Meet Cathy

Cathy Murillo is serving her first term as Mayor of Santa Barbara, having served on the City Council since 2012. Under her leadership, Santa Barbara opened a new Children’s Library, secured funding and site for a new police station, updated the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, revitalized the Westside’s neighborhood association, passed a Just Cause Eviction ordinance, established a Project Labor Agreement policy for city public works projects, and focused resources on Downtown economic vitality.

Working with community members in 2013, Murillo created the Pro-Youth Movement in response to a gang injunction proposed by the City of Santa Barbara, with the goal of finding solutions to street violence; the injunction was eventually rejected by the Courts. After the Kavanaugh hearings, Murillo organized a Women’s Summit, introducing girls and women to various women’s organizations with the goal of empowerment and engagement. This year, Murillo worked with the local Building Trades council to organize an apprenticeship fair in one of Santa Barbara’s working-class communities to recruit low-income youth into good-paying construction jobs.

Murillo, the first Latina ever elected to the Santa Barbara City Council, was a print and radio journalist before going into public service. She worked at UC Santa Barbara as the News and Public Affairs Director for KCSB Radio, teaching broadcast journalism to college students. Before that, she was a news editor for the Santa Barbara Independent, and news writer for the Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Edition, and the Ventura County Star. She has also worked in the legal profession, and taught theater arts in public schools as an artist-in-the-classroom for the Children’s Creative Project. Murillo has a B.A. in Dramatic Art from UC Santa Barbara.