Save San Marcos Foothills!

Santa Barbara County Action Network urges you to help save some of the last native grassland on the Central Coast.
 
The San Marcos Foothills provides essential habitats for a number of significant species including white-tailed kites, hawks, burrowing owls, tarantulas, coyotes, and more. 
 
This habitat is threatened by the impending development of eight multi-million dollar luxury homes. 
 

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A community advocacy group, Save San Marcos Foothills, is fighting to preserve the entirety of the San Marcos Foothills and stop the Chadmar Group's development of several multi-million dollar homes on 101 acres on the West Mesa.
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Green New Deal a topic of combined North & South County Roundtables on Thursday

Here is the agenda for a combined North and South County Roundtable for this Thursday, March 11 at 5 PM.
 
The two Roundtables are combined this month due to the countywide nature of the items, especially Item #1, and because we hope our participants will join the Community Environment Council’s Webinar on Climate Resilience on March 12 at 10 AM. Information on that is at the bottom of this agenda.
 
We hope you can make it.
 
Please let me know if there are items you would like to see discussed beyond the topics listed.

SBCAN North AND South County Roundtable

Thursday, March 11, 2021
5 PM to 6:30 PM 

Via Zoom. Registration Required: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvc-2rrz0iHN0MXt4DUHegBVgRkHtQ-KMs 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the meeting.

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SBCAN wants your nominations for annual NC Awards

Santa Barbara County Action Network would like your nominations for the 2021 North County "Looking Forward" Awards.

Awards will be presented at SBCAN's annual spring celebration (virtually, this time) on Sunday, June 27 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to individuals, organizations, or businesses in the North County who have made significant contributions to the community. Please mark your calendar!
Please take the time to nominate those in your community that deserve recognition. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 12.  

CRITERIA FOR AWARDS
- Open to individuals, local businesses, and community organizations located or working in northern and central Santa Barbara County (Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos and Guadalupe areas).
- Must have demonstrated commitment to social equity, diversity, social and economic justice, or environmental protection.
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Join us for a virtual Green New Deal discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

Please join us for a virtual panel discussion on the "Green New Deal In Action" on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
 
SBCAN Board Member Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino and SBCAN Advocacy and Events Director Nadia Lee Abushanab will be among the speakers.
 
The call for a Green New Deal has emerged in communities, classrooms, and protest sites across the country. In the Fall of 2019, UCSB held a public forum to start a conversation about how the Green New Deal can be used as an organizing framework to bring together environmental and social justice activism. Less than two years later, we are in a fundamentally different reality. 
 
Youth, UCSB and community leaders will share concrete examples of the Green New Deal in practice.
 
The aim of this second public forum is to deepen our conversation about local efforts to create a Green New Deal, discuss its promise to help plan for a post-pandemic world, and examine how the current socio-political environment helps or hinders our collective ability to work towards transformational environmental and social justice. 
 
Use this link to join the zoom meeting: tinyurl.com/GNDINACTIONEVENT

Ken Hough
Executive Director
Santa Barbara County Action Network
[email protected]
(805) 563-0463

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SBCAN wants your nominations for annual North County Awards

Santa Barbara County Action Network would like your nominations for the 2021 North County "Looking Forward" Awards.

Awards will be presented at SBCAN's annual spring celebration (virtually, this time) on Sunday, June 27 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to individuals, organizations, or businesses in the North County who have made significant contributions to the community. Please mark your calendar!
Please take the time to nominate those in your community that deserve recognition. The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 12.  

CRITERIA FOR AWARDS
- Open to individuals, local businesses, and community organizations located or working in northern and central Santa Barbara County (Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos and Guadalupe areas).
- Must have demonstrated commitment to social equity, diversity, social and economic justice, or environmental protection.

AWARD CATEGORIES
1. Environmental Protection Award - For valuing, protecting, and preserving our natural resources and environment.
2. Giving Back Award - For giving back selflessly to the community through volunteer activities and community projects.
3. Social Justice Award - For promoting fairness, tolerance, equality, respect, and compassion for all people in our community.
4. Working Families Award - For helping working families in any number of ways, such as with health care, housing, education, workers rights, and recreational and cultural services.
5. "Looking Forward" Award - For strong leadership and vision in community building, civic engagement, and improving the quality of life in our community.
6. Youth Activist Award - For youth who demonstrate exceptional leadership, civic engagement, social justice, or environmental protection in our community. 
Please submit your comments via this Google Form by Friday, March 12. If you have trouble with the form or would prefer to submit directly via email, please email [email protected] with your nominations. 

