May 16, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Fed Up With SMRR:

Dear Editor,

The leadership of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights has again demonstrated its advocacy of deception, lack of transparency, and contempt for democratic principles.

At its August convention, the vote of 55 percent of the 240 members present was needed to endorse a candidate. City Council candidates Ted Winterer and Kevin McKeown exceeded the standard easily on ballot 1 while Pam O’Connor received 50 percent. On the second ballot, hers was the only name and she again failed to achieve 55 percent, reflective of her checkered history, including the taking of large contributions from two major developers (Macerich and Trammel Crow).

SMRR Co-Chair Patricia Hoffman then stated that its steering committee, consisting of 10 to 15 long-term supporters whose identities have been concealed, could overturn O’Connor’s rejection. All hell broke loose because the audience wanted its verdict to be honored. Hoffman then stated that Winterer and McKeown would be listed on all SMRR campaign materials as being “endorsed” while O’Connor (if chosen) would be labeled as “supported.” Guess what? The small group anointed O’Connor, nullifying the will of the vast majority.

The “endorsed”/”supported” distinction was made up by Hoffman to appease an angry audience. O’Connor is listed, along with the two endorsed candidates, in two SMRR flyers sent to all city residents as if the membership chose her as well.

This unacceptable conduct by Hoffman comes while SMRR has refused requests by Bill Bauer, myself, and many others that copies of the SMRR By-laws be provided to members. SMRR’s secrecy is intolerable. Even several SMRR-recommended candidates for council and school board are omitting references to the organization in their campaign materials. They know Santa Monica has begun to realize that current SMRR leadership, drunk on its own power, is no longer acting on behalf of residents. They should all be ousted.

Stan Epstein, Santa Monica

in Opinion
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