The Sierra Club announced Friday its endorsements for the three Santa Monica City Council seats at the Nov. 4 election: incumbent Kevin McKeown, along with Planning Commissioners Sue Himmelrich and Richard McKinnon.
The club is the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots community-based environmental organization.
The club said the three had principles and records that most reflect the Sierra Club members’ concerns.
“It was a challenging effort to research and interview so many good candidates, including several we have endorsed in the past,” said Marcia Hanscom, Executive Committee member for the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, who led a seven-person endorsement team that did the research, reviewed extensive questionnaires and interviewed the top eight candidates.
After the endorsement team made its recommendation, several additional levels of review at the Sierra Club were required.
“Once our work was complete, the decisions at every level of review were relatively simple: Kevin McKeown, Sue Himmelrich and Richard McKinnon rose to the top of this impressive groups of candidates,” Hanscom said. “We are confident that Kevin, Sue and Richard will truly turn the City of Santa Monica from its reputation as being green, to being ‘deep green.’”
Some of the green initiatives that impressed the Club were the “depth of commitment by these candidates to close and convert the polluting and unsafe Santa Monica Airport into a large park and to plant significantly more trees in the city – making it an ‘arboretum.'”
The club said “also impressive were the strong commitments of the candidates to slow down the overdevelopment that has contributed to the choking westside traffic congestion, severely altered the quality of life in Santa Monica and threatens to bring high-rise structures to the city’s shoreline.”
David Haake, a physician who is chair of the West LA Group for the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter chimed in with his concern about wanting to make sure people vote in this Nov. 4 election. (Santa Monica falls within the geographic boundaries for the West LA Group).
“We urge every resident in Santa Monica to get out and vote on November 4th, and as we know citizens in Santa Monica care about the environment, we urge them all to vote for our endorsed candidates: Kevin McKeown, Sue Himmelrich and Richard McKinnon,” Haake said. “If these candidates are elected, the City of Santa Monica will burnish its reputation as a truly ‘green city’ more than it ever has before.”
Sierra Club has also taken a position in favor of ballot measure LC and opposed to ballot measure D – underscoring its position in favor of closing Santa Monica Airport when the City’s agreement with the FAA is completed and converting the land into a park.