use Planning and in Public Administration. I am have also completed coursework for a Doctorate in Public Policy and Administration. I have the knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to work to get things done for Goleta. I believe in service to the public will always seek their input in my decision-making. 

I am active in my community and have served on the Board of Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, as a Board Member and President of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, on the Board of the Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund, and I am currently the Chair of the Santa Barbara Sierra Club. 
What are your two main priorities if you win?
Ensuring the health and safety of our community: This includes safety from crime, fire dangers and natural disasters, and threats from climate change. We need to protect our community from the harmful impacts of climate change that threaten public health such as contaminated streams, ocean, ground water, oil spills, air pollution, and loss of important habitat. Goleta must strengthen its commitment and action on climate resilience. The City is already leading with its participation in Central Coast Community Energy and the many successes of its Sustainability division. I am currently part of the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and the Chair of the Santa Barbara Sierra Club. I will continue to support the priorities of the City’s Sustainability division, while also working with my council colleagues to ensure our efforts take into account the ways we can achieve climate resilience for diverse populations in the City. For example, there are a few large senior residential communities in my district. I’d like to see the City working with these communities to assess their needs related to energy, wildfire preparation, and emergency preparedness. There are several public and private schools in my district, so there are opportunities to work with youth and families to bring greater awareness to the City's sustainability projects and work collaboratively with school districts. One example could be exploring joint use agreements with local school districts to leverage our resources to enhance access to playgrounds, open space, and active recreation for residents - and thus being more strategic in where to invest with new infrastructure. I believe we should work closely with our first responders (police and fire) to serve the community address the needs and concerns of residents. 
Securing the City’s economic future: Goleta is well-positioned in its recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The City is facing record revenue from hotel bed tax and a recovering sales and property tax base, but these are highly volatile sources of revenue. The Mayor and Council will need to carefully plan and allocate resources to address the highest needs. I will be a Councilmember that is ready to roll my sleeves up and work collaboratively and positively with Council colleagues to seek public input, reach consensus, develop achievable goals, and a method to communicate that to the public. Despite a positive economic outlook, too many local residents and families are experiencing economic hardship due to the high cost of living, the cost of housing, and increasing costs related to childcare and other basic needs. A bright economic future is one where the City is working to improve economic conditions for all Goletans. I have past professional experience in economic development and land use planning. I will bring this knowledge to bear in working closely with local businesses, major employers, and community groups to support a thriving local economy. I have also taken public positions to support tenants rights and the protection of existing affordable housing stock such as senior housing, mobile homes, and public housing.
How will you collaborate with other governments?
Goleta is a small City that punches above its weight. There is so much we can accomplish as a community. We also need to work collaboratively with other jurisdictions and agencies to address regional concerns. 

Some examples include the Santa Barbara Airport and the impacts to Goleta residents and City infrastructure. In addition, challenges like homelessness, housing, and our water supply. I have many years of experience working on regional issues and collaboratively with local cities and the County of Santa Barbara. I have positive relationships with elected officials at the local, state and federal level. I will work with these partners to advocate for Goleta and ensure that regional issues and projects don’t negatively impact Goleta residents. I have experience advocating for grants, legislation, and programs, which I will also bring to bear to benefit Goleta. I am endorsed by councilmembers in Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria, County Supervisors Hartmann and Hart, County Supervisor-elect Laura Capps, along with school board members and Goleta Water District board members. These local community leaders have endorsed me because I am the candidate they believe they can work with to address issues, problem-solve, and ultimately make positive improvements for our communities. 

This collaboration also extends to our first responders. I am proud to have the endorsement of our County Firefighters and the Deputy Sheriff's Association which provide public safety response to Goleta. 
What do you think are the two biggest issues that need to be addressed right away?
I have been knocking on doors and talking to residents in my district for months. I’ve had the opportunity to hear directly from residents what they are most concerned about. In most of these conversations, I have heard residents concerned about the maintenance of our roads and traffic along with concerns about development and the ongoing drought. 

I believe the two biggest issues that will need to be addressed right away are how we ensure safe and maintained roads throughout our City as well as getting an approved Housing Element which will help plan for Goleta’s required new housing units. I have been attending Council Meetings for years and know that the City has struggled to keep up with road maintenance. We are at a critical point where the current state of many of our roads present a daily challenge for residents. We need to plan and allocate resources appropriately to make improvements, develop a long term plan for regular maintenance, and communicate that to the public. In addition, we need to work harder to address traffic congestion in some of the busiest areas of our City. Impacts to traffic need to be considered when the City plans new projects and when projects outside of the City affect our residents. We also need to work to enhance our bicycle network and bus access to provide viable and accessible alternative transportation options. 

Many residents have shared their concerns about the ongoing drought, the need for more housing that is affordable, and pressures to meet state requirements for new housing units. This is an important community conversation that requires transparent dialogue and careful planning that takes into consideration impacts to traffic, the environment, our schools, and neighborhoods. Too many Goleta families are struggling with the high cost of housing. They are our teachers, nurses, and first responders. We need to take care of our community members and provide a plan for more affordable housing options. My background in land use planning and my demonstrated leadership with regional partnerships mean I will be an effective councilmember on this issue. 
Article Topic Follows: Goleta City Council – District 1
Goleta City Council – District 1
Luz Reyes-Martin
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