Thank you for your participation!

Ken Hough
Executive Director
Santa Barbara County Action Network
[email protected]
(805) 563-0463

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Support SB 467, which seeks to end new dangerous oil extraction in CA

This morning California State Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) announced the introduction of Senate Bill 467, which will halt new permitting of fracking and other harmful oil extraction such as cyclic steam injection.
 
This was the proposed method for oil extraction in the proposed projects at Cat Canyon that were all defeated last year. These extraction methods will be phased out of California entirely by 2027.
 
The bill will also include a 2,500-foot setback for any oil extraction in California near schools, homes, healthcare facilities and prisons. SB 467 will also begin the process of a just transition in California by directing CalGEM to offer incentives to well remediation contractors to hire identified former oil and gas employees who have lost their jobs. 
 
Currently 7.5 million Californians live within one mile of an oil or gas well, and 2 million live within one mile of an active extraction site. There is no state law requiring setbacks.
 
Fracking, cyclic steam injection, and acid well stimulation are intense methods of oil extraction that are more energy intensive and dangerous. They threaten groundwater supply, create cancer and asthma-inducing pollutants, and lead to increased earthquakes. 
 
SBCAN supports the principles in SB 467 and appreciates Senators Wiener and Limon in their leadership to protect California's climate, public health, and work towards environmental justice and a just transition. 
Click here to read Sierra Club's press release about this bill. 
 
We urge you to let the senators know you support their bill.
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CAUSE & City of SM hold EJ Community Cafe Feb 16. Leadership Training info

Here is a message from our friends at CAUSE:


In partnership with the City of Santa Maria, CAUSE is hosting an Environmental Justice Community Cafe to bring in a broad range of perspectives as Santa Maria enters the second phase of its General Plan initiative.

Our team believes you and your organization's input would be invaluable and hope you will consider joining us on February 16th from 5:30-7:00 through Zoom. (Click on this link to add this event to your calendar!) Beginning with a short presentation, our time will be structured with guiding questions to discuss EJ topics related to SB 1000 and identify areas we believe should be prioritized in the General Plan.

As you know, EJ includes a broad range of our daily lives. SB 1000, which was passed in 2016, mandates that cities integrate EJ goals into their General Plan using these 8 areas:

  • Reduce the unique and compounded health risks in "Disadvantaged Communities." 
  • Reduce pollution exposure and improve air quality.  
  • Promote public facilities. 
  • Promote food access. 
  • Promote safe and sanitary homes. 
  • Promote physical activity. 
  • Promote “civil engagement” in the public decision-making process. 
  • Prioritize improvements and programs that address the needs of disadvantaged communities.   

If you are interested in learning more, CEJA created this incredible toolkit about creating a strong EJ plan.

Please spread the word to your circles and invite anyone willing to share their input on this important aspect of the General Plan. If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to me.

Look forward to meeting with you soon!

Rebeca

Rebeca Garcia (she/her/ella)
Policy Advocate
(805) 825-6975 
120 E. Jones St. Santa Maria, CA 93454
w: www.causenow.org e: [email protected]  


Here is a message from CAUSE Action Fund: 


 

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SBCAN Roundtables Feb. 10 and 11

Please join us for our SBCAN Roundtable meetings on Thursday and Friday:


North County Roundtable
Thursday, Feb. 11
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
via Zoom

We have several important topics to discuss at our meeting this Thursday at 6 p.m. There may be others as well, but here is a draft of our agenda:

1. The proposed annexation of the Bailey Avenue Corridor west of Lompoc is under consideration again, with a study session scheduled at the Local Agency Formation Commission on March 4.

2. The California State Parks Department has issued a Draft EIR for a project to build 300 campsites at Oso Flaco Lake near the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Although this is in San Luis Obispo County, it is just a couple of miles from Santa Barbara County and has potential impacts that could affect our residents and our flora and fauna.

3. The Neighborhoods at Hidden Canyon and Willow Creek was before the County Planning Commission on Wednesday (see our most recent action alert for details) and we will provide an update.

