Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 4:16 am | Fair 42º


Local News

Pritchett Touts Balance, Experience in Campaign Kickoff

Santa Barbara council candidate pushes for committee consolidations to improve accountability

Santa Barbara City Council candidate David Pritchett and a crowd of 50 or so core supporters, friends and curious voters gathered at Oak Park on Wednesday evening to officially kick off his campaign.

“Not that anyone has had any doubts during the past few months, I am declaring myself as a candidate to be elected to the Santa Barbara City Council this year,” said Pritchett, a restoration ecologist by training.

Running on a platform of change inspired by President Obama, Pritchett highlighted his intentions if elected to office.

“If elected, I certainly will represent and balance the needs and wishes of all Santa Barbara residents while serving as their City Council representative. I especially will remember the points of view of this silent majority of residents whose incomes are not so high, whose political savvy is not so sharp, and whose neighborhoods are not so well organized,” said Pritchett, a longtime Westside resident.

Pritchett also mentioned the city budget, weakened by the economy, preservation of neighborhood character, and environmental quality, and the upcoming General Plan review as other issues he would work on.

“I also want to consolidate some often contradictory city advisory committees into a new Public Works Commission to improve accountability and interject better public oversight into this often-beleaguered city department,” he said.

Pritchett, who graduated from UCSB with an environmental science degree and from the University of Wisconsin with a master’s in Land Resources, first got his start in public service as a member of the Creek Restoration and Clean Water Improvement Committee. He was later appointed to several other city and Santa Barbara County offices, which he said, has given him a good perspective of the issues local government faces.

It will be a tough race in a crowded field that includes incumbent Grant House and candidates Lane Anderson, Diane Channing, Frank Hotchkiss, Michael Self, John Thyne, Olivia Uribe and Harwood “Bendy” White.

From here on out, his experience as videographer for his news blog Off-Leash Public Affairs will come in handy. According to Pritchett, meeting face to face with potential supporters will be key, more so than even print or television media.

“Direct contact is really the best way ... I’m working on getting some sneakers on the ground,” he told Noozhawk, referring to his campaign strategy. Before now, he said, he has been making contact with various communities to familiarize himself with Santa Barbara’s different kinds of issues.

For voter Penny Little, who attended the kickoff, Pritchett is the man for the job.

“Well, first of all, I think he listens,” said the independent media director. “And I think what’s really important on City Council is that you have people who can really listen.”

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

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