Zachary Pike: Challenger, District 6, Santa Barbara City Council
Zachary Pike is the “everyman” in the race for the District 6 seat on Santa Barbara City Council, as he will take on incumbent Meagan Harmon, City Hall insider Nina Johnson, and local business owner Jason Carlton in the 2021 Election.
Pike has made a conscious decision to not chase endorsements of organizations or other political figures, but instead focusing his attention on his neighbors and people that call the downtown corridor home.
Pike is a newcomer to the local political scene and recently told the Santa Barbara Sentinel why he decided to join the race.
“Santa Barbara is going through yet another phase of changes. We are set to undergo some major visual and structural changes to the downtown State Street corridor, alongside some big changes in city government,” Pike said. “I have lived in this district for over two decades, and I have a lot of love for this city and its people. What the city council needs is representation for the working-class locals, the backbone of Santa Barbara. This is my experience, and this is the reason for throwing my hat into the ring.”
Pike is also keen on making sure the District 6 seat is filled by someone that understands the lay of the downtown land.
“The first priority would be maintaining a true representation in the city government for the people who live and work in the downtown neighborhoods. For the residents of District 6, downtown SB is not only a weekend out on the town, but also a workweek as well as our home,” Pike said. “That being said, a living wage for the workers downtown is important for the health of the city.”
All four District 6 candidates were presented with a trio of questions focused on issues that impact Santa Barbara’s downtown district; here are Pike’s responses:
What is the most important issue facing District 6?
I am going to generalize this answer and say that balance and security are the major issues downtown. There seems to be an identity crisis in District 6, with there being a major push to design a corridor that attracts tourist dollars while also supporting the functions of a seaside residential town. The biggest concerns are the rising cost of living for local renters and the homeless crisis. The question is does the city council prioritize the tourist industry and its benefactors over the needs of the local population?
Santa Barbara’s downtown corridor is heavily reliant upon tourism. What is your plan to supplement that in case of other natural disasters or lack of travel? What are you going to do about bringing in good businesses that pay good wages?
This question also states the problem: The overhead for business downtown is so expensive that it’s tough for any local and independent entrepreneurs to compete with large corporations and franchises. The result is that the bigger war chest is the most desirable renter, and storefronts sit empty waiting for a desirable tenant. The city council might try and explore new policies that can help local businesses get started and keep their doors open. Keeping local dollars circulating in the community benefits everyone.
We believe that one must be willing to lose in order to win. Can you give us an example of a brave position you have taken on principle that cost you politically or personally?
I’ve been a musician for most of my life so I would say to anyone that following your innate intuition in choosing a career path is the definition of bravery. Politically? The biggest cost of entering public service is the time taken away from your personal life, and time is the greatest asset of all.
Please list all endorsements to date.
As far as the last question regarding endorsements: I have chosen to simply seek the endorsement of the Downtown community of Santa Barbara. This is a local election not a national spectacle. Let’s find our common ground.