February 7, 2020 - Guest: Laura Capps

Additional Topics: Proposition 13 and Electric Vehicles Spotlighted on Super Bowl Commercials

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This week on Solutions News, we interview Laura Capps, Candidate for Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor. 


With the election coming up, we wanted to take the time to speak with the candidates about their priorities and visions for Santa Barbara County. Capps' agenda includes poverty, climate safety, and housing, topics that are always in need of solutions.  We also interviewed her main rival, Das WIlliams on Feb 14, 2020. Click here to listen to that show as well!


The first story this week focuses on Prop 13, which you will find on the primary ballot this year. The current ballot measure to reform Prop 13 would create a total of $15 billion available to build, repair, and modernize schools, from kindergarten through public colleges and universities. Most of the money from the proposed bond — $9 billion — would go to K-12 schools, 


The remaining $6 billion would be allotted to higher education facilities, who last benefitted from a state bond measure in 2006. 10 percent of state money would be reserved for districts with fewer than 2,500 students and up to 5 percent more would be matching money for low-income districts.  Under the current system, local governments can only fund projects using local property taxes, so places with less expensive properties or fewer properties get less money to use. 


The second story highlights a great solution: electric vehicles. Super Bowl commercials always include the newest cars, and this year, environmental and efficient electric cars took the lead. Audi, Porsche, and KIA gave 102 million viewers a taste of the greener future.


To learn more about Laura Capps' candidacy, Prop 13, and electric vehicles, listen now!

Laura Capps

Laura Capps – President of Santa Barbara School Board, mother, small business owner, former president of the Community Environmental Council, and Santa Barbara local (go Dons!) – is running for Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor to make local government listen to the people again. Her vision for our county addresses our severe housing and homeless crisis, the need for better emergency and climate safety infrastructure, an overhaul on campaign finance, and fixing a botched cannabis ordinance.


Laura has devoted her career to public service and is passionate about making our community, and our country, the best it can be for everyone. She is an active and responsive member of the Santa Barbara School Board with a has a proven record of being a leader who listens. She’ll complete her term in 2020.


Laura was born and raised in Santa Barbara and is an alumna of our public schools -- Roosevelt Elementary, Santa Barbara Jr. High School, Santa Barbara High School (go Dons!).  Laura holds a Masters with Distinction from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in History from UC Berkeley.


For the past 25 years, Laura’s work has been about forging a more environmentally sustainable future, combatting poverty, fighting for immigration reform, and supporting the rights of all people.  She began her career in government and public service in the Clinton White House, working first as an aide to White House Senior Advisor George Stephanopoulos and then as a speechwriter for President Clinton. She was Senator Ted Kennedy’s Communications Director in the U.S. Senate, serving as his primary spokesperson and developing strategic communications plans on a wide range of issues.  Laura was a senior aide on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, starting first as his Iowa Communications Director and then directing communications for the seven battleground states in the west during the general election. 


For over a decade, Laura has worked with national non-profit organizations, building a reputation as a respected advocate for environmental conservation and climate issues through senior positions at Ocean Conservancy and climate non-profit founded and chaired by Vice President Al Gore. Recently she has devoted much of her work to ending poverty in California with advocacy and outreach on the Earned Income Tax Credit, the strongest tool to alleviate poverty especially among working mothers. 


Excited to share her knowledge and experience, Laura has taught college courses on Congress and politics at the University of California Washington Center.  She served as UC Berkeley's Director of Government Affairs, representing the campus both on the federal and state level.  She served multiple terms on the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees


It was with great joy that Laura returned back to her hometown, Santa Barbara, seven years ago, to raise her son Oscar, a third grader at Roosevelt Elementary, and give back to the community she loves. 


Laura’s community involvement includes:  


· Serving our public schools – the cornerstone of our democracy – as a member of the Board of Santa Barbara Unified School District.  Laura has worked to close the achievement gap, make our schools safer, advocate for social and emotional learning, listen and respond to the many voices in our community, and has been a champion for sustainability

· Combating childhood hunger in Santa Barbara County.  Laura spearheaded a coalition that is helping more kids throughout Santa Barbara County get free, healthy meals in the summer -- a time when hunger is at its worst. This work has resulted in 33% more meals served in over 50 places around the County.  She was also part of the county-wide effort to strengthen Santa Barbara's food system

· Championing sustainability.  Laura is the past president and current member of the Board of the Community Environmental Council.  She’s been a leader focused on local solutions to our climate crisis by offering sustainable choices for the energy we consume – with specific focus on our school district. 

· Standing up for women.  Appointed by then Supervisor Carbajal, as Chair of the County Commission for Women, Laura led an effort to improve the gender representation on boards and commissions throughout the county. 

· Advocating for women’s reproductive rights and health care.  As a past member of the Board of Directors, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Laura has given political leadership and support for comprehensive health education to this important organization at a time when women’s health and reproductive services are under assault.

· Protecting our children from gun violence.  Laura has helped the school district strengthen its safety plans and has been an outspoken champion of sensible gun reforms. As a mother of a 3rd grader, Laura knows how real the fear of gun violence is and will fight to keep our children safe. 

· Serving this community as a person of faith.  Laura’s dedication to public service draws from her religious beliefs.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Initiative, and a member of the congregation at Trinity Episcopal Church. 


As a result of her excellent public education and the strong influence of her parents Walter and Lois Capps, both respected public servants, Laura has dedicated her life to creating a better future for all.

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Laura Capps, our guest on Feb. 7, 2020