The American flag in front of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Headquarters was flown at half-mast Monday in memory of the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. (Photo by Daniel Archuleta)

 

 

With Labor Day now over, the election season has moved into high gear and the past two weeks have seen a surge in endorsements from local organizations.

Municipal Employees

The Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees PAC has endorsed the four incumbents for City Council: Mayor Tony Vasquez, Mayor Pro Tempore Ted Winterer, Councilmembers Gleam Davis and Terry O’ Day.

“It was clear that as a team, our City Council is focused on relieving traffic, making smart planning and land use decisions, reducing homelessness. Mayor Vasquez, Councilmembers Ted Winterer, Gleam Davis, and Terry O’ Day are the best choice for renters, homeowners, and the city employees who deliver the services,” said Lauralee Asch, Coalition PAC President.

The organization represents more than 1,600 city employees from multiple individual unions. The endorsements were based on a questionnaire and in-person interviews.

Police and Fire

The Santa Monica Police Officers’ Association and the Santa Monica Firefighters, Local 1109 are also backing the incumbents.

“In the last two years, all four Council Members have voted to increase public safety staffing in response to significant increased demands of the Police and Fire Departments,” said the endorsement announcement.

The letter cites the group’s support for increasing staffing levels in the police and fire departments, approval of more equipment and prioritization of public safety needs.

The combined Police/Firefighters announcement also included a rejection of Measure LV citing the potential impact on public safety buildings or rebuilding after a disaster.

“For example, Measure LV would necessitate a vote for the recently approved 40’ tall Fire Station in downtown Santa Monica,” said the release. “The new state of the art structure will replace the existing seismically non-compliant downtown Fire Station which was built in 1955. Measure LV would at best delay construction after a public campaign to educate voters on the needs of the Fire Department, and at worst result in the station being voted down and the lengthy design and building process to restart.”

The group said Measure LV, also known as the LUVE initiative, would delay reconstruction after a disaster posing additional dangers to public safety employees.

“Delaying reconstruction of buildings after any large scale disaster not only negatively affects the residents who live in the buildings, but hinders public safety for all of Santa Monica, as uninhabited structures are magnets for squatters and other criminal behavior,” said the release.

Santa Monica Democratic Club.

Local democrats held two meetings to determine endorsements. The organization issued recommendations candidates and measures in the past week.

CITY COUNCIL — Ted Winterer, Tony Vazquez and Gleam Davis.

SANTA MONICA COLLEGE TRUSTEE — Sion Roy, Susan Aminoff and Rob Rader.

RENT CONTROL BOARD — Anastasia Foster and Caroline Torosis

SANTA MONICA MEASURES — YES on GS, GSH, SM and V. NO on LV.

COUNTY MEASURES — YES on M and A.

STATEWIDE MEASURES — YES on 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 67. NO on 53, 65, 66.

Santa Monica Forward

Santa Monica Forward is advocacy group that lists equity, sustainability and diversity as their guiding principles. The organization is active in promoting affordable housing, transit options and promoting a strong local economy. Forward is actively opposing Measure LV and has formed a PAC to run a “No” campaign.

The organization’s steering committee voted to support the four Santa Monica City Council incumbents running for reelection (Vazquez, Winterer, O’Day and Davis).

“While we may not always agree with every decision made by the Council, we believe that our current council members have and will continue to do excellent work in shaping the future of our city, as well as encouraging civil, constructive, and fact-based dialogue around the issues we care so much about,” said the endorsement letter.

Forward also voted to support several ballot measures. The Committee endorsed Measure V (a bond to fund Santa Monica College), Measures GS and GSH and County-wide Measures M and A.

“While Measures GS and GSH won’t solve our housing crisis or provide all the funding we need for our schools, these measures together are necessary to pass if we are to maintain our commitment to diversity and to quality accessible education for our children,” said the press release.

American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter (AIA|LA) released a statement officially opposing Measure LV.

“Santa Monica currently has one of the region’s most extensive, thorough and transparent public approval processes for development projects. The chapter believes Measure LV would undercut this process with costly, inefficient election campaigns that favor only the largest projects and the wealthiest developers. The AIA|LA encourages a No vote on Measure LV in November,” said the statement.

Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City

The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City said they are endorsing Measure LV.

“Without LUVE, the City’s failed development and traffic policies and millions of square feet of planned new development will lead to ever worsening gridlock, spreading even more into our neighborhoods.  With LUVE, developers will be forced to come up with better projects, knowing residents will have the final say,” said their statement.

Older actions

Several neighborhood groups have previously endorsed Measure LV. The Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition passed a resolution in June.

“WILMONT supports the Land Use Empowerment initiative (LUVE) initiative to control development, preserve our open skies and beach-town quality of life, fight traffic, protect renters from gentrification, and discourage developers from tearing down small buildings so they can build bigger ones,” it said.

