By Tony Vazquez, Mayor
As Mayor of Santa Monica, I have one simple and fundamental goal for this year: I want to get things done.
I want to thank former mayor Kevin McKeown, who helped identify the “game changers” needed in Santa Monica and began the work. Now it’s time we continue making those game changers a reality. I will work diligently and collaboratively to protect our community from overdevelopment, help fund affordable housing; improve transit; elevate educational achievement; provide transitions for homeless people; and resolve the future of the airport land.
I will continue to secure viable, sustainable funding to increase housing options for people of all income levels. An integrated residential environment requires creative solutions for smart slow growth that ensures our community will improve not worsen our traffic congestion. I will collaborate with our housing partners to preserve our housing stock, and protect our renters.
Smart growth also means paying workers a living wage. A living wage strengthens the workforce and generates higher sales and overall profits for our business sector. We’re proud of the Minimum Wage ordinance passed this year.
I pledge support for upgrading Santa Monica’s transportation systems. The extension of Metro’s Expo Light Rail into Santa Monica, extended services by the Big Blue Bus and completion of the refurbished California Incline Bridge, will together reduce traffic congestion, auto emissions and behind-the-wheel frustration.
Supported by 7.5 million visitors a year and more than 40,000 people in our downtown area every day, the business sector will also profit from comprehensive traffic relief.
We must also make a major investment in education. Our lifelong learning collaboration “Learn + Thrive” has forged a coalition of schools, service providers and residents to advance education. With the city’s Community and Cultural Services Department and 5-star public library system we will enhance this effort.
The public’s input will be essential in provid- ing transitions for homeless people, especially veterans, seniors, families and disabled people into permanent housing. This effort is fiscally responsible and morally right.
I will continue the fight for local control of airport lands mandated by voters with Measure LC. We will pressure federal elected officials and the FAA to resolve long-standing airport issues which negatively impact our communities and our neighbors.
My Santa Monica friends, colleagues and constituents, this is a year for action. We have studied, examined and analyzed our city’s needs. Now it’s time to simply GET THINGS DONE.