March 5, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Sue Himmelrich Selected as Santa Monica’s Mayor

Kristen McCowan selected as mayor pro tempore as new councilmembers are sworn in

By Sam Catanzaro

Sue Himmelrich is Santa Monica’s new mayor after being selected by a recently-installed City Council.

“We have an opportunity to move our community forward past this deadly virus, past our differences, and toward a future that we can all be proud of and one that reflects the best of who we are as Santa Monicans,” Mayor Himmelrich said. “I look forward to doing the hard work ahead with my colleagues and to opening lines of two-way communication with community members at a time when connection is harder than ever.”

At a December 8 meeting, City Council selected Himmelrich as Santa Monica’s mayor with a two-year term. Newly-elected Councilmembers Phil Brock, Christine Parra and Oscar de la Torre, along with incumbent Kristen McCowan voted for Himmelrich, who voted for herself. Outgoing mayor Kevin McKeown voted for Gleam Davis, who also voted for herself. In earlier rounds of voting, McKeown unsuccessfully four times motioned to have Davis and Himmelrich each serve a one-year term citing “continuity and leadership and experience.”

“I do believe that the six years I served on the Council qualify me for two years,” Himmelrich said in response to McKeown’s third motion.

Himmelrich– an attorney by trade who has lived in Santa Monica for 28 years and works as Special Counsel for the Western Center on Law and Poverty–joined City Council in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018.

“I have been on this council for six years. I have never sought a leadership position on this council until this moment because I think we are at a critical moment for Santa Monica both because of the pandemic that we all are suffering in and because of the divided nature of our community,” Himmelrich said. “Right out of the box one of the first things I am going to do is set up a personal, not a city, but a personal Zoom meeting that I will hold once a week with the residents of our city to hear what you have to say.”

Following Himmelrich’s selection, Kristin McCowan, a second-generation Santa Monican born and raised in the Pico neighborhood, was chosen as mayor pro tempore, also for a two-year term. McCowan–a former member of the Obama FEMA administration currently working as Executive Director of the Getty House Foundation–became the first Black woman to serve as a Santa Monica City Councilmember when she was appointed to fill a seat left vacant by Greg Morena in July.

“If we can put perceived differences aside, I do think that we can all really work together for the residents of this community,” McCowan said. “I am committed to continuing to work with all Santa Monicans to help our economy recover from COVID, reimagine public safety, compassionately address our unhoused brothers and sisters, improve access to affordable housing and bring about racial justice.”

The meeting, held virtually, began with the official acceptance of the election results and the swearing-in of the newly-elected councilmembers. In the recently-certified election of four councilmembers, challenger and Arts Commissioner Brock finished in first place with 19,319 votes as a member of the slow-growth “Change Slate”.

“I am humbled by the support of over 19,000 of my fellow residents in this election,” Brock during the meeting. “For those of you on this dais who did not support me during the election, I offer my hand in cooperation to work together for this city that we love. I pledge to restore our public safety, dramatically reduce homelessness, stop the overdevelopment of our 145-year-old beachside town and bring the desires of our residents to the forefront of every discussion in this chamber.”

Incumbent Gleam Davis finished in second place with 18,153 votes. Davis– who works as corporate counsel for AT&T–joined the City Council in 2009 to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Herb Katz.

“I look forward to serving with all of you in the next couple of years. We have a lot to do. It obviously is a very difficult time but I think that if we all recognize that the important thing here is what is best for Santa Monica and all of its constituents, that we will be able to get through these difficult times. Santa Monica is resilient and our resilience stems from our strong belief in community and our strong values,” Davis said.

In third place was challenger Christine Parra, another member of the Change Slate, who works as head of emergency services for Culver City.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with my colleagues, residents, neighborhood groups and businesses to effect change and move our city in a direction that is more resident-oriented with quality of life issues top of mind. It’s my intent to prioritize public safety, homelessness, irresponsible development and real affordable housing solutions for Santa Monica residents, and look at ways on how we can support our small and local businesses,” Parra said.

