Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 1:54 am | Fair 38º


Anacapa Students Cast Their Votes for Santa Barbara City Council

After hearing from nine candidates, American government classes endorse Byrne, Falcone and Rowse

Anacapa School has a long tradition of encouraging civic engagement in its students. Every two years, Anacapa’s seventh- and eighth-graders in American government invite candidates for Santa Barbara City Council to make individual presentations to students about their backgrounds, why they’re running, what the important issues are and their endorsements.

Recently, nine of this year’s 10 City Council candidates spoke to the class over a five-week period, and for the first time, two former mayors (Sheila Lodge and Marty Blum) came into the class as well to pitch their preferred candidates.

Students had plenty of time to hear from the candidates, ask all the questions they wanted, and discuss their own choices with their classmates. The culmination of this inquiry into representative government was for each student to write a paper explaining the reasons for his or her own endorsements.

The class deliberated at length to select candidates that would be balanced choices. On Wednesday, a vote was taken in class to determine which three candidates the class as a whole would endorse.

By an overwhelming majority, the class endorsed Sharon Byrne, Iya Falcone and Randy Rowse.

There were many individual qualities that the students admired in these three candidates, but the one quality that all three exhibited that the students particularly liked was independence. All three came across as non-partisan and able to work the middle to get things done.

Thanks to all of the candidates and the former mayors for taking the time to speak one on one to the class.  We also thank City Clerk Cyndi Rodriguez for her personalized tour of the City Clerk’s office, which included a look at the city’s newly purchased machines that will process ballots on Election Day.

Anacapa’s seventh and eighth graders will, no doubt, be following the results of this election and the work of the newly constituted City Council.  We also look forward to inviting candidates for local offices to speak to the class when county elections are held in 2012.

— Gordon Sichi is the American Society class teacher and headmaster for Anacapa School.

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