CITY HALL — The Santa Monica police officers and firefighters want to stick with the status quo for City Council.
The Police Officers’ Association (POA) and Firefighters, Local 1109 endorsed incumbents Kevin McKeown and Pam O’Connor, along with former Planning Commissioner Frank Gruber, this week.
The incumbents “have consistent track records of voting for issues that favor community safety and ensure the highest quality of emergency services,” the two groups said in a release. “This year, both Council Members voted to increase both Police and Fire Department staffing to safely provide emergency services during the heavily attended Pier Twilight Concert Series.”
Historically low crime rates, the organizations said in their release, are due in part to the council’s leadership.
They laud Gruber in a separate portion of the release, claiming that he is committed to providing the resources that will keep the city safe.
“He is devoted to providing SMPD the tools and resources necessary to protect the community,” they said. “Frank Gruber is also dedicated to maintaining the level of service the Santa Monica Fire Department provides as it faces an increasing call volume and expanding scope of emergencies.”
As the November election approaches, many of the major endorsements are already on the table.
Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), the city’s largest political party and purveyors of what is arguably the most important endorsement, did not endorse any candidates at its convention this year. The group’s Steering Committee voted to support McKeown and Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy. They may vote to support a third candidate somewhere down the line, according to the group’s co-chair.
In 2012, the year of the last council election, SMRR spent nearly $166,000, according to campaign disclosure statements filed with City Hall. As of its most recent filing, SMRR has more than $73,000 on hand.
The POA spent more than $60,000 in the last election year and currently holds more than $81,000. The firefighters political fund spent $11,127 in the last election year and have $28,000 on hand as of the most recent filing.
Unite Here Local 11, a hospitality union, endorsed Gruber and McKeown earlier this month. The union is known for its ability to provide door-to-door campaigning on behalf of the candidates it supports.
On Labor Day, the Coalition for Santa Monica City Employees endorsed O’Connor, McKeown, and former Mayor Michael Feinstein. That group spent $18,000 in the last election year and holds nearly $11,000 as of last filing.
McKeown and Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich were endorsed by the Santa Monica Democratic Club, which spent more than $10,000 in the last election year. The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, an organization that has opposed numerous developments and decisions by city and elected officials, was first out of the box, endorsing McKeown, Himmelrich and Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon while candidates were still pulling paperwork. The group spent nearly $16,000 in the last election year.
Residocracy, a slow-growth group formed this year that successfully challenged a controversial development through a referendum, is taking its time. As of last check, they planned to run an online membership poll to determine who will be endorsed.

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