The final council seat won in the election went to Change Slate challenger Oscar de la Torre (17,570 votes), a former Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District School Board member and longtime Pico Neighborhood resident and community activist.

“Three incumbents lost to three challengers and it is important to recognize that the residents of this city want change. They want to see improvements to public safety. They want to return to the parks and to our public space. They want to make sure that we deal with the homelessness crisis in a way that is responsible and compassionate,” de la Torre said. “We need to stop the irresponsible development that is destroying the character of our city. We need to make sure that our public space is protected and that we expand green space for the residents.”

Also at the meeting, outgoing Mayor Kevin McKeown–who led the city through a pandemic that forced hundreds of city layoffs due to a fiscal shortfall–said Santa Monica is “poised for resurgence.”

“Members of our community have supported each other through a truly challenging year, and we must commit to each other’s health and safety for another few months until we all have access to COVID vaccines,” McKeown said. “Being your Mayor this year has been difficult, certainly, but a great honor. Based on the work we’ve done together, Santa Monica is poised for resurgence as the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers. Led by a new Council and a new Mayor, we will discover a reinvented Santa Monica that proves our commitment and our resilience.”

in News
Related Posts

(Video) Sweet Lady Jane is back. The Santa Monica location on Montana soft opened today. Exclusive: The other locations will start to soft open later this week

March 5, 2024

March 5, 2024

The triple berry cake is packed with juicy berries. @Sweet Lady Jane @smmirrornews Sweet Lady Jane is back. The Santa...

Malibu Canyon Road Safety Inspection By LA County Public Works Department Completed

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

Engineers Examine Rockslide Area to Ensure Road Safety for Commuters Los Angeles County Public Works Department officially reopened Malibu Canyon...

Suspect in Custody After Breaking Into Woman’s Residence, Masturbating While She Slept

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

The Man Was Arrested for Burglary, Indecent Exposure and Attempt to Commit Rape By Zach Armstrong A homeless man has...

“We Must Have Significant Green Space Within a 10-Minute Walk of Every Resident”: Mayor Brock Issues 2024 State of the City Speech

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

Plans Were Announced to Rename Virginia Avenue Park After the City’s First Black Recreation & Parks Commissioner By Zach Armstrong...

Instagram Executive Puts Spanish-Style Venice Home on the Market

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

Nestled in the heart of the East of Lincoln neighborhood, the bungalow includes coved ceilings According to a report by...

Seven-Bedroom Beachfront Home Lists for $12.5M

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Built in 1929, Amenities Include a Sparkling Pool, Home Theater and Elevator  This beachfront residence, boasting panoramic views from Palos...

LA City Council Greenlights Master Leasing Program to Tackle Homelessness Crisis

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Unanimous Vote Sets Stage for Different Approach to Expand Housing Options The Los Angeles City Council came one step closer...

LAHSA Report Exposes Failures of Anti-Camping Ordinance, Allegedly Kept Secret Since November

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

City Controller and Council Members Speak Out Against Withheld Report  LA City Controller Kenneth Meija posted comments on social media...

Construction Alert: Topanga Canyon Boulevard Faces Nightly Closures Starting March 4

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

Caltrans Announces 18-Mile Project Spanning Chatsworth to PCH Commuters in the Los Angeles area should prepare for significant delays as...

Film Review: Nyad

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

FILM REVIEWNYADRated PG-13121 MinutesReleased November 3rdOscar Nominations: Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress “I failed many times, but I can...

Security Officers Being Deployed at Big Blue Bus Stations and Routes

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

The Guards will be provided by a firm with other security contracts with the city of Santa Monica  By Zach...

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

Upcoming Ice Cream Shop on Montana Ave. Will Serve Multitude of Vegan Flavors

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

The Company Has Come a Long Way Since Its Humble Beginnings as a New York City Food Truck By Zach...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...