Former First District Naomi Schwartz, who died after complications from surgery in early June at age 78, had a big impact on Santa Barbara County politics.
As an environmental activist, she helped formulate many of the conservationist values that shaped the slow-growth policies of the region. She fought offshore drilling, she was an advocate for slow growth policies, at least on the South Coast and she put social issues first.
But she also was an effective leader who mentored U.S. Rep. Lois Capps and her successor, Salud Carbajal, creating in effect a political legacy. Her common sense approach to environmental issues will be missed.