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Mr. Nelson Goes to Washington
Report form Santa Barbara County Supervisor Bob Nelson who was just elected to his second term on March 4th

          After a significant victory on election night, I didn't take a break. By dawn on Wednesday, I was on my way to Washington D.C. with a clear goal: to secure more federal support for Orcutt, focusing on funding for the construction of the OASIS Senior Community Center. Our team, including OASIS Executive Director, Michelle Southwick, OASIS Board Chair Trevor Lauridsen and his wife Taylor, Boardmember Fred Carbone, and OASIS members Mary Ellen Pankratz, Steve Southwick, and Stephanie Southwick Hull, were all set to make a strong case for our community.

          As your County Supervisor, I see it as my job to make sure our area benefits from the taxes we all pay. Our trip was about getting our fair share, with this trip focused on OASIS, a project high on Santa Barbara County's funding priority list. Meeting with staff from Senator Padilla’s and Butler's offices, we showed them how ready OASIS is for this boost. They were impressed our “shovel-ready” project and the wide range of programs OASIS offers, not just to seniors but to the whole community.

          Mary Ellen Pankratz shared in our presentation a touching story about the difference OASIS made in her life after her husband Dennis passed away, highlighting the center's impact on her and others. Our meetings gave us hope, especially the support from Congressman Carbajal. Despite his busy schedule, including preparing for his State of the Union appearance, he took the time to meet with us personally, showing genuine enthusiasm for our project.

We left D.C. feeling hopeful, confident that our efforts would bear fruit. The dedication of our team to securing a future for a permanent home for OASIS made a significant impact on the officials we met. This trip wasn't just about funding; it was about uniting for a cause that resonates deeply within our community. It showed that by standing together, we can bring essential resources back to Orcutt, making a tangible difference in the lives of our residents. Our work continues, but we're optimistic about the path ahead for OASIS.

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