Dear President Obama, Youth Council forming in SM, Green Team fun day, Stop Shelby, NC Awards Dinner

Santa Barbara County Action Network
Action Alert
April 26, 2016

1. Local premier of Mark Ruffalo's new film "Dear President Obama" April 27
2. Youth Advisory Council forming in Santa Maria, Friday, April 29

3. Green Team is working on Edible Landscaping Demonstration Garden in Santa Maria, Sunday, April 30
4. Shelby Foothills Coalition Forms to oppose the Shelby Development Plan

5. North County "Looking Forward" Awards Dinner Tickets

1. Local premier of Mark Ruffalo's new film "Dear President Obama" April 27
From Food & Water Watch:

The People Have a Message for the President: Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground
Join Us for a Special Screening of Dear President Obama

You're invited to the Santa Barbara premiere of Jon Bowermaster's new film Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now!

Narrated by Mark Ruffalo, Dear President Obama takes a journey through more than 20 states to examine the impacts of drilling and fracking for oil and gas — and hear directly from the people living on the front lines. 

What: Santa Barbara screening of Dear President Obama  DearPresObamaw.jpg
When: Wednesday, April 27th, 7:30PM
Where: Faulkner Gallery, 40 East Anapamu St., SB
How: Tickets are free!
Reserve your seat today!

Under President Obama’s watch, drilling and fracking expanded rapidly across the United States. And that means there are now more than 15 million Americanscurrently living within a mile of an oil or gas well. They're facing the real-world consequences of our national energy policy. Shouldn't they have a say in what that energy policy is?

Join us for this amazing film and hear from everyday Americans telling President Obama it's long past time to change course.

You'll be inspired by the community members, whistleblowers and scientists exposing the impacts of President Obama's "all of the above" energy policy and calling for a real clean energy revolution instead.

I hope to see you there! 

Rebecca Claassen
Santa Barbara County Organizer
Food & Water Watch
[email protected] 

2. Youth Advisory Council forming in Santa Maria, Friday, April 29 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at Cornerstone Community Room, 705 S. McClelland

Message from Leonardo Espinoza Jr.:


Dear Santa Maria Sisters and Brothers,

My name is Leonardo Espinoza Jr. and I am a young leader in our Santa Maria with ambition and vision. I represent young people in our City and sit on the All-America Committee, Board for the Santa Maria Public Library Foundation and the Community Block Grants Development Committee. 

A group of my peers and I are hosting our first meeting to welcome youth in Santa Maria to be a part of a grassroots movement that will give youth a chance to take part in positive change in Santa Maria. The Youth Advisory Council will be created by youth, for youth (ages 15-24). Please share this invitation 
with young leaders from Santa Maria and other Organizations with outreach to young people. 

Thank you for all the support thus far, I look forward to building and collaborating with you all.

Yours Truly,

Leonardo Espinoza Jr.
"Champion of Youth and Young Adults" 

For questions, contact Monika Zendegas at 805.868.5302 or Leonardo Espinoza at [email protected].

"We respectfully ask that there are to be no adults present at this meeting due to the importance and sensitivity of this council."

3. Green Team is working on the Edible Landscaping Demonstration Garden in Santa Maria, Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.


Leonardo Espinoza Jr. is leading this "fun day" at the Edible Landscaping Demonstration Garden. He says:

Spring is here. Time to get back in the garden. Bring your garden gloves and get ready to spruce up the garden. Invite your family and friends. Hope to see you there.

For more information, contact Leonardo Espinoza at [email protected].

4. Shelby Foothills Coalition Forms to oppose the Shelby Development Plan

Contact: Steve Ferry 805-967-5162
For release on April 20, 2016


Today a coalition of Santa Barbara County organizations is announcing the formation of the Shelby Foothills Coalition (SFC). SFC is the product of a series of meetings to discuss community challenges engendered by the proposal to build 60 high-end houses on the Shelby property north of Cathedral Oaks Road near Glen Annie Golf Course.  Development on this parcel, which is zoned for agriculture, is contrary to Goleta’s General Plan.  SFC members are committed to encouraging broad community participation in opposing the Shelby development because it would extend urban sprawl into the Goleta foothills, threaten an important wildlife corridor, damage sensitive species and habitats, use precious water that is in dangerously short supply, and result in net costs to the City of Goleta.

