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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 2:10 am | Fair 49º


Falcone Cites Experience in Announcing Campaign for Mayor

Phalanx of political leaders, past and present, back up councilwoman's "back to basics" themes.

Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Iya Falcone stood in De la Guerra Plaza’s Storke Placita on Monday, announcing her intentions to run for mayor in November.

As she addressed a gathering of several dozen people, Falcone was backed by an array of local political leaders, past and present: South Coast Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Janet Wolf, former Santa Barbara Mayors Hal Conklin and Harriet Miller, Goleta City Councilman Michael Bennett and former Supervisor Naomi Schwartz.

Falcone highlighted her seven-and-a-half-year tenure on the City Council and her membership on 27 different committees.

Santa Barbara is confronted by great challenges, she said, including those of gang violence and vandalism, and strong leadership is needed to address them. Falcone said she wanted to get “back to basics,” like public safety and infrastructure.

“It means putting what you have to do ahead of what you’d like to do,” she said.

Miller commended Falcone’s leadership.

“She will always act in the best interest of our community,” Miller told the crowd.

Several at the announcement asked Falcone how she planned to address the issue of the homeless. She pointed to her service on the homeless task force, before saying that the City Council had prepared a 12-point plan that will be unveiled at Tuesday afternoon’s council meeting.

When asked whether she thought the solution to gang activity in Santa Barbara lies in creating more jobs or enabling more enforcement, Falcone said both would be needed to solve the problem.

“It’s not all about enforcement,” she said, noting that Santa Barbara is “sorely lacking in vocational training,” an option she said that could help curtail youth violence.

“The city needs strong leadership,” she said. “These are very dire times.”

Falcone, an attorney and former crisis counselor, was first elected to the council in 2000. She received a bachelor’s degree in child development from Cal State Northridge, with a concentration in abnormal psychology. She earned her law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

She has a daughter, Niki, as well as two step-sons, two granddaughters and two twin grandsons from her marriage to her late husband, Vincent Falcone, who died Oct. 6.

To date, Falcone’s council colleague, Helene Schneider, is the only other declared candidate in the mayor’s race.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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