Ballot Measures and Propositions

MEASURE GS ADVISORY VOTE ONLY — If a local transactions and use tax is enacted in Santa Monica, should half its revenue be used to improve and maintain local public schools, including attracting and retaining high-quality teachers, expanding access to pre-schools, assisting at-risk students, and improving school technology, arts, music, math, and science instruction; and half to help preserve and ensure housing in Santa Monica that is affordable, protect residents from displacement by rising housing costs, and reduce homelessness?

MEASURE GSH — To maintain and improve Santa Monica community services including support for preservation of affordable housing, reducing homelessness, school repair and improvement, education of Santa Monica children and students, and other general fund services, shall an ordinance be adopted to enact a Santa Monica one-half percent Santa Monica’s transactions and use tax, subject to independent annual audits, all funds used locally, no money going to Sacramento, raising approximately $16 million annually, until ended by the voters?

MEASURE LV — Shall the City’s General Plan and Municipal Code be amended to require: a new permit process for major development projects exceeding base sizes or heights of 32-36 feet, with exceptions such as single unit dwellings and some affordable housing projects; voter approval of major development projects and development agreements, excluding affordable housing and moderate income and senior housing projects, among others; and voter approval of changes to City land use and planning policy documents?

MEASURE SM — Shall Article XXII of the City Charter be amended to, among other things: expand the prohibition against kickbacks as rewards for certain official actions, create an exemption for volunteers serving certain City-funded non-profits, clarify the application of the Article’s prohibitions, the City Attorney’s authority and enforcement responsibilities, and the scope of available remedies?

SANTA MONICA COLLEGE: MEASURE V — To improve local access to affordable higher education for high school graduates/ adults/ veterans; improve education/ career training in math, science, writing, arts, business; shall Santa Monica Community College District issue $345,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, with citizens oversight/ annual audits, to repair, upgrade, construct, modernize, equip facilities for technology, science/ biotech, college readiness; repair aging, leaky classrooms, remove asbestos, upgrade disabled access, seismic and campus safety?

Proposition 51 — School Bonds. Funding for K–12 School and Community College Facilities through $9 billion in bonds.

Proposition 52 — Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Voter approval would be required before state lawmakers could divert money from a mandatory hospital fee supporting Medi-Cal programs to other general fund priorities.

Proposition 53 — Revenue Bonds. Voter approval would be required before the state could issue bonds of more than $2 billion for infrastructure projects.

Proposition 54 — Legislature rules. Requires posting of bills for a least 72 hours before a vote can be made, requires recordings of meetings be made and published within 24 hours, allows recording of any open meeting.

Proposition 55 — Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Extend a tax first approved in 2012 on incomes over $250,000. Money is earmarked for education.

Proposition 56 — Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Increase taxes on cigarettes by $2 per pack and equivalent amounts on other tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Proposition 57 — Criminal Sentences and trial decisions. Judges would determine if minors are tried as adults and felons convicted of non-violent crimes would have more opportunities for parole.

Proposition 58 — English only instruction. Would repeal most of a 1998 law that required English learners to be in English only classrooms. Would allow schools to use bilingual education for English learners.

Proposition 59 — Citizens United. Advisory measure asking voters if they support overturning the Citizens United decision allowing corporations to participate in elections as if they were people.

Proposition 60 — Adult Films. Mandates the use of condoms when making adult films.

Proposition 61 — State Prescription Drug Purchases. Requires state agencies pay the same price as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for prescription drugs.

Proposition 62 — Death Penalty. A yes vote would repeal the death penalty in California. *If Prop. 62 and Prop 66 pass, whichever has more votes will determine the outcome of the death penalty.*

Proposition 63 — Ammunition Sales. Would require background checks for the purchase of ammunition and prohibit ownership of large capacity magazines.

Proposition 64 — Marijuana Legalization. Legalizes recreational marijuana and hemp.

Proposition 65 — Carryout Bag revenue. Earmarks money from the sale of carryout bags for a new environmental fund managed by the Wildlife Conservation Board. *If Prop 65 and Prop 67 both pass, whichever has more votes will determine the use of the money.*

Proposition 66 — Death Penalty. Retains the death penalty in California but hastens the appeals process. *If Prop. 62 and Prop 66 pass, whichever has more votes will determine the outcome of the death penalty.*

Proposition 67 — Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. A “Yes” vote retains the existing ban on plastic bags while a “No” vote overturns the existing ban on plastic carryout bags. Prop 67 allows the store to utilize the fees charged for compostable carryout bags to recover costs or provide educational materials. *If Prop 65 and Prop 67 both pass, whichever has more votes will determine the use of the money.*

BY MATTHEW HALL

 

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...