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Kristen Sneddon

Santa Barbara City Council District 4 Candidate Kristen Sneddon
Santa Barbara City Council District 4 Candidate Kristen Sneddon
Candidate Name
 Kristen Sneddon
Position Sought
 Santa Barbara City Council - District 4
Other Social Media
 @sbsneddon on Instagram
Why are you running for office?:
 I have a comprehensive vision for our city that includes a thriving downtown for locals to enjoy, with open spaces and paseos, celebration of our historic resources, and true solutions for homelessness. We were adaptive and nimble during the shutdown, and now it takes careful planning of our built and natural environment. I have a vision for the long-term sustainability and resilience of our city, protecting against the fire and drought impacts of our changing climate. I am running for office because I have the vision and experience to plan and protect the city we love.
What makes you qualified for the job?:
 I have been an actively involved member of the community for over 30 years, having raised a family here and having chaired both Starr-King Parent Child Workshop and Peabody Charter School governing boards. I teach Geology at Santa Barbara City College, and have particular interest in water-supply sustainability and planning for impacts of a changing climate. As your current councilmember, I also now have four years of first-hand experience understanding the details of running a full-service city, especially as it pertains to fire safety, water management under this drought, and what specifically a City can do related to environmental resiliency. I don’t have to learn this process, I know it.
What are your two main priorities if you win?:
 We have a moral imperative to address the inhumane conditions of homelessness and poverty. It is past time for a comprehensive plan to address homelessness and poverty in our community. This includes both supporting a robust economy and securing beds and programs for individuals experiencing, or on the verge of, homelessness. Knocking on doors, I have heard loud and clear that this is a shared priority of the community.

Another priority is the need for a comprehensive Downtown master plan that preserves our historic character and view corridors, while revitalizing the empty storefronts and big box spaces, bringing the arts back as central to our economic vitality, and creating separate walking and biking spaces. It is time for careful planning as we emerge in a post-Covid world, to create a Downtown that is clean, maintained, and welcoming for locals of all ages.
How will you interact with other governments?:
 I interact with other governments through participation on regional boards (Cachuma Operations and Maintenance, for instance), meetings and communication with public officials, attending conference, town halls, and through direct lobbying in the legislature. We need to act on every opportunity we can to build alliances and coordination in going after funding and advocating for our City.
What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:
 We need to get to a place where everyone, in a workplace or interfacing with the public, is either vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis. There are circumstances when vaccination is not the safest option for an individual, but testing and contact tracing protects those around them as well. Masks indoors have also become essential in preventing the spread of Covid. It is important that we think of how our individual actions impact the greater safety of the community.
Which two issues are most important to you?:
 An important issue to me is planning for a sustainable and resilient future. With climate change, we are experiencing historic drought cycles and year-round fire risk. It is important to me that we, as a community, are prepared for disasters and impacts of fire, flood, drought, and earthquake potential. These are topics I teach daily as an Environmental Geology instructor, and are issues that are important for our safety.

Another important issue to me is striking the balance between incentivizing actually affordable housing options versus over-building our City. We need to fight for our local control against SB9, so that we are responsible for deciding where density fits in our community - away from high fire hazard zones on slopes and in single-family neighborhoods. We are bound on either side by mountains and ocean, with one way in and one way out, with limited resources. Before we build out and away from our urban core, it is important to me that we focus on filling the vacuous spaces left behind by Macy's and Nordstrom's and Sears with housing.
Article Topic Follows: SB City Council

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