A savior for Santa Barbara?

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Oprah Winfrey’s rousing speech about equality and opportunity at the Golden Globes led to lots of talk about the actress and talk show host running for president. Oprah would certainly represent the anti-Donald Trump if she ran, but Zocalo Public Square columnist Joe Mathews says her charisma and smarts are needed closer to home, in Santa Barbara County. Oprah owns a $50 million spread in Montecito, where mud and debris running off fire-denuded hillsides killed at least 20 people a couple of weeks ago. Apart from the dual fire and flood disasters, Santa Barbara is facing challenges that include high poverty rates, stagnant development, water and climate. Mathews says Oprah can think globally, but she should act locally by making a run for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

Photo: 75th Golden Globe Awards – Photo Room – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 07/01/2018 – Oprah Winfrey poses backstage with her Cecil B. DeMille Award. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)



Joe Mathews