Sunday’s Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) convention was an interesting exercise in democracy. Candidates for local office seeking SMRR endorsement in the November election introduced themselves to the SMRR membership present at the convention. The members then were able to vote whether or not to endorse the individual candidates. Five City Council seats will be open in November but the membership chose to endorse only four: Kevin McKeown, Ted Winterer, Gleam Davis, and Terry O’Day. Democracy in action.
However Chairperson Patricia Hoffman made it very clear that the SMRR steering committee has the right to support a fifth candidate in the City Council race without that candidate having been endorsed by the SMRR membership. Many SMRR members at the convention were dismayed by this potential subversion of democracy. If the SMRR steering committee does choose to support a fifth City Council candidate, I wonder how many Santa Monica residents will understand that a candidate “supported” by SMRR (i.e. by the steering committee but not the members) is not at all the same as a candidate endorsed by SMRR as a whole?
Karen Blechman, Santa Monica
Obviously no member of Santa Monica’s Planning Commission lives south of the freeway. I live in Ocean Park. I am writing this a few days prior to the official opening of Santa Monica Place. Already, for us who live in this area, it is next to impossible to get downtown by car, or to drive north on 4th Street. In order to get to the northern end of the city, to go to the post office or do some banking on 4th or 5th street or shop on Montana, we must drive east to use 11th street. I can only imagine what it will be like for us after August 6th. I do not understand why AMC Theaters can not renovate the existing 3 theaters that are on the Promenade now. This new proposal will only make bad matters worse for us residents including the elimination of 324 parking spaces when traffic will be WORSE. The Planning Commission people are crazy. The new proposal is great for tourists, BAD for residents no matter how many new community rooms are made available or areas of public art they plan to provide.
Carol S. Siegle, Santa Monica
I am overjoyed to hear that the Santa Monica Police Department has dropped the ridiculous charges against School Board Member Oscar de la Torre. It was very upsetting to me, and my family to hear of these ridiculous and malicious claims thrown against him by the Santa Monica Police Department. My family and I have known Mr. de la Torre for a very long time and these claims were completely out of character for the man we know. We also know that the Santa Monica Police Department has tried many times to defame the character of political and social justice leaders and community members of Black and Latino ethnicity in Santa Monica. My family and I have personally been victimized by the SMPD. Our community has long spoken out about the brutal mistreatment of our people by the SMPD, and our cries have long been ignored. They cannot be ignored any longer.
David Mendez, Yapkowitz,