4. We will provide an update on the Strauss Wind Energy Project near Lompoc.

Please let me know if there are other items you would like to discuss.  And please email [email protected] if you will be able to attend so I can send you a Zoom link. Hope to see you then.


South County Roundtable
Friday, Feb. 12
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
via Zoom

We have several important topics to discuss at our meeting this Friday at Noon. There may be others as well, but here is a draft of our agenda:

1. San Marcos Foothills. We will have guest speakers on the topic of protecting this area from further development of large residential housing.

2. Public Banking. We will continue our discussion about this led by Harold (Hal) Hill.

3. The Neighborhoods at Hidden Canyon and Willow Creek is before the County Planning Commission on Wednesday (see our most recent action alert for details) and we will provide an update.

4. We will provide an update on the Strauss Wind Energy Project near Lompoc.

Please let me know if there are other items you would like to discuss.  And please email [email protected] if you will be able to attend so I can send you a Zoom link. Hope to see you then.


Ken Hough
Executive Director
Santa Barbara County Action Network
[email protected]
(805) 563-0463

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Urge denial of project with severe environmental impacts and oppose change to critical county policy

Please join Santa Barbara County Action Network in urging the County Planning Commission to protect endangered species, creeks, and wetlands by denying the housing development project known as The Neighborhoods at Willow Creek and Hidden Canyon.
 
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission will decide whether to approve The Neighborhoods project, which proposes to develop vacant land between the fairways of Rancho Maria Golf Course west of Orcutt.
 
Within the same item, the commission will consider changing County policy to remove the requirement for a specific plan to be prepared for an entire key site prior to approval of a project within that site. This change would set a hugely consequential precedent that would allow individual projects to be considered outside of the context of the surrounding area. 
 
 
SBCAN is opposed to this development because the revisions do not adequately address the environmental and other concerns raised by the community at previous hearings, including: 
  • Two new access roads through wetlands
  • No buffers between development and wetlands
  • Direct impacts to endangered and threatened species habitat of the California Tiger Salamander, California Red-Legged Frog, and Western Spadefoot Toad 
  • Direct impacts to native grasses and eucalyptus trees that serve as a monarch habitat
  • Leapfrog development in a high fire hazard area
  • The developer did not first process a Key Site Specific Plan that would have identified developable areas, buffers from onsite resources, resulting in fewer and reduced environmental impacts.
All of the opposing comments at previous hearings, except those from staff and members of SBCAN, came from owners and patrons of the neighboring golf course or nearby property owners who were primarily concerned with increased traffic, water demand, conflicts with agriculture, and disrupted views of open space. 
 
Please call into the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. to express your opposition and ask them to deny this project and to not change County planning policy.
 
You can register for the virtual meeting at this link: https://countyofsb.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_atqcWxCKRau2C9EYKwBRcA
 
You can also submit written comments to [email protected] by Monday, Feb. 8 at noon. 
 
We hope you will be able to weigh in on this environmentally damaging project and on the potentially disastrous policy change. 
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SBCAN Membership Meeting is Feb. 6 with guest speaker Sen. Monique Limon

You're invited to Santa Barbara County Action Network's annual membership meeting on Saturday, Feb. 6 via Zoom. If you haven't registered yet, please do so now. Registration required. Click here to register. We hope to see you Saturday!

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Santa Barbara County Action Network 
2021 Membership Appreciation Meeting
and Board Election

Saturday, February 6, 2021

via Zoom
Registration required. Click here to register.

11:30 a.m.
Social Time
Join the meeting early for a chance to chat with other members

Noon
Welcome
Co-President Dick Flacks

12:10 pm
Featured Speaker
Monique Limón, California State Senator, District 19

 12:30 pm
SBCAN Update
Ken Hough, SBCAN Executive Director
Jeanne Sparks, SBCAN Associate Director
Nadia Lee Abushanab, SBCAN Advocacy and Events Director

12:45 pm
Election of SBCAN Board of Directors
The Board of Directors has recommended new three-year terms
for current board members whose terms are expiring.

12:50 pm
Closing Remarks
Co-President Janet Blevins

Members and nonmembers are invited. If you have not paid your 2021 dues that were due on January 1, or if you would like to become a member, please pay your dues now by clicking here.

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