Make parks a priority


We need to think about the fabric of neighborhoods and how to make them work for people’s daily lives.

People interested in renters rights might consider that advocating for development subsidies for low-income apartments, when it comes to codification in development plans, may be a roundabout, but literal, form of entrapment.

Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) advocates need to immediately wake up to see that renters are people, too. Renters need parks in the plan first, that way they find themselves looking forward to more of a life than living and working in a web of cement and walls.

Voters have been lazy in this understanding. Now they are paying attention because we have now reached the threshold. It’s just a matter of time before this reality reaches the ballot box. The proportional goal of 3 to 5 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents needs to be advocated as a primary function of SMRR!

Proud renters make up the largest advocacy group in Santa Monica, yet, for the most part, are not aware that important benefits from developers earmarked for renters are mostly codified for future renters and not for current voting residents.

At the same time, while there are some voting residents that already live near a park, other development is in a planning stage or does not exist yet, and there are no parks in the plans of any consequence. This letter is prepared to help advocate for a good discussion about the balance of community benefits for current and future renters from developers. And for parks.

“It is one great purpose of the park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God’s handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.”

— Frederick Law Olmsted


Ken Robin

Santa Monica

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