You’ve Got A Friend In SMRR

By Ed Hunsaker, SMRR Hotline Volunteer

The SMRR Hotline is not an election campaign. There is no election night
victory. No one assumes office and elected power by answering a tenant’s phone call. The Hotline is simply doing what SMRR set out to do: helping those who need a helping hand.

In early February, the Hotline Team was invited to a meeting where longtime SMRR leaders acknowledged the contributions of my fellow team members who volunteer every day to answer phone calls and fulfill the core mission of SMRR to help residents of Santa Monica.

When executive orders were issued in March in response to the Coronavirus, residents were told to “stay home and stay safe.” But for renters, that created another danger: lose your job, lose your income, lose your ability to pay rent, lose your home. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Renters had no choice. The order to stay home was the law. The loss of income was the law of circumstance. Inescapable. Devastating.

Our City Council acted – immediately. They protected tenants from eviction by enacting a moratorium against evictions. The SMRR Hotline Team went into action, doing double-time answering calls and fielding questions from worried renters who feared being forced into the rising numbers of homelessness.
SMRR Hotliners have remained on the frontline. And so has everyone else. Hotliners are simply a part of the larger team: Elected and appointed officials in Santa Monica who are paid nothing and virtually nothing for the enormous time it takes to stay on top of complex issues to ensure that SMRR’s goals are the DNA of all vital decisions that govern the City. And the entire SMRR membership who consistently show up and consistently put in endless hours of volunteer effort to pursue the core values of Santa Monica.

That’s the team. The entire team’s work is the reason tenants believe they can find help by call- ing the SMRR hotline. If any part of the team didn’t show up to help achieve SMRR’s goals, no one would call us for help. There would not be a
Hotline. Every single member of SMRR can be proud she/he has helped to make Santa Monica as good as it is. The SMRR Hotline is 310-394-0848.

A very special thank you goes to Michael Tarbet for starting the Hotline nearly 30 years ago and for staying at the helm, on duty, leading this entire effort for decades, and to Robin Sherry for managing our schedule. We appreciate you!

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