Events & Media


An Environmental Policy Panel

"Getting to Policy Enactment:
The case of the single-use plastic bag ban in Santa Barbara"

Deborah L. Schwartz, Bren School Dean's Council Member, Principal, Mesa Consulting, LLC
(Panel Facilitator)
Helene Schneider, Mayor, City of Santa Barbara (Panelist)
Kathi King, Donor Relations and Ditch Plastic Program Manager, Community Environmental Council

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Bren students need to know how to make policy by taking an idea, translating it into a proposal, working with key decision-makers, getting it passed, and implementing it. This panel of experts will share their experience with the single-use plastic bag ban and extract lessons about effective strategies."

— Sarah Anderson, Bren Associate Professor

Deborah L. Schwartz

Helene Schneider

Kathi King


The single-use bag ban in Santa Barbara was a seven-year environmental victory. This interactive panel with a nonprofit representative and a local government representative will discuss what it takes to get a policy like this enacted. Panelists will discuss strategy, stakeholders, key arguments, and process.


Deborah L. Schwartz
Deborah L. Schwartz is a Principal with Mesa Consulting, LLC, a management consulting firm assisting for-profit and nonprofit organizations that desire strategic development in their internal and external relationships, and in their products and services offerings. Prior to co-founding Mesa Consulting, LLC, Schwartz worked for AT&T in the Bay Area in various management roles, including direct marketing, product management, and regulatory relations, acting as liaison to the California Public Utilities Commission to advance corporate strategic interests. In her local public-service roles, she is an appointed planning commissioner with the City of Santa Barbara, President of Santa Barbara Hadassah, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of Santa Barbara Beautiful, and Vice President of the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation. Schwartz holds a BA in liberal studies with emphases in political science, linguistics, and english from UCSB, and she earned a Certificate of Executive Development in marketing management from Columbia University.

Helene Schneider
Helene Schneider was elected to her second term as Santa Barbara’s mayor in November 2013. She has served at Santa Barbara City Hall since January 2004, winning her first election as City Councilmember in 2003. In addition to her regular municipal duties, Mayor Schneider strives to connect local government with the business community, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations. She serves in leadership roles on regional-wide policy issues including transportation, air quality, solid waste, and public education. She represents the City of Santa Barbara on the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Air Pollution Control District, Multi-Jurisdictional Solid Waste Task Force, and Partners in Education. She is the immediate past-President of the League of California Cities Channel Counties Division. In the private sector, Mayor Schneider is a human resources management consultant with HRxpress. She earned her BA degree from Skidmore College and her Professional Designation in human resources management from UCSB Extension.

Kathi King
Kathi Brennan King is the donor relations and ditch plastic program manager for the Community Environmental Council. In 2009, King was a founding partner of the Where's Your Bag campaign, an outreach program designed to raise awareness about the need for single-use bag reduction. In 2011, she received the Looking Good Santa Barbara Spirit of Service Award from the City of Santa Barbara. She additionally received the Honorary Service Award from the Montecito Union School Parent Teachers Association as part of the school’s Green Team. The group promotes sustainability at school events, in school curriculum, and a Green Team-created Earth Day annual school event. King graduated from San Diego State University, magna cum laude, with a BS in telecommunications and film. She did post-graduate studies in environmental studies at Santa Barbara City College.


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