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Tenants Defeat Landlords in Santa Barbara Special Election

The working-class immigrant neighborhood of the Westside of Santa Barbara has been struggling as huge real estate investors buy up whole apartment buildings to carry out mass evictions and rent hikes.  It’s led to a grassroots movement to stop our community from being pushed out.

After the election of Cathy Murillo as the city's first Latina mayor with the help of CAUSE Action Fund, the seat representing her district in the Westside needed to be filled by special election.  CAUSE Action Fund endorsed Oscar Gutierrez, a community news producer born and raised in the Westside.

Recognizing that seat could swing the balance of the Santa Barbara City Council, local, state and national landlord PACs poured over $13k to buy a seat for their candidate Michael Vidal, making up the majority of his campaign spending. 

See our video about this race here.

Our volunteers knocked on doors throughout the Westside, informing residents about the issues and which candidate stood with working families, the immigrant community, and renters.  We secured hundreds of votes for Oscar Gutierrez, helping deliver his victory in June.




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