As we gather around the table with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, local leaders are getting into the spirit of the holiday by giving thanks:

THANKFUL FOR SAFETY We are thankful for the Mobile Stroke Unit now operating in Santa Monica as a partnership between Los Angeles County, the city of Santa Monica and UCLA Health. As physicians and nurses on the frontlines of treating stroke, the fourth-leading killer of Americans and leading cause of adult disability, we always say that “time is brain.” Every second counts when treating someone suffering a stroke. Too often, we have seen patients whose lives are changed forever by a debilitating stroke. Our new mobile stroke unit, which brings healthcare professionals and their diagnostic and treatment tools to the patient, instead of vice-versa, will change stroke care forever – and for the better. We, along with Santa Monica residents, have much to be thankful for this year, including this breakthrough in stroke treatment. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Wally Ghurabi, Dr. Doojin Kim and Pamela Nye, RN, Stroke Team, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica



I’m thankful every day for so much: my family, our home, our city and our country. We’re blessed to live with material comforts and personal freedoms which so many others on our planet lack. But this year I’m especially thankful for our dogs Felix, 12, and Lola, 9, as they have tragically and abruptly reached the end of their all too short lives. Felix, a chocolate pure bred mutt with a gentle and sweet disposition, has been diagnosed with lymphoma while Lola, a tan terrier/pit mix, has a tumor in her spine which caused her to lose the use of her hind legs and depleted her once boundless energy. Our kids grew up with Felix and Lola, who every day have been a source of laughter, joy and unconditional love. We’re terribly saddened by their failing health but also so grateful to have them with us for one more Thanksgiving.

Mayor Ted Winterer


THANKFUL FOR TREES At a time when so many of the big things in our lives seem to be under threat or in flux, I’m thankful that I live in a place where people still take care of the little things. Last month an absentee landlord cut down a beautiful 50-year old tree at Hill and 3rd, exposing an aesthetic blight. That same week the City’s Public Landscape team brought new life to tree wells that have been empty for years. There is still hope.

Andrew Gledhill, OPA



For the Aero Theatre, our historic neighborhood theater and its staff, and its wonderful programming dedicated to the art, history, and fun of the movies. Here’s to its mother-ship, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater, too

Danilo Bach, NOMA


THANKFUL FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD We are thankful for our lovely neighborhood and we are encouraged by those neighbors who want to maintain the character of our City. Please remember that we are better working together to improve all aspects of the city we enjoy.

Nancy Coleman, NOMA


THANKFUL FOR PUBLIC SERVICE I am deeply thankful that at a time when our democracy and public service seem daily more fragile at the national level, they remain alive and well locally. Lively debate shapes better outcomes as Santa Monica strives to be a model community for engaged citizens and progressive leadership on community wellbeing and environmental sustainability. As the holiday season begins, however, we are putting greater emphasis on making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable — those struggling economically and those living out in our streets. I wish that we could ensure that everyone had a home to go to this Christmas, but in the face of a regional housing and homelessness crisis, Santa Monica can’t solve the problem in 8.3 square miles. Still, we are determined to do all we can.

City Manager Rick Cole



I am thankful for my family: my wife, my daughter and two sons, along with my mom and living siblings. I am thankful for my health, my heritage and the opportunity to serve both the Malibu and Santa Monica communities in the capacity of Superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. It is an honor to work for our dedicated seven-member school board, who are passionate in doing what is best for all 11,000 students in our district. I am thankful for our staff, our certificated, classified and management team, who come to work every day with focus and determination in making a positive difference in our students’ lives. I am thankful for our engaged parent community and involved community members who continuously support our bond measures and Education Foundation. This support is essential to the success of our high-performing school district. I am thankful to live in the USA and the freedom and democracy offered to everyone who chooses to live here. SMMUSD Superintendent

Dr. Ben Drati

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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...