SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Mark Whitehurst is a journalist who is setting his sights on the mayor's office.
Whitehurst says he prioritizes the city of Santa Barbara's revitalization.
“I would like to see it be the most beautiful, clean and safe city in the state of California,” said Whitehurst.
He said his work publishing a local magazine, CASA Magazine/VOICE, helped him identify with others. And he would focus on key issues like the economy, homelessness and safety.
“A newspaper publisher wears a lot of hats: philanthropist, volunteer, sponsor," said Whitehurst. "And in these different roles, I’ve been fully engaged in the city of Santa Barbara for the last 27 years.”
Whitehurst thinks the city should have done more to get ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We should have followed San Francisco and the entire city itself should have mandated masks and vaccines and then tests for those who couldn’t," said Whitehurst.
If elected, he said his main focus would be homelessness and helping those on the streets.
“There’s really only 40 or 50 are creating the image that everyone dislikes," said Whitehurst. "And most of those are in need of mental health care. And we only have a handful of beds, twenty maybe, to take care of that particular issue. We need to move in that direction.”
Whitehurst would also like to streamline business and housing permits to make housing more affordable and fill business vacancies.
“I feel that I can build the relationships that will help move the city forward,” said Whitehurst.
WATCH: 2021 Santa Barbara City Mayoral Forum
WATCH: Extended Interview with Mark Whitehurst