As a former faculty member in the UCLA School of Public Health and a current Santa Monica resident, I want to share with you why I strongly support Measure LC (“Local Control”) to ensure that Santa Monica voters, not special interests (such as pilots or developers) determine the future of our historic airport.
Please let me give you some background. On March 25th of this year, I attended the Santa Monica City Council’s special hearing on “The Future of Santa Monica Airport,” expecting to present about the health and safety risks of having this general aviation airport in such a densely populated area of Santa Monica and West LA.
There was an overflow crowd. I sat through the comments of over 60 people – primarily pilots (including the head of the pilots’ association who flew in from the East Coast to testify), their representatives, and developers. All said the airport must stay open. When it became clear that the meeting had been “packed” by representatives of these special interests so that it would be near midnight before I could speak, I had to leave.
I — and my family — love Santa Monica and the history of our airport; but there are strong, incontrovertible reasons why we need an evolutionary change for SMO.
Please let me add that, as a former West LA Planning Commissioner (I had to resign when my late husband, Dr. E. Richard Brown, founder of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and I moved to Santa Monica in 2008), I found that Santa Monica – just like LA – was largely “ruled” by developers.
For these reasons, I urge you to vote for Measure LC — which will ensure that the voters of Santa Monica, not special interests, determine the future of our airport. (Measure D was crafted by the pilots and other special interests and is deceptive if you read it carefully.)
Marianne P. Brown, Santa Monica
Faculty, UCLA School of Public Health (1984-2004)
Member, West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission (2005-2008)