Itâ€™s one of those topics everyone living in Isla Vista loves to complain about: how the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) arrests and tickets on DP seemingly to meet their quotas. Of course we all feel that instead of arresting people who are throwing up, the cops should be helping them get home safely. Yet despite these widespread sentiments, we feel powerless to do anything. Iâ€™d like to propose a way in which we can take control of the IVFP and shape its future.
The IVFP is part of the County Sheriffâ€™s Office, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. I originally started researching this article because I thought Isla Vista had no representation in the Santa Barbara government. I was wrong. We have one elected official: the Santa Barbara County Third District Supervisor, and Isla Vista is only a part of the seatâ€™s jurisdiction. Our district includes Goleta, Buelton, and Solvang. The current Third District Supervisor, Brooks Firestone, will not be participating in the upcoming June 3 election, and there are five candidates vying for the open position.
We need to get a candidate into office that supports a reform of the IVFP, and other concerns that we have about our community, such as the ability of landlords to arbitrarily raise rent. How can we get a candidate to endorse these views? By unifying as a student voting bloc, we can offer to put our votes behind a candidate in exchange for their support of our community concerns. Itâ€™s simple politics; you give us what we want, and weâ€™ll put you into office.
I would go even further and say we need to create a permanent Isla Vista voting coalition that will unify our vote and allow our voice to be heard throughout Santa Barbara. I.V. is unincorporated, meaning that our political voice is already somewhat stifled. This will help us get into the government and at least have unified representation. An I.V. voter group will make the student voice stronger in the third district and thus in the county.
When those candidates present themselves, we need to agree which one to back and to use our numbers to put him or her into office. By doing so, we can make our community the place that we want it to be, not one that the rest of Santa Barbara tells us to be. Are you with me? Donâ€™t forget to register for the June 3 election and let your voice be heard.