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Uncontested winner Eric Friedman has ‘big picture’ view of Santa Barbara for his next five years

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Clearly supported by his 5th District, with no opposition, Eric Friedman looks not just at his district, but the city as a whole when he views his next term on the Santa Barbara City Council.

It begins January.

This time it is for five years.

Friedman spoke to Newschannel 3 and many issues in his district cut across boundaries which is what he hopes to do with conversations, solutions, and personal visits to other areas of the city where he wants to see solutions.

"There's a lot of opportunity to really dig in  and make some changes in the city for the better," said Friedman.

Some of the main areas are housing costs, homelessness and economic revitalization.

In his district Friedman has the La Cumbre Mall which is a shadow of its past and is often discussed as an area where more new stores, restaurants, housing, unique businesses and where fresh ideas could take place. He wants the ideas to be part of open meetings with the nearby residents throughout the process.

While sitting on the city council Friedman has also held down a second job as a grocery worker and goes to work at 5 a.m.

He says that has helped him, not just with income, but in understanding the plight of the the working members of the community.

Friedman has a close connection to area libraries and looks forward to the new design and opening of the Main Library plaza downtown which is under development.

He looks forward to working with new Mayor Randy Rowse, a former councilmember. "I did work with Randy Rowse for two years so I'm a little familiar with his style," said Friedman.

When it comes to an engaged district, he says the residents contact him often. "They give me an earful sometimes but they definitely like it when the councilmembers look at   the city as a whole with an eye on the district  and achieve that balance."

For projects in the works, Friedman says, some results will be seen soon. "We are in the planing phase but we are taking action on a lot of these and I think it will start to come together in the next year or two  and we have the responsibility to take some action because there's so much going on in the city that we need to move forward."

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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