SMRR - History

SMRR – Leadership for a Special City

A History of People Coming First

In the 1970’s, Santa Monica fell victim to the amazing Los Angeles Real Estate boom. Speculation in apartment buildings was brisk and condo conversions hit the city in force. The Santa Monica City Council turned a deaf ear to the pleas of tenants as skyrocketing rents forces may out of their homes.

In response to the crisis, tenants, neighborhood groups, and local political organizations joined forces in 1978 to form Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR).

Here is what we’ve done:

Rent Control Wins!

On April 10, 1979, SMRR wins passage of the Strongest rent control law in the country and elects two persons to the Santa Monica City Council.

Election Victories:

  • 1979 – 2000 SMRR elects seventeen members to Santa Monica’s City Council. Many serve multiple terms.
  • From its inception in 1979, SMRR candidates win every seat on Santa Monica’s Rent Control Board.
  • Eleven of Santa Monica’s past twelve mayors are SMRR members.

Protection of Rent Control

SMRR elected officials insure that the City of Santa Monica’s legal staff defends the rent control law from constant landlord attacks. On nine separate occasions, out rent control law has been upheld at the state appellate and supreme court levels.

In local elections, SMRR has defeated landlord propositions Q and M, and in Sacramento SMRR has lobbied successfully against legislation which would have destroyed Santa Monica Rent Control.


SMRR is tough on development. In 1988, SMRR regained a majority on the City Council, and in 1989, adopted a one year moratorium on all commercial development, repeating the 1981 moratorium adopted by SMRR’s first City Council majority. SMRR has long been a leading voice for smart, responsible growth in Santa Monica.