Mayoral Hopeful Says City, Businesses Should Reimagine ‘Normal’

James Joyce III

At a June 16 business roundtable, a Santa Barbara mayoral candidate said the biggest difference between him and other contenders is that, “I am not status quo.” 

Candidate James Joyce III is a former top aide to ex-state Sen. Hanna-Beth Jackson. He is running against incumbent Mayor Cathy Murillo, former Councilman Randy Rouse and Planning Commissioner Deborah Schwartz in the Nov. 6 election. 

Regarding State Street, Joyce said he would try to provide incentives to property owners to fill the many empty storefronts on the city’s most popular commercial corridor. He said he also favors finding a way to put more housing on State Street. 

Joyce said, “I want to bring more foot traffic (on State Street) along with dollar traffic.” 

On another key issue, homelessness, Joyce said many people are afraid to act on and just talk. He said as a state senator’s aide he has worked on that issue for many years and favors having social workers deal with it and not just police. 

Many business owners say homeless, transients and panhandlers drive patrons away. 

Joyce said he favors having a “permanent farmers market” on State Street. A weekly farmers market is held Tuesday afternoons. 

He said tourism is a key issue, but technology businesses need to be balanced with it. 

The candidate said he favors “innovative problem solving.” Joyce said while things have changed, the city needs to “reimagine normal.” 

A mid-August mayoral debate is planned. 

Posted June 17, 2021.

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