Letter to the Editor: Pick Bruce Porter for a More Resilient Isla Vista


Super Tuesday is upon us and I find it urgent and critical for the future of our beloved community of Isla Vista to express my support for Bruce Porter, an independent candidate for Santa Barbara’s Third District County Supervisor seat.

My name is Matt Griffin, I am a fourth year UCSB student, and I have dedicated my time at UCSB to making Isla Vista a safer, more sustainable, and better place. I am a board member of the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District and earned support from community leaders, the Daily Nexus’ Editorial Board, and president of the Isla Vista Community Services District during my campaign to be the Isla Vista representative for UCSB’s student government. Now, I’m asking you to consider supporting Bruce in his bid to bring tangible change to Isla Vista.

Joan Hartmann, the current county supervisor, took office during my freshman year by promising UCSB students a better Isla Vista. While four years was long enough for me (and many of my classmates) to earn a college degree, it wasn’t enough for her to help Isla Vista. In many ways, our community is worse off than it was during my freshman year. Students and families often do not feel safe in their own community. Housing costs have risen and availability hasn’t improved. Multiple bluffs have collapsed, dozens of people have overdosed, and thousands of us remain food insecure.

College students are already burdened enough by classes, work, and planning for a career. We should elect candidates who pledge to prioritize policies and legislation that make our community safer and more sustainable. That person is Bruce Porter. With experience as an environmental engineer, school board president, and head of the county Red Cross, Bruce has dedicated his life to improving communities, advancing educational equity and opportunity, and saving our planet.

We deserve a representative who keeps their promises, not someone who turns their back after an election. Bruce and his campaign have become a part of this community through tabling and canvassing at UCSB and in Isla Vista. He recognizes that our community has been neglected over the past four years and wants to stop that.

Hartmann claims she is the only environmental candidate in the race, but when she had a chance to limit the growth of the county’s oil infrastructure two years ago, she voted to expand oil transport in Cat Canyon. Bruce, on the other hand, wants to pursue a county-wide ban on fracking, ban new oil fields, and pre-zone land to speed up the transition to renewable energy. Commercial shipping through the Santa Barbara channel is the leading emitter of greenhouse gas-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the County, an activity Bruce wants to ban.

On top of that, he wants to address food insecurity in Isla Vista, find ways to limit erosion on the Del Playa bluffs, and improve lighting throughout the community. Bruce Porter is the representative we deserve and have earned. I support him and encourage you too as well on March 3rd because without him, Isla Vista will continue to be neglected.

Matt Griffin is in his fourth year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 


  1. Is this a joke? Bruce Porter got caught doing voter suppression in Isla Vista! The only way this Republican could win is by literally cheating. Irresponsible and disappointing that this was published, yikes.

    • I think it is a joke

    • Joanne Hartmann

      Joan Hartmann is a republican, voted for oil, and takes oil money.

  2. It’s funny how Bruce Porter has suddenly turned “eco-friendly” when it was politically convenient to do so, but old habits die hard.

    A few days ago at a forum, Bruce Porter said he would consider expanding oil drilling at Cat Canyon.

    If you want to stop big oil in Santa Barbara, consider your vote carefully.

    • Joanne Hartmann

      He didn’t say that & Joan voted for 16 oil pipelines in Cat canyon, Buddy.

      • Here’s the direct quote from a few days ago:
        “If we produce a little bit more here in Santa Barbara County, we get rid of some of that,” Porter said, adding that as an engineer he would look at numbers. “If a little new drilling in Cat Canyon, if it’s responsible, will reduce the overall greenhouse gas footprint of the world, I might consider it. If it gets oil ships out of the Santa Barbara Channel, I would consider it. If it would put us on a path to a better transition to the future, I would absolutely consider it. But it would be project by project, do the numbers, and see what’s going to be best.”

        He sure did say he would consider it, buddy. Seems like his whole new-found “eco-friendly” gimmick is just a way to get the Isla Vista he desperately needs.

  3. Joan Hartmann is a registered Democrat. The latest filing shows Bruce Porter has taken >$42,000 from the local Republican Party – the same Republican Party that had taken >$100 K from local oil interests. Bruce Porter ran as a Republican in 2016 and changed to decline to state in 2018. But he still takes their money. You can look all of these facts up.

    The 16 pipelines that Joanne refers to already existed and were from an existing permitted oil project. If the pipelines weren’t approved for continued use the oil company would have just have trucked the oil instead – which is less safe. For this reason the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved letting the company continue to use their existing pipelines.

    Joan has a solid record of environmental protection including tripling the amount of renewable energy in SB, and bringing community choice energy to SB so next year our electricity will be carbon free.

    Bruce Porter has a solid record of suppressing voting in Isla Vista.

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