On Nov. 4, 2014, the voters of Santa Monica overwhelmingly supported Measure LC – to preserve local control of our airport land and prevent development of our land without a vote of residents – by a whopping 60.4 percent mandate. That same democratic electorate also soundly defeated (by almost the same 60 percent margin) rival Measure D that would have prevented changes in airport operations in perpetuity, ceding control of our land to Big Aviation.
Measure LC amends our City Charter to provide important local protections that voters and community organizations embraced: 1) LC retained our City Council’s rights to regulate airport use, manage leases, and to reduce or close all or part of the airport facilities; 2) LC says no new development on that land shall be allowed until the voters have approved limits on the uses and development that may occur on the land; 3) Only parks, public open spaces, public recreational facilities, and the maintenance and replacement of existing cultural, arts and education uses can replace aviation uses as they vacate.
Thanks to Measure LC, some aviation uses are vacating, and we now have 12 additional acres of parks and recreation uses being planned to replace aircraft parking lots. That shows results, whether by 5, 500, or 5,000 votes. Only anti-democracy forces – such as Big Aviation that opposed LC and sponsored Measure D – would attempt to diminish this democratically achieved electoral mandate.
Gloria Garvin was one of the vocal residents opposing LC. And in her recent letter to the editor, she continues to support Big Aviation and trying to link the argument that LC’s big win was not the will of Santa Monica residents. Really? In addition to 60 percent of the voters, about three dozen civic, neighborhood and environmental groups endorsed LC, while none registered support for Measure D. Is Ms. Garvin arguing that their support is irrelevant or misguided as well?
Ms. Garvin points out that Measure D’s 10,288 “yes” votes – 150 more votes that former Mayor Kevin McKeown’s 10,138 top-Council-candidate-vote-getting tally – somehow revives Measure D, but that’s only because she fails to complete the equation:
o Measure D’s 10,288 “yes” votes were walloped by its own 14,688 “no” votes.
o Measure D’s 10,288 “yes” votes were more importantly shellacked by Measure LC’s 15,343 “yes” votes (almost 50 percent more than those in support of D).
o Measure D received 13,083 “no” votes, about 35 percent more than Measure LC’s 10,096 “no” votes.
In fact, Measure LC received more “yes” votes than all five measures and all 30 candidates in that election cycle, despite the almost-million-dollar campaign against it.
Seemingly out of desperation, she attaches a non-existent “pro-development” spin to LC, the same spin that Big Aviation employed in their misleading Measure D campaign – peppered with lies and half-truths – and soundly rejected by the voters.
We should never forget that Measure D’s campaign slogan was, “Let the Voters Decide.” That’s exactly what happened in November of 2014. Measure LC’s win was historic, and LC’s 60 percent electoral mandate was icing on the cake. Local control of our airport land is more critical now than ever. Let’s not let anti-democracy forces within our city or in Washington diminish our victory nor rewrite our history.
Mike Salazar is a former member of the disbanded YES on LC/NO on D “Committee for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Land” (CLCSMAL) Executive Committee.