By Lanny Ebenstein of Santa Barbara
The City Council race on the Mesa in District 2 to replace Randy Rowse could not have a more ideal candidate seeking election: Brian Campbell. Brian is not a big city “Boss Tweed” politician who will do the bidding of unseen forces behind the scenes. Brian rejects this sort of politics.
Rather, Mr. Campbell is running for City Council because of the different perspective he can bring. Brian is a husband, parent, businessperson, school supporter and civic proponent. He is deeply committed to making Santa Barbara a better place.
Among the issues that he emphasizes is homelessness. He recognizes that too many Santa Barbarans are homeless, and they need a helping hand. He further recognizes that a helping hand means access to substance abuse, work training, educational programs, and genuine housing — not merely parking spaces to temporarily put their vehicles.
Brian Campbell is the one candidate for City Council who has a comprehensive program for homelessness and a holistic approach on this vital issue. He will work for public-private partnerships to reduce homelessness in Santa Barbara, not merely speak platitudes and then do nothing. As he says: “It is distressing and inhumane to watch people struggle to survive on the streets while so many of us are fortunate enough to keep a roof over our heads. Chronic homelessness is an issue we need to address sooner rather than later.”
Brian is also a strong supporter of local schools. Since he has two children who either have or currently attend Washington Elementary School, he knows the importance of schools to our community and to the Mesa. He will work for a stronger relationship between the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
With respect to downtown revitalization, Brian’s background in business gives him a perspective that no other candidate can match. He understands that retail on State Street and elsewhere in the community, and nation, is changing. New thought will be required to create a new housing-business concept for State Street and elsewhere, and Brian has the vision and intelligence to turn new ideas into reality.
People who know Brian use words like “integrity,” “compassion,” and “a good sense of humor” to describe him. He is the exactly right representative to replace the popular Councilmember Rowse on the City Council. Brian describes his qualities to serve as follows: “I am not a politician. I am not part of a political machine. I am running for my Children, my Neighbors, and my Community, to keep Santa Barbara beautiful and thriving.”
The “machine politics” that is coming to dominate Santa Barbara must be stopped. It doesn’t benefit anyone when politicians meet in smoke-filled rooms away from the light of public input and discussion to identify candidates for office, extract promises from them, and then put a political machine behind them to elect them. Brian Campbell’s election will smash machine politics in our community.
This Tuesday, the choice for Mesa City Council District 2 is crystal clear: Brian Campbell.
Lanny Ebenstein is a past member and president of the Santa Barbara School District and lifelong Santa Barbaran.