The Democratic Party held a barbecue Monday at Oak Park in Santa Barbara, giving attendees a chance to meet and greet elected officials and party-endorsed candidates running for various government positions.
It was part Labor Day celebration and part rally, campaign stop and party to make up for the canceled Fourth of July festivities.
The gathering featured several speakers. Santa Barbara City Councilman Das Williams announced that he, Mayor Marty Blum and City Councilwoman Helene Schneider are writing a resolution to oppose offshore oil drilling. County Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Janet Wolf said that the previous supervisor majority of Gail Marshall, Susan Rose and Naomi Schwartz were going to send a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposing offshore oil drilling. Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, announced that a resolution he authored opposing offshore drilling had been picked up by the state Senate.
“I’m proud to report to you that the Assembly has passed that resolution and now the California State Senate has joined us,” Nava said.
In the spirit of Labor Day, Melinda Burns, a former Santa Barbara News-Press reporter now involved in a long-standing labor dispute against the newspaper, spoke at the event. Burns said that she and other unionized reporters recently filed unfair an labor practice charge for failure to bargain, and the federal government has decided to prosecute.
State Controller John Chiang, who is opposing Schwarzenegger’s order to reduce the pay of state workers to minimum wage pending the resolution of the long-overdue state budget, also spoke.
“Today, we honor the service of the people who made America great,” said Chiang, pledging to keep to his opposition to Schwarzenegger’s order.
Meanwhile, Hannah-Beth Jackson and Doreen Farr, candidates for two critical seats — state Senate 19th District and Santa Barbara County 3rd Supervisorial District, respectively — urged attendees to get out the vote.
“I have to run as good and hard a campaign as I did in the spring over the next nine weeks,” said Farr, who’s in a Nov. 4 runoff with businessman Steve Pappas for the open seat currently held by Supervisor Brooks Firestone.
The Labor Day celebration marked 63 days until the November election, and signaled an intensification of the local Democratic Party’s campaign, from local races such as the Goleta Water District board to the national presidential showdown between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.