July 31, 2018

(805) 364-2114

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Monday night, July 30, Salud Carbajal held what he called a town hall on drought and wildfires, saying that he wanted to “hear from” Santa Barbara County residents “about how we can prevent these tragedies.”

Part of addressing how tragedies can be prevented in the future is taking an honest assessment of how they happened in the first place. Many audience members reached out to our campaign and were unhappy that their questions were not answered by our Representative, so we’d like to offer up their questions for the Congressman on their behalf.

Mr. Carbajal:

  1. Do you regret voting no on HR1873, the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act, aimed at preventing wildfires started by interference with power lines and the electrical infrastructure, which passed the House in an overwhelming bi-partisan way?
  2. Just six months before the Thomas Fire, you voted no on HR2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, which would aid in the prevention of potential forest fires – another bill that passed with bi-partisan support. Did this affect firefighters’ ability to properly install perimeter buffers and lead to the deaths of 25 people in our community?
  3. Why did you vote against these two common sense bipartisan solutions, casting a vote in the extreme minority, knowing that they could have potentially saved lives?
  4. Median property sales in Montecito are down 10% since the Thomas fire and debris flow. How are you going to address that decline?
  5. You receive a large amount of campaign money from environmental groups that oppose proven fuel management techniques, such as controlled burns. You have voted against allowing controlled burns. Should donors have the ability to dictate policies that lead to billions of dollars of property losses and increase risk to firefighters?
  6. You voted no on controlled burns as a Santa Barbara County Supervisor. We know that controlled burns could have prevented or mitigated damage from numerous fires like the Thomas Fire. Do you feel any responsibility for the level of destruction that failure brought to our community?
  7. As one questioner mentioned last night, it’s more difficult to get important information to senior citizens during emergencies since most of them are not on social media. With that in mind, why did your campaign give only three days’ notice to your constituents about this town hall when so many of them were personally displaced?
  8. In the same vein, why was the Montecito Association only notified about the town hall the day of? A number of Montecito residents are still displaced. Do you not want to hear from them?
  9. Why are you so focused on federal environmental policy when local ecosystems are being destroyed because of the feeble fire prevention efforts that led to the Thomas Fire? Shouldn’t the 24th District’s environmental concerns be your primary focus?
  10. Why do you keep trying to take credit for obtaining Army Corps of Engineers assistance with the mudslides when it was actually the county who requested assistance, using standard protocol?

Our community is still impacted daily by the aftermath of the fire and debris flow, and we will be at risk for years to come. It is vitally important that these questions are answered.

These questions are vitally important to members of our community at large and we wonder if the media has obtained answers to these questions.