At the California Democratic Party state convention in Anaheim this past weekend, Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown was re-elected as southern vice-chair of the Party’s Irish-American Caucus.
McKeown, who has lived in Santa Monica most of his life, holds dual citizenship in the United States and the Republic of Ireland.
McKeown’s efforts to forge a sister-city relationship with the Irish city of Galway was supported by the Caucus.
Galway, like Santa Monica, is a small west-coast city, on a bay, with a strong tradition of arts and culture.
McKeown has reached out to Galway Mayor Donal Lyons and to the Santa Monica Sister City Association to explore formal ties, as Santa Monica already enjoys with cities in Mexico, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
McKeown in August will visit Fujinomiya, Japan, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of sisterhood with that small city on the flanks of Mt. Fuji.
The Irish-American caucus also unanimously backed Mayor McKeown’s motion to support the “RaiseLA” campaign to create living wages for hospitality workers in Los Angeles.
Santa Monica pioneered such efforts fifteen years ago, and recently set a $15.37-an-hour wage floor in hotel development agreements.
“Too long we have let wages lag behind productivity, creating ever greater hurdles for working families,” McKeown said. “Children miss out on parental support and education opportunities when mothers and fathers must work two jobs just to make ends meet.”
Eliminating income inequality was a major theme of the Democratic convention, with keynote speaker Elizabeth Warren receiving thunderous ovations for her call for a progressive campaign to give lower-income families a path upward and restore the American middle class.