Zoe Muntaner. Photo by Asa Mathat.

This scorching heat wave seems endless. I’ve never perspired so much indoors in my life. In forty years of living here I can’t remember it this hot for this long. Today is supposed to be cooler but then it’s going to heat up once more. All I can say is wake me when it’s winter.
Actually, I’m reminded of what Mark Twain said. “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” At this rate, the meek won’t inherit the earth, those with air conditioning will.
Speaking of weather, a political hurricane has recently hit Santa Monica in the form of City Council candidate Zoe Muntaner. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Zoe describes herself as a “Puerto Rican rainmaker.”
In fact, Zoe, who moved here in 1997, was the last council candidate to qualify for this year’s ballot. And, if you like your candidates strong, controversial and opinionated, Zoe might be one of your choices in November.
A media and communications professional, Zoe responded to my Facebook post publicizing a link fundraising for the family of Daniel Archuleta, our late and longtime Managing Editor at the Daily Press.
Daniel, 38, passed away almost two months ago, leaving behind his widow, Gayatri, and two daughters, Lila, 10 and Gabriella, 8. His passing is a huge loss for us at the paper (and the community) that we will likely feel for years. Having met Daniel, Zoe asked if she could help his family by dedicating the entire 11 days of the Compassion Games in Santa Monica in his memory.
For those uninitiated the Games came about in 2012 when the enlightened Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fisher, declared his city the most compassionate city in the world. (Until proven otherwise.) Seattle jumped in saying “Game on!” and that’s when the Compassion Games were born.
Last September, Zoe came to prominence locally when, all by herself, she brought the Charter for Compassion to a successful unanimous vote at City Council. This made Santa Monica the first city in Los Angeles County to sign.
Sunday is the United Nations International Day of Peace but on Saturday, to celebrate, Zoe is inviting everyone to the Herb Alpert Educational Village at New Roads School at 3131 Olympic. From 7:30 to 9:30 pm there will be art, music, films and speakers.
But back to the hotly contested council race where Zoe is a whirlwind of energy, ideas and optimism. Not to rain on her parade (am I overdoing the “weather theme”?) this is my 20th election in Santa Monica and I can count on one hand the number of council candidates who’ve won without big time endorsements. And for the last three-plus decades that has meant SMRR.
Faced with my cautions, Zoe proclaims boldly, “I don’t have a molecule of doubt in my body but that I will win.” I’m not sure how much Yiddish is spoken in Puerto Rico but Zoe definitely has chutzpah.
Among Zoe’s many role models is Bobby Shriver, because “He thinks globally.” (Her personal motto is “Go big or go home.”) She also admires spiritual teacher, author and lecturer, Marianne Wiliamson who, interestingly enough, supports Shriver in his current Supervisor’s race.
Zoe and I have a bit in common. Well, kind of. She gets up at the crack of dawn and then meditates for two hours. I, on the other hand, often am climbing into bed at the crack of dawn and instead of meditating, I take a shower. Zoe has taught yoga and Pilates whereas I eat yogurt and can spell Pilates. (The similarities are uncanny.)
Though decades apart, we also both went to UCLA. But Zoe’s education includes the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Sarah Lawrence. In high school I once dated a girl named Sara Lawrence. (Who didn’t appreciate my joke about the coincidence of her name, minus the “h,” and the school. Go figure.)
At 45 and the third youngest in the field, Zoe is proud to be a bilingual candidate with extensive travel throughout her life. “I possess a perspective of global progressive policies which I feel will be valuable for Santa Monica.”
Contending that “The future of our city is being forged right now,” Zoe adds, “we need slow, creative growth, and need to protect tenants’ rights and enforce tenant harassment laws.” While hurricanes are currently causing havoc in Baja, Hurricane Zoe promises she’ll do the same at City Hall.
Zoe’s adamant that our City Attorney and Rent Control Board have fallen down on the job of enforcing anti-tenant harassment laws. And, with regard to the airport, she’s also highly critical of the city’s “botched handling of the lawsuit against the F.A.A.” (Please e-mail her not me!)
Being realistic, I don’t know if Zoe has a ghost of a chance. However, I can safely say this. Given this heat we could definitely use a rain maker.
For more information go to: www.CompasionateSantaMonica.org
and www.zoe4citycouncil.org To help the Archuleta family go to: http://tinyurl.com/ArchuletaFund. Jack can be reached at jnsmdp@aol.com.

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