Re-Elect City Councilmember Cathy Murillo 2015
I am proud of my service on the Santa Barbara City Council. My record stands as a policy maker who respects and supports all residents in our City. I have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining safe and healthy neighborhoods, supporting youth, parks and libraries, protecting our natural environment, and ensuring sustainability in housing and transportation planning
It has been an honor to serve as your City Councilmember for the past three and a half years.
I grew up in East Los Angeles (Boyle Heights) and came to the Santa Barbara area to attend UCSB. I graduated with a degree in Dramatic Art, after which I worked as an artist-in-the classroom for the Children’s Creative Project, teaching theater arts to elementary school children.
I worked as a legal assistant for a few years before deciding to pursue creative writing. That led to news writing and jobs at a number of newspapers: Ventura Independent, Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Star, and Santa Barbara Independent. At the latter, I worked my way up from reporter to news editor.
In 2005, I expanded into video and radio news production, and took a position as the News and Public Affairs Director at KCSB. I have been a video producer for public access TV and occasionally wrote freelance news and feature articles.
Prior to my election, I volunteered for various non-profits, including Santa Barbara Children’s Theater, Community Recovery Network, Shape of Voice youth newspaper, and Santa Barbara Channels public access television station. As a volunteer for Community Recovery Network, our group successfully fought for a public detox facility at Casa Esperanza homeless shelter.
My social activism includes organizing Take Back the Beach to support a sexual assault survivor who fought off her attacker at More Mesa, participating in the CAUSE (Community Alliance Urging Sensitivity and Equality) campaign that called for the Boy Scouts of America to stop discriminating against gay members and staff, and organizing actions to raise public awareness and pressure the Santa Barbara News-Press to treat its employees fairly.
I live on the Westside with my family of pets, two cats and a dog, all rescued or adopted from shelters. I favor American pitbull terriers for their loving personalities.
I am a Mexican-American, speak some Spanish, and am the proud granddaughter of Maria Hurtado Delgadillo, who came from Mexico in 1915 and became a naturalized citizen, voting in every election as long as she lived.
During my first term on the Council, I have been a fierce advocate for working families, and our environment. I have fought to maintain safe and healthy neighborhoods and supporting youth, parks and libraries.
Since my election, the City Council has been able to pass a ban on single-use plastic bags, adopt a strong Climate Change Action Plan, and re-open the City libraries on Mondays.
As the economy rebounded, I led efforts to restore services lost during the recession, in particular parks and recreation services, as well as contributing significant funding for the new Children's Library. And we were able to modestly increase employee salaries to make up for the recession-time furloughs and other cuts.
Because I am a strong advocate for helping the homeless get off the streets as the best way to control the negative impacts of homelessness in the community, I have helped the Council maintain a balanced approach to our street issues. The City has increased its policing patrols at the same time supporting a humanitarian response by offering street people help with their problems.
The City has a strong law enforcement response to address criminal behavior, and we have a wide array of "social service" responses to help individuals: the restorative policing program, as well as collaboration and support for C3H (Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness), Common Ground, new outreach strategies, and the Casa Esperanza homeless shelter, among other programs and agencies.
Since my election, we have always balanced our budget, and three years ago the Council adopted an important policy by which surplus funding at the end of the budget cycle would be divided 50-50 into capital/infrastructure needs and the budget reserves.
The Council has responded to the Drought by focusing resources on water conservation programs, increasing availability of groundwater, and initiating recommission of the desalination plant. Regarding the latter, the Council has taken a huge environmental step forward by linking use of renewable energy sources to the electricity-hungry desal plant. This is in the form of the exciting Community Choice Energy initiative, which I strongly support.
Speaking about My Candidacy on Labor Day 2011