Local activist Jerry Rubin.


We had the possibility of three or four good alternative candidates for City Council, and by a week later, last Friday, they all disappeared into thin air.

Even Jon Mann.

Just kidding. Not among the three or four. But…

He “pulled papers” (the act of obtaining the petition forms from City Hall for the required signatures to run for elected office, the idea being that if there aren’t at least 100 people who endorse your running, you probably shouldn’t bother) for both City Council and Rent Control Board, and told me he got more than 140 signatures on each. But when he went to turn them in he was told state law forbids anyone running for two offices in the same city, so he submitted for RCB and decided to run as a write-in candidate for Council.

“I know I won’t win,” he said, “but I want my voice heard, at the candidate forums.”


He doesn’t know it (until now) but if he had his name on the ballot for Council again, he might have gotten his biggest vote total ever, by far. Having seen the field of alternatives decimated, wallowing in pain and despair, a few Movers and Shakers for Residents floated the idea of launching a campaign to Vote for the Mann, Only for the Mann. A protest vote, but how else to show our complete disgust with the reigning power structure?

Trumpian, you say? Only insofar as getting a disrupter in there. In my opinion, Mann is sincere in his criticisms of our city government, but too angry about it to hold office productively. Doesn’t play well with others. But, playing too well with fellow Council members is a big problem we have, and his ideas are mostly good. I would expect him to cast votes I would approve of (though he might have tape over his mouth at the time, by a 6 to 1 vote of the Council), and he would never, ever vote to get along. He would vote his conscience against all odds, till you covered him in dirt.


On another odd note, Jerry Rubin did not file to run last election, for the first time since cheese was invented, and is absent again this election cycle. Is the Rock of Gibraltar crumbling into the sea? Is tRump going to tell the truth? What can you count on?! You can count on Jerry to love every development that comes to town and to go to City Council meetings to voice his approval and thank the Council and staff for their timely and diligent work.

But Jerry is a good friend — at least he was, until now — and a fine fellow who has promoted peace for decades and accomplished so much over the years for the Santa Monica he loves, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. Maybe someday he’ll reveal why the man who fought so hard to save our trees loves buildings, more and more buildings. He’s never explained it rationally to me.


Exclusive to “Curious City”! Here is Jerry Rubin’s response.

“A number of people had asked me if I would be running again this year for a seat on the Santa Monica City Council. Many friends had encouraged me to run again, but a good number of friends seemed relieved when I told them I wouldn’t be running this year. After much reflection I decided to put a good deal of my focus on dumping Trump and turning Congress Blue.

Of course, I’ll still be working on many of the local issues that concern me. And, as an activist, I will, of course, still be attending City Council meetings and other community public meetings.

I wish all the best for all the Santa Monica candidates who are running this year! I hope it will be a clean campaign with no personal attacks.

My wife Marissa and I love Santa Monica and think it is a great city!”

So there you have it. Even the entertaining perennials have withered away from the familiar election landscape here, and we are left with cactus, poison ivy and thorns. I am so depressed I have had to resort to a humorous look at things this week. But next week I’ll be back with the laundry list of how bad off we are. So you can be as depressed as I am.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Anyone remember Bernie Sanders and the issues he raised? That seems like so, so, so long ago. When he was talking about a more equitable American society, correcting past mistakes and progressing forward for the uplifting of all, not just the privileged few. Now we’re just trying to keep the barbarians, the Cossacks, from the gates.

(OK that sounds good but the historic truth is that the Cossacks were pro-democracy and anti-Bolshevik. Lordy I love history and geography.)

tRump of course falsely promotes the prosperity and great economy he has wrought. The stock market is soaring (for now), the economy is great — for his billionaire buddies, and unfortunately, most of the 99 percent won’t realize how they’ve been bamboozled until after the election.

I have this odd pastime. I like to thumb through the thick real estate sections that come in the LA Times on Saturdays. It really isn’t mansion envy. In fact, I’d choose my small condo in funky, artist-populated Ocean Park over the estates north of Montana (though there are good people there, too!). Location, location, location. Great for walking, my neighborhood.

But glancing through those incredible home offerings does remind you that the very rich are getting so much richer, and if you need to figure out where that leaves the rest of us, just play some old George Carlin routines.

From a couple weeks ago, the cover of “Hot Property”: a $35M “tear-down” in Mt. Olympus (seriously);

  1. 2: $14.9M, $15.9M, $30M, $42M, $77M, $175M (yes, M for millions, all);
  2. J6-7: $150M (land only, no houses)
  3. J3: $13M, $17.5M, $23M (Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous The Ennis House), $42.5M, $60M, $110M.
  4. J8: $29M, $31.5M, $31.9M, $33.750M, $37.5M, $65M.
  5. J10: $33.750; p. J11: $165M; p. J14: $24.750M;
  6. J15: $6.750M, $15.9M, $17M, $18.9M, $20M, $24M, $32M, $88M;
  7. J59: $2.2M (?? — typo?), $30M, $38.5M;

and then, drum roll, P. J28: The Mountain, BH — $1,000,000,000.

Yes, there are two Americas, it’s getting much worse, and it’s no accident. Gee, Opy.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” ― Dr. Seuss

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 therealmrmusic@gmail.com