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Santa Barbara Mayoral Debate


October 17, 2017 • 5:30 pm PDT

Moderated by KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian and The Santa Barbara Independent’s Nick Welsh

This November, the Santa Barbara mayoral seat becomes available. Voters have the choice of five very distinct candidates.  All are articulate, serious and experienced, three currently serve as council members. Who are you going to cast your vote for?

To help answer that question, please join The Santa Barbara Independent and KCRW at SBCC’s Garvin Theatre as we dive into the minds and politics of our five candidates.
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Date and Time: 
Tuesday, October 17
5:30pm – Reception  – join us for complimentary wine and refreshments!
7:00pm – Live Broadcast begins

Garvin Theatre
Santa Barbara City College (West Campus)
721 Cliff Drive.  Santa Barbara  CA

The Santa Barbara mayoral candidates are:

Hal Conklin is coming out of political retirement, having previously served four terms on the council and a year as mayor. He was an early co-director of the Community Environmental Council and for 17 years worked as a public affairs director for Southern California Edison.

For eight years, Frank Hotchkiss has functioned as the council’s conservative anchor. A registered Republican, he is the self-proclaimed law-and-order candidate and a vocal supporter of neighborhood preservation in the face of higher-density development.

A former Santa Barbara Independent reporter and KCSB news director, Councilmember Cathy Murillo has been backed strongly by the county Democratic Party and functions as the field’s most outspokenly progressive option, in support of youth, tenants, and the working class.

Political newcomer Angel Martinez has castigated City Hall for lack of vision and is hoping that the executive street cred he garnered as CEO of Deckers Brands will resonate with city voters looking for a change.

Now in his second term on the council, Bendy White has served continuously on various water boards and commissions since the last drought and has tried to reconcile the new urbanism of the so-called smart growthers with Santa Barbara’s traditional slow-growth sentiments.

Our moderators for the evening are:

Until recently, City Hall has been Santa Barbara Independent Executive Editor Nick Welsh’s bread and butter. Over the years, he’s been struck by two contradictory realities: City Hall is remarkably impervious to change, yet it’s also amazingly accessible to any determined person with a bright idea. It’s where the heroic and inane walk side by side in pursuit of common goals. This year, the mayoral race takes on additional weight. Other council seats are now chosen within districts. Only the mayor will represent the entire city. How that plays out, we’ll soon find out. And Welsh will still be watching. He can’t help it.

Jonathan Bastian, host of Morning Edition at KCRW Santa Barbara  is an award-winning public radio host and reporter at KCRW. His reporting on California’s minimum wage won Radio Feature of the Year by the LA Press Club in 2017. He previously worked for Louisville’s NPR station (WFPL) and also created and hosted a weekly TV program that aired on PBS stations across six states. He has interviewed numerous influential writers, thinkers, and policy makers, including Salman Rushdie, Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, Jared Diamond, Michael Chabon, Oliver Sacks, Barbara Kingsolver, and many others. His work has aired nationally on All Things Considered and Marketplace.

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