The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit has announced a comprehensive month-long campaign for the month of April to increase community awareness of the fair housing laws and to help eliminate housing discrimination in the City. April is National Fair Housing Month and 2015 is the 47th Anniversary of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

The City’s fair housing awareness campaign includes activities for community members of all ages:

Fair Housing Poster Contest

Almost 200 elementary and middle school students from Santa Monica participated in the City’s annual Fair Housing Poster Contest this year, creating colorful posters that feature the 2015 theme: Fair Housing Brings Hope. A panel of seven judges had the tough but enjoyable task of selecting nine finalists. The nine finalists’ posters will be on display in the lobby of City Hall during the week of April 20. Four of the posters will also be published as calendars for 2016 and will be part of the City’s fair housing ad campaign.

The nine student finalists include: Ramona Gutierrez, first grade at Will Rogers (Calendar Award); Indigo Lander, second grade at Roosevelt Elementary (Judge’s Choice and Calendar Awards); Siena Garza, third grade at Saint Anne School; Nneka Moweta, fourth grade at Saint Anne School; Lesley Marcado, fifth grade at Saint Anne School; Illeana Martin, sixth grade, Saint Anne School; Leo Kato, seventh grade at Lincoln Middle School (Calendar Award); Dana Caballero, seventh grade at Saint Anne School; Zoe Lin, eighth grade at Lincoln Middle School (Calendar Award).

People’s Choice Award: On Monday, April 20, the students, teachers, parents and general public are welcome to come view the nine posters from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in City Hall, and vote for their favorite poster. The poster with the most votes will get the People’s Choice Award.
A poster created by Indigo Lander a second grade student at Roosevelt Elementary will be used in advertising.

Fair Housing Workshop

The City’s Attorney’s office also invites the public to its fair housing workshop on rental issues on Thursday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. registration) at the Santa Monica Main Library (Sixth Street and Santa Monica Blvd). The workshop will explain the laws that prohibit housing discrimination. There will also be a panel on disability issues in rental housing. The presenters include Susie Lein, a partner from the law firm of Kimball, Tirey, & St. John; Chancela Al Mansour, Executive Director of the Housing Rights Center; Denise McGranahan, Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles; and Gary Rhoades, Deputy City Attorney, City of Santa Monica.

Organizers said the workshop and poster contest are annual events that demonstrate the importance of equal opportunity in housing to the City.

All owners, property managers, tenants, advocates, and attorneys are invited to RSVP by April 19 and attend the workshop free of charge. A continental breakfast will be provided and library parking will be validated. Register at www.smconsumer.org, to the right of the page under “What’s New”, and clicking on the link entitled, “City Attorney’s Office Hosts Free Workshop: Fair Housing Issues in Rental Housing.”

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