Celebrating 20+ Years!

We're celebrating 20+ years of progress on environmental, economic and social justice issues!



In 2001, a group of community activists and leaders came together to discuss the future of Santa Barbara County. This group came to the consensus that although there were numerous local organizations and activists working on a wide range of progressive causes, efforts were often fragmented and sometimes working at cross purposes. There was a clear need for a countywide organization that could bridge the gap between environmental and social justice issues and help progressives find a united vision for the future of Santa Barbara County.

In January of 2002, SBCAN was created to serve this purpose.  Since our inception, many of our board members have been elected to public office, including Congressman Salud Carbajal, County Supervisor Das Williams, former Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, and Allan Hancock College Board Trustee Hilda Zacarias, among others.

Over the years, SBCAN has played important roles in opposing urban development on agricultural lands and development of dangerous fossil-fuel projects. At the same time, SBCAN has supported development of alternative energy and affordable housing, advocated for immigrant rights, and sponsored programs to engage inner-city residents in community gardening and educational arts programs.


Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) is a countywide grassroots organization that works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities.

SBCAN advocates a holistic approach to community planning that integrates housing, open space, and transportation to meet the needs of all members of our community and future generations.

SBCAN works in cooperation with a broad range of progressive activists and organizations to ensure that all members of our community share a voice in our future.


SBCAN is a membership-based organization that draws its strength from the active participation and support of people throughout the county who share our mission.  We hold annual membership meetings to elect our board members who represent various regions across the county and a wide range of environmental and social justice interests. 

SBCAN uses its organizational strength to advocate for progressive policies that are generated from within and by its allied organizations and enables efficient communication and coordination between local progressive groups. 

We conduct our own programs and projects as well as serving as a fiscal sponsor for projects that are just starting up.

We are active participants in a wide range of environmental and social justice coalitions across the county, including Community Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Center, Los Padres ForestWatch, Food and Water Watch, COAST, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, CAUSE, and Safe Energy Now! North County.


Current projects include Youth Arts Alive, Mickey Flacks Journalism Fund and Santa Maria River Healthy Watershed Initiative.

Nonprofit Status

On May 27, 2009, SBCAN's Board of Directors voted to re-organize as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our tax ID number is 73-1676916. Donations to SBCAN are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.