Editor’s note: This is part of a series on local candidates in advance of the Nov. 8 election.
Eager to bring fresh perspectives from the community, Elysia Lewis is running for mayor of Buellton against fellow city council member David King.
Mayor Holly Sierra will be stepping down at the end of her term.
“I originally ran about four years ago because I started seeing that the same small group of people were making all the decisions and Buellton needed a fresh perspective from a different demographic. I want to keep diversity on the council and increase diversity in Buellton civic leadership,” Ms. Lewis told the News-Press. “I would like to help steer the diversity.
“I want to have a stronger voice in determining and helping diversity on our city’s committees and councils,” she said. “It’s the same small group of people that have been involved. I would like to be a driving force in getting new people to participate. Holly has done an excellent job stewarding the city, and I want to make sure her initiatives and programs aren’t lost when she steps down.”
Ms. Lewis has been part of the Buellton City Council for two years.
“My time on the council has given me the experience to learn about players in Buellton civics and understand the issues affecting the city,” she said. “It’s one thing to hear about the issues. It’s a whole other thing to get into the weeds on these issues. It’s given me a good two-year tutorial on what we need to do, what we can do and what we can’t do. It has also allowed the community to get to know my stance on issues.”
Ms. Lewis has a bachelor’s in law and society from Purdue University and a master’s in psychology from North Central University. She also possesses a juris doctor degree from Concord Law School.
Additionally, she possesses a certificate in school business management from USC and is certified by the California Association of School Business Officials.
If elected mayor, Ms. Lewis said her goals “would be to continue to work on building a sense of community and making sure the community feels heard while getting them involved with one another so we can have a stronger, more closely knit community.
“I want to make sure Buellton is a safer place to walk. I want to make sure we have activities geared towards all ages,” she said. “We really need to focus on building community so we can collectively carry Buellton into the future.”
Ms. Lewis said she believes both Mr. King and she are reasonable people. “We are both good choices. We just have different philosophies. A vote for me is a vote for diversity and leaning forward, rather than keeping Buellton as it is.”
“I am a big supporter of arts and culture and a strong program is really important for a viable community,” she said.
“There is a lot of talk that because I’m not retired, I can’t provide the same level of service,” Ms. Lewis added. “Just because I am still working doesn’t mean I would provide a lower level of response. My circumstances are different. Different just means different, not less qualified.”