September 29, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica City Council Appoints First Black Woman to Serve

City Council chooses Kristin McCowan to fill Greg Morena’s vacant seat

By Sam Catanzaro

Santa Monica appointed this week the first Black woman to serve as a Councilmember–a former member of the Obama administration who currently works under Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

On Tuesday, July 14 Santa Monica City Council appointed Kristin McCowan to the Council. McCowan fills the position vacated by Greg Morena in June and is Santa Monica’s first Black woman to serve as a Councilmember. She was selected from 109 eligible candidates, according to the city.

McCowan’s term lasts until the November election when she will have to run to continue to serve in the partial term seat through November 2022 when Morena’s term would have expired.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my hometown during this critical time,” McCowan said. “I look forward to bringing together our many voices as we work to recover and heal as one community.”

Kristin McCowan and family. Photo: City of Santa Monica.

Prior to her appointment, Morena voiced his support for McCowan, a highschool friend of his. Morena, whose family owns the Albright restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier, resigned last month saying he had to renegotiate the lease. The Santa Monica Pier is owned by the City of Santa Monica, and therefore Morena cited a conflict of interest as the reason behind his resignation.

McCowan– a second-generation Santa Monican born and raised in the Pico neighborhood and attended Santa Monica schools and Santa Monica College–includes “more affordable housing, a more sustainable future, forward-thinking policies,” as among her priorities.

In addition, McCowan listed economic recovery, economic justice, reimagined public safety “that protects everyone” and increasing opportunities for historically disenfranchised and vulnerable communities as areas of focus.

At the Council meeting Tuesday, Councilmember Gleam Davis nominated McCowan and Mayor Kevin McKeown nominated former SMC psychology professor Dr. Karen S. Gunn. McCowan initially garnered the support of Councilmembers Sue Himmelrich, Terry O’Day and Ted Winterer. Councilmember Ana Jara joined McKeown in voting for Gunn before McKeown changed his vote to McCowan.

McCowan recently returned to Santa Monica after her career took her to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the Obama Administration as a Presidential Appointee in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Executive Office of the President. Upon returning to California, she worked as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Chief of Protocol and Director of International Relations and is now the Executive Director for Getty House Foundation, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles.

In addition, McCowan is on the Santa Monica Pier Board, a post she will have to vacate.

McCowan’s appointment makes for the second time in history Santa Monica City Council is a majority woman and for the first time composed of a majority of Councilmembers who were initially appointed as opposed to elected.

Prior to the meeting, several members of the public gave comments via telephone urging the council to keep Morena’s seat vacant until November, including Dalton Smith, a member of Santa Monicans for Democracy, who said “let the residents of Santa Monica fill the vacant seat and not the City Council.”

Related Posts

Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer’s

September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020

Alzheimer’s Association encouraging residents to walk in small groups amid COVID-19 The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Santa Monica residents to...

Lawsuit Filed Against Plaza Development

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Slow-growth group says City is violating Surplus Land Act By Sam Catanzaro A slow-growth group has filed a lawsuit to...

City Of Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project: Santa Monica Beat – September, 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project. * LA Street...

Santa Monica Police Make Additional Arrests in Looting of REI

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Marques Miles and Misty Jones arrested by Santa Monica Police Department Santa Monica police recently made additional arrests of two...

OpEd: The Miramar Project Will Be a New Architectural Jewel

September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020

The Miramar Hotel has been a central part of Santa Monica’s history and an integral part of the community for...

Edify TV: Trident Center Redevelopment

September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

The Westside’s Trident Center is getting a major overhaul and new name as part of a flurry of development in...

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...

Local Breweries Say They Have Been Unfairly Shuttered as County Passes Grant Program

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...