EASTSIDE — Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP), a coalition of Westsiders fighting to shut down Santa Monica Airport or at least dramatically cut back on the number of flights there, has made its endorsements for the City Council race.

The group, formed in response to an increase in jet operations over the last decade, has selected Santa Monica Planning Commissioners Ted Winterer and Richard McKinnon, writer and entertainment lawyer Frank Gruber, and former City Councilman Tony Vazquez, according to a press release issued by the group on Monday.

There are currently four seats up for grabs and 15 candidates who have qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot.

“CRAAP believes that the current council is not representing the best interests of Santa Monica; hence we did not endorse either incumbent,” said Martin Rubin, CRAAP director. “We also believe that Santa Monica voters have a unique opportunity to elect Santa Monica City Council representation that will reflect the will of Santa Monica residents.”

Among the criteria that helped in making the endorsements were:

1) Support for the 1981 Santa Monica Council Resolution 6296; It states, that It is the policy of the city of Santa Monica to effect the closure of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport as soon as possible and to devote the property on which it is located to its highest and best use and for an environment consistent with the city’s generally residential character.

2) Support for maintaining open space in place of the airport and adding traffic arterials to help alleviate Westside traffic.

3) Support for adding Los Angeles representation to the Santa Monica Airport Commission in an advisory non-voting capacity.

CRAAP claims that jet traffic at SMO has increased from 500 jet takeoffs in 1983 to 9,000 in 2007. Since then the number has dropped to roughly 6,500.

“That reduction is not an all-clear signal to those forced to breathe toxic jet emissions,” Rubin said. “Many are deeply disappointed that the city of Santa Monica has made no real effort to use its rights as owner and operator of SMO to address environmental air pollution even after many scientific studies show serious cause for alarm.”

To learn more, visit jetairpollution.com



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