One of the members of the coalition, Barbara Massey of The Goodland Coalition, said, “Our members are bound together by the belief that rezoning for the development of this 14 acre agricultural  parcel is wrong on many levels.  Ten years ago Goleta residents, and Goleta City staff and Council, carefully crafted the General Plan over a period of many months.  Changing the Shelby zoning now would completely contradict that effort.”

Lee Moldaver, of the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County commented, “One of CPA’s principal positions is to support Goleta residents’ desire to protect agriculture and open space, as embodied in Goleta’s General Plan, and to limit suburban sprawl into the foothills.” The Shelby parcel was zoned for agriculture in Goleta’s initial General Plan. In 2012 Goleta residents voted for G2012, Goleta’s Farmland Protection Initiative, by 71%, reaffirming residents’ determination to protect agriculture in Goleta. Because the application for the Shelby development project was submitted just before G2012, the Shelby parcel is not subject to G2012; however, this parcel IS subject to Goleta’s General Plan, which zones this parcel for only agricultural use. 

Coalition members such as the Santa Barbara Audubon Society and the Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council have expressed concern about the negative impacts of this development on sensitive habitat and the creek. Steve Ferry from Audubon stated, “This parcel is a key wildlife corridor that, although now compatible with agriculture, would be destroyed by the human activity associated with a housing development.”

Another key issue is the project’s water supply, with Connie Hannah, of the Santa Barbara League of Women Voters, stating:  “The parcel does not have enough water to accommodate the proposed development.  The developer should never have submitted such a proposal during this historic drought, when Goletans have made so many sacrifices to conserve water.  Goleta’s General Plan and state law prohibit approval of development without sufficient water.”

Coalition members resist any assertion that such a development would help relieve Goleta’s shortage of workforce housing. As indicated by Margaret Connell of the Santa Barbara County Action Network, “the 60 units proposed for this development are projected to sell for approximately $1,000,000, unaffordable to over 95% of South Coast residents.” Such housing would add to congestion, loss of views, air pollution, and other impacts already occurring due to rampant development in western Goleta.

In addition, of the minuscule amount of property tax returned to Goleta from the State of California, approximately 50% must be transferred to Santa Barbara County under the revenue neutrality agreement between Goleta and the County. A residential development on the Shelby property would certainly be a drain on the city’s coffers, requiring services costing more than tax revenues to the city.  Approving this development would exacerbate the City’s already-difficult financial position. 

Scott Cooper of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society concluded, “Our coalition members have already filed objections to Shelby’s flawed Draft Environmental Impact Report. When the final report is made public, probably this spring, we will redouble our opposition at Goleta’s Planning Commission and, if need be, at Goleta’s City Council and beyond.”

Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County
The League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara
The Goodland Coalition
Santa Barbara Audubon Society
Santa Barbara County Action Network
Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council

Other individuals and neighborhood groups are expected to join in opposition to the Shelby development.

For additional information and to become involved in this effort, please go on-line to

5. North County "Looking Forward" Awards Dinner Tickets

Please join us in honoring outstanding community leaders during our 2016 North County “Looking Forward” Awards Dinner May 22.

Thanks to the sponsors who have signed up so far:

"Looking Forward" 
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770

Silver Sponsors
Fund for Santa Barbara
May Kwok
United Domestic Workers Local 3930 AFL-CIO

Bronze Sponsors
Daniel & Priscilla Ng
Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley
Law Office of Marc Chytilo
Lompoc Valley Democratic Club
McCune Foundation
Santa Maria-Lompoc Branch of the NAACP
Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club

Each year Santa Barbara County Action Network honors individuals, businesses and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the community.  The dinner will be held on Sunday, May 22 from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria. 

The dinner this year is dedicated to the memory of Joann Marmolejo and Jerry Connor.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • Chuck Madson, “Looking Forward” Award, for strong leadership and vision in community building, civic engagement, and improving the quality of life in our community.
  • Patricia Solorio, Working Families Award, for helping working families to obtain affordable health care, housing, educational and job opportunities; or to improve wages, benefits, working conditions, and worker rights.
  • Franca Bongi Lockard, Social Justice Award, for promoting fairness, tolerance, equality, respect and compassion for all people in our community.
  • Rosemary Holmes, Giving Back to the Community Award, for giving back selflessly to the community through volunteer activities and community projects.
  • Doug Jenzen, Environmental Protection & Sustainability Award, for valuing, protecting, and preserving our natural resources and environment.

Tickets are available now at

SBCAN is a countywide, grassroots organization, dedicated to creating sustainable communities by promoting social and economic justice and preserving our communities’ environmental and agricultural resources.