Armen Melkonians, founder of the Residocracy movement, speaks to a crowd of supporters gathered outside of City Hall. (Daniel Archuleta

CITYWIDE — The city’s newest political group on the block is now accepting ballots for its endorsement.
Residocracy’s endorsement is arguably one of the last significant group endorsements on the table this season.
The organization, which is most notable for spearheading the successful overturning of a controversial development through a referendum process earlier this year, is accepting votes from its membership on its website.
The 10-member Residocracy Advisory Board is recommending four City Council candidates for “special consideration” by the membership. They are Parks and Recreation Commissioner Phil Brock, Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich, Councilmember Kevin McKeown, and Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon. Brock, Himmelrich, and McKeown got seven votes from the group’s advisory board while Mckinnon got five.
“These recommendations are not endorsements by Residocracy and are intended for informational purposes only,” the website says. “These recommendations represent the four candidates that the RAB believes are qualified to best represent your interests as a resident. The ultimate decision in the Residocracy Endorsement for the City Council race will be made through our Membership Vote.”
Only nine of the 14 candidates returned Residocracy’s questionnaire. Only those who returned the questionnaire were eligible for the endorsement.
The form included questions on a range of topics, from alcohol licenses to government transparency, but the group’s primary concern is with development. They don’t like it. Candidates were asked their opinions on different iterations of specific projects that are at various stages in City Hall’s development agreement pipeline.
Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the city’s largest political party, saw its candidate convention infiltrated earlier this year as groups of people, some with little interest in the party’s ideals, signed up and paid dues with hopes of influencing the highly coveted endorsement. Ultimately, no endorsements were made and the groups Steering Committee elected to support Himmelrich, McKeown, and Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy.
Residocracy does not require its members to pay dues.
Anyone who had signed up with the group at the time of their candidates’ forum in late July received e-mail notifications that they’re eligible to vote in the endorsement process, according to a release from the group.
Endorsement voters are asked to select up to three candidates and are required to provide a full name, e-mail address, street address, and ZIP code.
The voting period opened Wednesday and will close on Tuesday.
There are three contested seats in this year’s council race with one of them being open. Longtime Councilmember Bob Holbrook announced he would not seek reelection earlier this year.
The Daily Press will hold its own forum, Squirm Night, for candidates in all three local, contested races on Oct. 13 at the Broad Stage.

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