Cathy Murillo was elected to the Santa Barbara City Council in 2011 and re-elected under the new district-based system in 2015. The first Latina ever elected to the council, Murillo now represents the Westside District. She served as Mayor Pro-Tem in 2014, and has served on both the Finance and Ordinance Committees.
Under her leadership, Santa Barbara opened a new Children’s Library, updated the Bicycle Master Plan, constructed pedestrian and traffic safety improvements on the Eastside, passed a ban on single-use plastic bags, and opened two new public parks (Ortega/Bath neighborhood park and the Arroyo Burro Open Space).
Her Council liaison assignments include the Santa Barbara Youth Council, Housing Authority Commission, Housing Task Force, Library Board, Rental Housing Mediation Board, Living Wage Ordinance Committee, Sustainability Committee, Neighborhood Advisory Council, among others. County-wide and regional assignments include the South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety, Community Action Commission, Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness (C3H), the Cities/County Affordable Housing Task Force, and the MTD board.
Outside of City Hall, Murillo co-founded the Pro-Youth Movement, a community forum empowering youth and families, with a focus on gang prevention. She is also active organizing monthly meetings of the Westside Community Group, a neighborhood association engaging residents, businesses, and schools in civic activities and neighborhood improvement projects.
Murillo serves on the Women’s Economic Ventures Community Advisory Council and the Economic Vitality Team of Santa Barbara County, a countywide collaboration of chambers of commerce, financial institutions, large employers, and government/elected officials.
Prior to running for public office, Murillo worked at UC Santa Barbara as the News and Public Affairs Director at KCSB Radio, teaching broadcast journalism to college students. Before that, she was a news writer and editor for the Santa Barbara Independent, and has worked for the Los Angeles Times and the Ventura County Star. She has also worked in the legal profession as a legal secretary and paralegal, and as an artist-in-the-classroom teaching theater arts to children.
Murillo has a B.A. in Dramatic Art from UCSB, and is a member of the American Association of University Women, the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, Health Care for All Santa Barbara, League of Women Voters Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Committee.