We just wanted to give a quick update about the Santa Barbara County/Chumash meeting Monday and provide you with 3 things you can do TODAY to engage in our effort to protect the Santa Ynez Valley. The meeting on Monday was certainly a case of good news/bad news.
First, the good news – the community showed up and articulately expressed ourselves and the politicians heard us. By some news accounts, there were over 200 people in attendance on a Monday night. As was mentioned numerous times throughout the meeting, we are a community of really talented and smart people with a lot to offer. You showed that on Monday. THANK YOU.
Now the not so good news – Santa Barbara County has yet to provide us with the specific agreement that has been negotiated with the Chumash but nonetheless have put it on a fast track for approval by the Board of Supervisors. Essentially, the Santa Ynez Valley is being told that there is not enough time to provide the public with adequate opportunity to meaningfully consider this issue that will affect our valley for generations to come, This is unacceptable.
It is now up to the community to stand up and let our politicians know that we won’t allow the product of this undemocratic backroom dealmaking to be pushed through on the fast track. Below are the specific tools of democracy that you can use TODAY to let politicians know how you feel on this issue.
- Call or email Supervisor Hartmann – Supervisor Hartmann represents our interests in these discussions and on the Board of Supervisors. She needs to hear from as many of her constituents as possible ASAP. She needs to provide the public with ample opportunity to comment on the agreement, a minimum of 30 days after it is released. Supervisor Hartmann’s phone number is: (805) 568-2192 and her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call or email Representative Carbajal – Repeatedly throughout the meeting on Monday, it was stated that the process to ram through this agreement on the fast track is necessitated by the threat of the passage of federal legislation, HR 1491. It is now time that our Representative in Washington, Congressman Carbajal, stand up for our community and aggressively fight this bill. This legislation would deny Santa Ynez Valley citizens their rights. Rep. Carbajal needs to publicly state without equivocation that he opposes HR 1491 and let his Congressional leadership know that politicians in Washington are inappropriately influencing local negotiations to the detriment of the community. Representative Carbajal’s phone number is: (805) 730-1710 and you can submit a comment on his website.
- Write a letter to the editor – Put your thoughts about this process and the tentative agreement on paper and submit them to our local newspapers. Letters in newspapers are effective and make a difference. Keep them to about 250 of your own words. Here are the links to newspapers in the area – Santa Barbara News-Press, Santa Maria Times, Santa Ynez Valley News, and the Santa Barbara Independent.
One last thing we need to you to do is hold the following dates for future public meetings. We know it is a lot to ask, but your presence on Monday sent a powerful message.
- Public Meeting – Thursday, Oct. 5, place and time (TBD)
- Public Meeting – Monday, Oct. 9, place and time (TBD)
- Board of Supervisors Meeting to consider agreement – Tuesday, October 17, 9:00 AM, Board Hearing Room, 4th Fl.,105 East Anapumu St, Santa Barbara.
Remember, as Benjamin Franklin said, “the world is run by people who show up.”
We will keep you up-to-date as new developments occur.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or need further information, please let send us a note.