The Mirror endorses Terry O’Day, Kevin McKeown and Gleam Davis for Santa Monica City Council. Robert Holbrook and Pam O’Connor, while worthy, have served their time and need to retire. In this age where we have a new City Manager, new City Planning Director, a search for a new Police Chief, a new SMMUSD Superintendent, a new Principal at Samohi and a new SMC President, it is time for some innovative energy to register on the council as well.
Terry O’Day lives environmental politics in his daily work as Executive Director of Environment Now. He has a background in the Planning Department, and a good cross-section of endorsements from the environmental community to the Chamber of Commerce. He lives here in town with his wife and daughter, has worked hard to raise sufficient resources ($70,000+) to compete independently and appears solid on the land use issues that affect Santa Monica. Our hope is that he will garner sufficient support to expand Olympic Park, clean up our Santa Monica Pier beaches, bring a playground to the northern end of Palisades Park, be modest in his approval of new housing or commercial buildings and, in light of the fact he lives in the Pico neighborhood, help support a balanced, diversified Santa Monica. For a fresh face on the council, vote for Terry O’Day.
Kevin McKeown stands strong on all of the major issues facing Santa Monica. The residents know he will do the right thing in regards to renters/residents’ rights. He will protect the environment with all the legislative muscle he can muster. His work in helping to get the homeless fed indoors will be a big plus. On education, development, alleviating monster mansion construction and coordinating with other governmental agencies, McKeown is well configured. He is relying on his name recognition and the support of SMRR to get him reelected. It is also disconcerting that the hotels are still playing with Santa Monica politics in such a way as to throw their money around for such negative – and some say totally false – advertising. The hatchet had been buried after the Living Wage battle, but the hotels still want more. We are not inclined to support them.
As for Gleam Davis, she is certainly ready for this position. Her job as staff counsel for AT&T will allow her to view legislation in a more legalistic way, spending less time relying on City Attorney Marsha Moultrie. She is certainly supported by the education community, represented by CEPS, and she easily won SMRR’s third endorsement. Some call her brilliant, but what she has expressed to us is that she wants to bring together people for consensus. She may be defeated by Holbrook or O’Connor’s name recognition, but it would be good to have a new perspective on the council. Articulate and smart, she will be able to handle the big issues that councilmembers need to address.
In the end, a council with O’Day, Davis, McKeown, Bloom, Katz, Genser and Shriver is still too white and middle class, but without a plan to allow voting per district, do not expect change any time soon.