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Santa Barbara planning commissioner Debra Schwartz eyes mayor’s chair

SANTA BARBARA — Debra Schwartz has been a Santa Barbara planning commissioner for 12 years. Now she has her sights set on the city’s highest office.

“We are at a critical crossroads experiencing three crises: homelessness, housing shortage and economic uncertainty,” said Schwartz.

She added her best asset is her experience.

“I have the track record and the experience of leadership that anticipates issues, anticipates problems before they become emergencies and brings a leadership style working with colleagues that builds a foundation of respect, productivity and effectiveness that serves the entire city,” said Schwartz.

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schwartz thought the city should have taken a more proactive role to help businesses and the community.

“That’s the difference between prepared, proactive, thoughtful leadership," said Schwartz, "and reactive, which is what we’ve had the last three and a half years.”

Schwartz said she wants to use her leadership to get the city council moving in the right direction.

“Address and solve the vexing problems of our community," said Schwartz. "And homelessness needs to be identified as a public health crisis. Bringing much-needed state and federal funding and effective proven programs and services to our community. Both of which we don’t have today.”

Schwartz said if elected, she’ll be ready to hit the ground running.

“I do not need on-the-job training to be an effective mayor and leader with the council day one,” said Schwartz.


WATCH: 2021 Santa Barbara City Mayoral Forum


WATCH: Extended Interview with Debra Schwartz

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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