Why I am running for City council for District Three.
I am Cristina Cardoso, a candidate for the new Westside District Council seat. Many of us who live in this diverse multi-cultural district feel that the Westside has been ignored and negatively stereotyped by the City Council and by the local press.
With District Voting we have a change to change all that. But that will take a new kind of representative, a representative free the past, free of personal ambition and dependence on party politics. That means no more big money campaigns supported by City unions and others looking for influence on the City Council.
As the non-partisan candidate, and the only candidate who can comfortably speak English and Spanish and understand the multicultural community, I will fight for the changes we need. I certainly intend to serve the four year commitment and not abandon my community in the middle of the four year term to run for Mayor.
So what are the main things I intend to fight for?
First, the outrageous rent situation. We must explore every legal alternative to controlling run-away rents that are not only driving people away from Santa Barbara but are even causing hunger and malnutrition in some families.
Second, our young people: I have spent over 16 years working with local youth on the Westside. Most of our young people cannot afford the wonderful after school and summer programs available to wealthier families. I will work for these programs, both recreational and educational, for our children and young people and make sure that they are affordable to all, even free to the poorest families. We can also engage young people in cleaning our parks and our creeks, teaching them about the respect for our community as well about our environment in the process. They can get better acquainted with our wonderful beaches, swimming and surfing activities, while also participating in beach cleanup projects.
Third, the environment: I strongly believe in encouraging the use of bicycles and more bicycle parking, safer bike paths. Our community uses this form of transportation far more than elsewhere in the City. Our streets need to be safe and have better lighting for the better for our children and overall the safe our community members.
Community Activities:It’s unacceptable not to have a community center on the Westside; the so-called Westside Community Center is placed on the other side of the 101 freeway, far from most of the Westside residents. We need a library, something like The Franklin Center. I want to explore the Possibility of the City’s taking over the large building currently being rented to the struggling Boys and Girls Club. This should be a fully utilized center for children, teens, and adults, not a struggling non-profit that is in constant crisis.
Local Participation in Policy and Decision Making: I want to see members of our multicultural community, actively participating in local government issues and concerns, working together on projects, advising the city on all policies and plans that affect the Westside, free of divisions between one side and another. All divisions form a community, all communities form ONE CITY, our beautiful and wonderful Santa Barbara City.
There are many, more issues I could address but I would like to invite our wonderful Westside residents to talk to me about their main concerns. I want to be their voice, and carry their goals into the City Council’s discussions, debates over policies and programs, and over how our Local City Taxes are spend and used.
If someone is satisfied with the way things have been handled by the Council, by all means they can choose between the Republican-backed candidate and the Democrat’s candidate. But if they want change, if they want true reform in the way the Westside and its residents are treated, I invite them to vote or me. I will be there to support them and to be their strong voice on the City Council for the next four years.