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Local Stories by Local People
updated: Aug 07, 2007, 12:00 AM

Schneider Raises $12,000 To Fund Blue Line Project
Source: Helene Schneider

In response to the campaign of misinformation waged against the "lightblueline" public art project, and the continued focus on the City's allocation of funds, Councilmember Helene Schneider announced today that she has raised the $12,000 from private sources, who wish to remain anonymous at this time, so that no City funds will be used for the project.

"The debate about the lightblueline project should be about climate change, not whether City funds are being used. So now that topic is off the table." Schneider said, "I don't want to see this project die because a small group who refuses to acknowledge near scientific certainty of climate change have glommed on to this $12,000 as a reason this project shouldn't move forward."

"Raising the money has taken far less time than responding to the misinformation being spread about this project. I welcome a debate and dialogue on the real issues of climate change facing our local community. I also refer people to the cover story of last week's issue of Newsweek, titled ‘The Truth about Denial.'"

Schneider says the Santa Barbara community is facing significant and important issues right now, such as the State Emergency on the Zaca Fire, a police officer shooting during Fiesta, reaching out to local youth to reduce gang violence in our neighborhoods and developing parent education programs to reduce youth violence. And these issues are being muddled by the misinformation surrounding the funding of the lightblueline.

"Let's put the $12,000 into perspective. Each year the City allocates over $2.5M for both arts and youth programs, not to mention the additional $300,000 this fiscal year to enhance current youth programs and bring the bike patrols back to the Westside and Eastside neighborhoods. This project already involves over 100 community volunteers and middle school students, at the same time we continue to invest in activities that offer alternatives to gangs and crime."

Schneider said that public art is meant to make people think and to promote community awareness. "If the Council allocated $12,000 to a public relations consultant to promote climate change awareness, we wouldn't nearly have the same impact as this art project already has accomplished without spending a public dime. Now, the merits of this debate can continue."


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