Hi, I’m Eric Friedman and I’m running for Santa Barbara City Council in the 5th District. I grew up in Santa Barbara County and now, my wife Julie and I are raising our two sons in the City we love. I decided to run for City Council to bring the perspective of a young two-income family to the decision making process of City Hall and also use my 14 years of experience in public policy at the County to address the critical issues now facing our City. With Santa Barbara at a cross-roads, the next City Council has both an opportunity and responsibility to implement a vision that will serve the residents who live here for years to come.
Personally my family has experienced some of the impacts from the challenges Santa Barbara now faces. For example, after I graduated from 6th grade at Monte Vista Elementary School back in the 1980’s, my parents moved to Lompoc and commuted due to the high cost of housing in the South Coast. That was nearly 30 years ago and the situation has become more dire. Recently, my sons experienced the loss of some of their closest friends due to this same situation. While housing affordability for the middle class is a priority, it must be addressed comprehensively with other quality of life issues facing our City which include:
The first step to put us on the path to comprehensively addressing these challenges is to have a more open and transparent City Hall. The next Council will face difficult decisions which make it critical that the public trust is established from the onset. My 14 years working with the public as a staff aide in the First District County Supervisor’s office combined with years of service on the City Library Advisory Board, City Harbor Commission and a number of well-known nonprofits provide me with the experience and background to make this happen.
Specific policy issues I intend to focus on include:
I am honored to have support from of a number of diverse community organizations and leaders including the Sierra Club, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, Congressman Salud Carbajal and County Supervisors Janet Wolf and Joan Hartmann. I look forward to working with you as your next Council Member and collectively building a strong vision for the future of our great City.