Thank you for visiting my campaign website. We are currently updating this site in preparation for the upcoming November 2021 election in which I am running for re-election to serve a second term on the Santa Barbara City Council. We will have a new site up in the coming weeks, but for now I am pleased to share a little bit about why I am running for re-election. I am also glad to speak with you one-on-one. Feel free to email me at ericfriedman805@gmail.com or call my cell at 805-450-5518. Thank you so much for your consideration and support.

Santa Barbara has always been home to me. I grew up here, graduating from Monte Vista Elementary, and have lived in Santa Barbara County since 1980, with 30 years as a resident of the City. I consider myself lucky to be able to raise my family here, with my wife Julie and our two sons Charlie (12) and Henry (14). Giving back to the City that has offered so much to me and my family is why I ran for City Council four years ago and have decided to seek another term. During my first term on Council our community has faced unprecedented challenges.  Throughout this time I have consistently focused on being responsive, transparent, and accessible – always striving to ensure that our City government works for the residents it is meant to serve, no matter what the circumstances.

This past year, I have been especially focused on addressing impacts and planning for the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Never in our history has it been more important for our City’s government to be responsive, effective, and supportive of the people who live here, and especially those who are struggling due to prolonged shut-downs of our economy, our schools, and many other important parts of our community.

I was pleased to support a new City rental assistance program and expanded funding for local nonprofits providing vital human services. I have pushed the City to partner more with County agencies to address issues of behavioral health and emotional wellness. And I was so pleased to vote in favor of the historic creation of the State Street Pedestrian Promenade as well as other strategies to promote local businesses. Helping rebuild from this terrible pandemic is my top priority in the years ahead.

The pandemic has also made clear the importance of addressing the many issues that have long affected our community. I want to continue serving on the City Council to complete current efforts underway as well as implement new ideas and solutions to help our City respond to the housing crisis, homelessness, environmental stewardship, and ensuring the fiscal health and stability of our City government. It is also critical that the City prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in its policy making and operations.

While I have approached serving on Council with a Citywide perspective, I have also prioritized neighborhood issues. In particular, we face big questions about the future of La Cumbre Plaza and how to best use the old armory at MacKenzie Park for maximum community benefit. Both of these projects need to be transparent and involve public input and participation from the beginning. This is why I led the effort to establish a specific plan as the foundation for any future proposal for La Cumbre Plaza and am working on a similar approach for the armory.

I also want to continue tackling issues that matter to local children and families – community needs I have worked on both as a Councilmember and as a community volunteer for more than a decade. In the City’s upcoming budget, I am proposing new funding for enrichment and recreation opportunities for our youth in a partnership with local schools, City Parks, and the City Library.

Prior to being elected to Council, I served for many years on the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation’s board of directors, including two years as its chair, where I was excited to be a part of our community’s effort to create the Children’s Library downtown. On Council, I successfully advocated for the City to support the new library plaza project which will renew that critical public space and allow the library to further expand its services. Thanks to the partnership with the Library Foundation, this project, over a decade in the making, is scheduled to go to construction later this year.

In addition to supporting our parks and libraries, I was also the leading advocate on Council for the City’s first Vision Zero safety project on the Las Positas corridor. Working with the surrounding neighborhood and City staff, the re-stripe project made improvements to dangerous traffic patterns that were unsafe for bikers, pedestrians, and vehicles.

In has been an honor to serve the people of Santa Barbara on City Council and I appreciate your continued support in this upcoming election.

Again, if you would like to connect directly about the campaign or any other issue, please feel free to reach out any time by email at ericfriedman805@gmail.com or on my cell at 805-450-5518.

Thank you again for your consideration.

Eric Friedman

Community Service

City Service

  • City Finance Committee, Chair
  • City Long Range Development Oversight Committee, Chair
  • Central Coast Water Authority, Chair
  • Member of the Sea Level Rise Subcommittee
  • Community Choice Energy Subcommittee, Member
  • Cal Cities Coastal Cities Leadership Group, Vice Chair
  • Library Advisory Committee, Council Liaison

Volunteer Service

  • Child Abuse Listening and Mediation (CALM), Board Member (2006-2011)
  • Fighting Back Youth Mentor Task Force, Member (2005-2016)
  • Mentor to five local youth, recognized as mentor of the year in 2007
  • Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation Board, Member and Past President.

 

Personal and Professional Background

Prior to serving on City Council, I worked as a District Representative for First District County Supervisors Naomi Schwartz and Supervisor Salud Carbajal (2002-2016).

Since 2017 I have worked at Trader Joe’s and have been a frontline grocery worker throughout the pandemic; a part-time job which allows me to devote the time necessary to serve on the City Council. My wife Julie works in the radiology department at Cottage Health. Together we have two boys – Charlie (12) who attends Monte Vista Elementary School, and Henry (14) who attends La Colina Junior High.

I earned a B.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame (1995), a master’s in public administration from Cal State Northridge (2013), and I am a 2014 graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program.