Dear City Council, what would meaningful reform look like?
I have a litmus test: “Is it good for children?” If the answer is “yes,” then it’s a good policy. If the answer is “no,” then scrap it.
Housing, homelessness and elementary schools are the biggest problems facing children in Santa Barbara. Our City Council is failing the community with regard to all three.
The homeless. Protect the mentally ill and veterans. It is completely hypocritical to pretend that allowing a mentally ill person to sleep on the sidewalk is some sort of compassionate solution. Stop deceiving yourselves.
It is completely inhumane for the mentally ill homeless person. And it is also completely unacceptable for the public (read children) to whom the streets and parks and sidewalks belong and which the city has a duty to maintain for the use of children.
It’s a disgrace and it’s completely unacceptable. Find housing for every mentally ill homeless person in Santa Barbara.
Veterans. These people put their lives on the line for your freedom. Are you kidding me? Veterans are sleeping on the streets and in the parks? Find housing for every homeless veteran in Santa Barbara.
Cops. Do we have bad cops in Santa Barbara? Fire them. That would require meaningful reform to the police union.
The role of a police department with integrity is one of the most important roles in a civilized society. Our City Council must push back against the police union’s ability to protect bad cops from censure and punishment.
Police station. Don’t build a police station at Cota Street. Give that land back to the school district for the use of children. In 1870, Lincoln School was built. It served the children of Santa Barbara for over a hundred years. It must be rebuilt: on that Cota Street site, its historic site, to once again serve families in the downtown neighborhood. That’s something that would actually be meaningful reform.
Budget collapse from a global pandemic compounded by civic unrest calling for meaningful reform of society. Who would have thought that those might just be the unlikely catalysts to actually shake up the status quo and do something bold and beautiful. Citizens for Neighborhood Schools has been advocating for the rebuilding of Lincoln School for over 20 years.
Alice P. Post
Past president, Citizens for Neighborhood Schools