LAST WEEK I WROTE
“I have a notion. Just a notion, mind you, but we are desperate. I will reveal it next week.”
Well, I don’t know what you were expecting. Magic? I’m a little low on that at the moment. But what I can do is put it all together and add some current events, bad and good, and hope it makes sense. We need a plan, we need action, we need it really soon.
But this has to come from you, my Santa Monica friends and neighbors. With effort, together, we can do it, stop the awful, irreversible destruction of our town. You have to get up off the couch and get informed, up to speed quickly. You probably have a friend who does follow this complex local stuff fairly closely; ask them, they’ll be glad to talk with you, I’ll bet.
Then you’ll understand why these things are happening, realize the urgency, and if you care about this special city you’ll get angry enough to take action. If every person who does that talks to their friends and neighbors and shares what they know and makes sure all those people get to the polls in November to vote, not from some misleading bought-and-paid for endorsements flyer they got in the mail but from knowing what’s really going on, then we can change things. Votes still count.
KEEP HOPE ALIVE
Despite the odds against us, I take hope from the national scene lately. The good current events. Winds of the right kind of change are gathering strength. Progressive candidate Kevin de León got stomped in the primary by powerhouse 26-year-Senator Dianne Feinstein (85) but still made the November ballot, and the state Democratic Party just endorsed him, over her, by a huge margin. Wow. A very young Latina who had never run for anything before, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, defeated 10-term Democratic power broker Rep. Joe Crowley in Queens. He had not even faced a challenger for 14 years, and played up his formidable liberal credentials. But maybe that’s not enough now.
Ocasio-Cortez had a 10-1 money disadvantage, and is a proud democratic socialist (translation: the government should make sure people aren’t harmed, have rights, equality, and a chance for a better life), and ran her campaign like Bernie Sanders did. Election night she told her roaring supporters, “the message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not OK to put donors before your community.” That’s right! In Queens or in Santa Monica!
“You have given this country hope, you have given this country proof that when you knock on your neighbor’s door,” she said, “when you come to them with love, when you let them know that no matter your stance, you are there for them — that we can make change.”
YES! – WHY NOT HERE, NOW?
I’ve been more sensitive lately to being more loving, to not being mean. This is not mean, no, not even towards our City Council members, good people all.
But it has become clear that while they may work hard and put in many hours and likely think they are doing what’s best for the people of Santa Monica, they have not done their job, for years. Their job is to represent us, the residents. They are beholden to campaign contributors and other moneyed interests who can benefit them personally and who don’t give a fat rat’s behind about our little city and its little history and culture; they don’t live here and couldn’t care less about the long-term effects of their vulture ventures. Even longtime Santa Monicans are moving away in disgust. And it’s going to get much worse unless we make drastic changes by voting in unprecedented numbers in November. We need all new Council members, the right kind.
CAPTAIN, WE HAVE GRIDLOCK
We have many new buildings, some very, very large, and many more on their way. We are giganti-sizing ones already here. Many of these are driving out our local businesses. Our emergency services are stretched to the breaking, and yet the numbers for crime and for people without homes living on our streets are rising, fast. Our downtown no longer serves us, and everyone I know says they won’t go there anymore unless it’s absolutely necessary. We have a pension time bomb that could easily turn this solvent little city on its head, and it’s not being addressed. Where will the water come from, for all this growth? Gentrification is destroying the diversity we once proudly claimed. The old and the young especially, even if they were born and live here, may well not be able to remain. The Council spends our tax money in shocking amounts, mostly for the wrong reasons.
And there are those damn scooters (which part of me loves and roots for) all over the place. All over every place. That’s the bad current events. But it could be a lifesaver if it energizes those who see it as another City council fail, the last straw. Many people have been injured by or on them, and it will only get worse. And that is the recent, in our faces, egregious example of what’s wrong with our Council.
STOP HORSING AROUND
They only react after the horse is out of the barn and expect praise or at least patience for too little too late, and much of the time they’re the ones that left the barn door open.
Other cities banned them right off, one city even scooped them up and confiscated them the first day they got dumped on their streets. But not us. Next week I’ll tell you why I think that is, and it relates to so many other instances of why this Council is doing us much more harm than good.
. Meanwhile, if you’re a scooter hater, for whatever reason, blame our City Council and chew on that until you get angry enough to get off the couch.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Well? Will you?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If the problems you have this year are the same problems you had last year, then you are not a leader. You are rather a problem on your own that must be solved.” — Israelmore Ayivor
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at email@example.com