A block from Rebecca Claassen’s home is a sliver of paradise. Mountains stoop nearly to the water’s edge. Lanky palm trees pitch gently in the breeze. Herons stand statue-still in the dunes. Rebecca has stolen a few moments with her daughter here at Carpinteria State Beach, 12 miles south of Santa Barbara.
Down time with family is a rarity for her in the last four months. Today, three-year-old Hazel takes advantage, giggling as she tacks up and down the beach, stopping to inspect a dead bird, get a feel for a fistful of sand, and cart rocks from one pile to another.
Soon Rebecca will drop Hazel at day care and Rebecca will be on to the office. She’ll respond to a flood of emails, rally volunteers for weekend activities, and phone bank to get the vote out for what has become an all-consuming cause: Measure P.