Rumor Control

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The Rumor Page

Welcome to the Rumor Page, where the City dispels rumors and corrects misinformation. 

If you hear rumors in the community that you believe should be corrected, please contact the City at

Rumor: Homelessness is increasing in Santa Maria.
Fact: The most recent survey of homelessness (the 2017 Point In Time Count) found that Santa Maria has 338 homeless individuals, an increase of 4 percent from the prior survey.  In addition, homelessness has jumped throughout California as this 2018 report shows. The City of Santa Maria partnered with Santa Barbara County and area nonprofits to respond to the rise in homelessness seeking to shelter the most vulnerable, assure compliance with State and local laws, and address impacts to and from the homeless community.  The issue is much larger than what we see in Santa Maria. Governments, business, and nonprofit across the state are pursuing remedies to address the growth of homelessness.

Rumor: Santa Maria is going to district elections. (February 2017) True. For information, go this webpage.

Rumor: Will parking along East Boone Street soon be illegal? (March 2017) This is false.
Fact: The City did remove one parking space along East Boone Street in February, in front of the Hancock Terrace Apartments because a resident complained about limited sight distance. The curb was painted red. Here is the staff report. (see last page for map showing that parking space) 

Rumor: Santa Maria is a sanctuary city. This is false.
Fact: Santa Maria is not a sanctuary city. The City has never made a decision to approve a resolution, ordinance, or other action to implement a sanctuary city policy. The City has repeatedly asked a person in Ohio to remove the City from his list of sanctuary cities.

In October 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to create a statewide sanctuary policy effective January 1, 2018. This will limit whom State and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question, and transfer at the request of Federal immigration authorities. 

Santa Maria was named as an All-America City on June 20, 1998 – one of only 10 cities from across the nation to receive this coveted designation that year. This is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community recognition programs. Being an All-America City does not mean that we have a perfect city.

The All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League, recognizes exemplary grassroots community problem-solving and is awarded to communities of all sizes that collaboratively tackle challenges and achieve results. The designation honors the way people care for their community and take responsibility for their future. It recognizes partnerships and progress, creativity and collaboration, perseverance and pride.

The City’s application for this award focused on the diverse of our community, the many needs of our children, and the positive effects local programs such as the Santa Maria-Bonita School District’s Healthy Start Program, Los Adobes de Maria housing complex, and Peace Week 1997 had on the community. In detail:

  1. Healthy Start Program: The school district, working with medical, social services and law enforcement communities, initiated the Healthy Start Program. This program addresses nutrition, education, safety and health concerns. Volunteer dental professionals conduct clinics to end children’s pain. English and literacy classes for parents connect them to local agencies to meet their needs. Compounding our educational challenges, the school district has the largest group of Mixteco students outside of Mexico.
  2.  Los Adobes de Maria: The affordable apartment complex with on-site facilities offers residents a chance to overcome cultural barriers and attain upward mobility. The can attend citizenship, literacy, and financial planning classes. 
  3. Peace Week: A coalition of community organizations, leaders and representatives crated Peace Week. Workshops united people of all background, schoolchildren created posters with peace themes and took part in peace circles at their schools, community members signed pledges committing themselves to be peace makers.

Santa Maria’s designation extends into perpetuity. The City put its goals and objectives into a plan to enhance the civic health and pride in Santa Maria’s accomplishment. The City also maintains its All-America City Committee to create and coordinate community-based projects which address the 10 components of the All-America City Civic Index. The ten components are Citizen Participation, Community Leadership, Government Performance, Volunteerism and Philanthropy, Inter-Group Relations, Civic Education, Community Information Sharing, Capacity for Cooperation and Consensus Building, Community Vision and Pride, and Inter-Community Cooperation.