So, who is Jeff Decker?
As a write-in candidate for City Council whose name won’t appear on the ballot, local odds-makers are rating him a heavy underdog — to put it mildly — to win one of five seats that are up for grabs on Nov. 2.
But that hasn’t kept him from going all-out, printing up campaign signs, holding fundraisers and hosting voter registration drives at The Yard, a Downtown bar and restaurant he co-owns.
“I wanted to give a whole-hearted campaign, regardless of my write-in status, and really see what kind of impact I can make,” he said on Thursday.
He said he’s concerned with the same issues most local politicians cite as most important: traffic, homelessness and development.
Still, he claims he would bring a unique perspective to the council.
“I do have a different exposure because of my restaurant,” he said. “I do have more access to 20- to 30-somethings, so maybe I need to be that voice.”
He said he also has support among fellow Downtown business people who sometimes feel ignored by City Hall.
“The second that I talk to other business owners, they say, ‘We have to get you on there. We need a voice,’” he said. “There is a certain need to get some representation for the business community, but doing it in a balanced way.”
The son of a political consultant who ran campaigns for Democrats and Republicans in Scranton, Penn., Decker has lived on the Westside for 16 years, 10 of them in Santa Monica, he said. He opened The Yard, located on Broadway, in 2007 and previously operated another establishment under the same name from 2002 to 2004 in Santa Monica.