Working Together for Our Santa Monica
By Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown
Never underestimate the importance of having SMRR’s platform – which you helped write – guide the future of our city. (SMRR’s 2010 Platform) Here are some of the things your SMRR-majority City Council has done lately:
- Expanded and continued support of Santa Monica schools, fulfilling SMRR’s commitment to public education with an ongoing unrestricted grant of $7.6 million annually.
- Protected renters against harassment and eviction (watch for further protections on the November ballot!).
- Maintained city services to youth, seniors, and the disadvantaged despite the worst recession since SMRR began.
- Developed a new Land Use and Circulation Element to guide city planning, which extends unprecedented protections to Santa Monica’s neighborhoods.
- Strengthened our affordable-housing production program, even in the face of state raids on local redevelopment and housing funds.
- Funded police resources to reduce Santa Monica crime to the lowest levels in fifty years.
- Implemented effective and compassionate homelessness programs that have lowered the number of people suffering on the street by 19%, the second annual reduction in a row.
- Approved and funded a new neighborhood library for the Pico neighborhood, the city’s first in over fifty years.
- Opened the Annenberg Community Beach House, an affordable and historic recreational facility open to all members of the public, with no membership required.
- Sued the Federal Aviation Administration over unsafe faster jets using Santa Monica Airport’s housing-adjacent runway, and fought FAA efforts to divert planes over Sunset Park and Ocean Park.
- Consolidated solid-waste and trash-transfer functions at our City Yards, bringing all commercial waste pickup under city control to reduce truck traffic and increase recycling.
- Led the state on protecting renters from second-hand smoke in multi-family housing, after having banned smoking in our parks, on our beaches, in outdoor dining areas, and along the Third Street Promenade.
- Opposed Proposition 8, thereby standing up for equity and fairness with respect to civil marriage for same-sex couples.
- Funded plans for capping the freeway in key locations, providing additional parkland at the Civic Center and Memorial Park.
- Preserved historic landmarks through innovative conservation and adaptive re-use agreements.
- Worked with the Expo Authority and Santa Monica College, as good neighbors, to minimize the impact of a light-rail maintenance yard on the Pico neighborhood.
- Demanded and funded restoration of local Santa Monica fire dispatch capabilities after regional dispatch efforts failed to deliver quick and accurate deployment of firefighters and paramedics.
- Granted a significant tax break to home-based businesses in Santa Monica, encouraging more time with family and community and less time commuting and polluting.
- Worked with Ocean Park activists to plan and fund the greenest street in town, the new Ocean Park Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Project.
- Created a taxi franchise system to control local taxicab companies and provide mobility-enhancing taxi vouchers to Santa Monica seniors.
- Celebrated the 100th anniversary of the historic Santa Monica Pier, and helped save the financially struggling but much-beloved Twilight Dance Series.
- Mandated stricter enforcement of Development Agreements, municipal code, and conditional use violations, particularly where they affect housing.
- Through stormwater, urban-runoff, and other environmental programs, improved Heal the Bay’s water quality grades for Santa Monica beaches.
- Formed an Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force to evaluate programs and policies to protect, preserve and enhance one of our greatest assets, Santa Monica’s trees.
- Provided free bicycle valet parking at many community celebrations, and worked with organizers on Zero Waste plans to make the events fully sustainable.
- Passed and began implementing “Creative Capital,” a citywide plan to expand and enhance the integration of arts and culture into every aspect of Santa Monica life.