Endorsement season is rolling out in the coming weeks for the November election and the Santa Monica Democratic Club will make its decisions on Sept. 20 and 26.
Endorsements for the SMC Board of Trustees, Council, Rent Control Board and several local ballot measures will be held on Sept. 20. Endorsements for the SMMUSD Board, state ballot measures and the proposed school bond will be held on Sept. 26. The meetings are open to the public but only club members with at least 30 days of membership will be able to vote on endorsements.
“We’re inviting representatives from as many of the campaigns as we can,” said Club President Jon Katz. “We’re trying to recruit the best possible speaker from all sides.”
If the Club is unable to secure an official representative from a campaign, he said members of the audience will be able to make a case one way or the other. In the event no-one wants to argue a specific position, Katz said he will provide information from publicly available sources.
“I’m still trying to recruit speakers to come but it may just be may as the president reading some information,” he said.
Club members have been submitting questions for local candidates and Katz said there are some common themes.
Questions for the Rent Control Board are likely to focus on the impact of Proposition 10 and the possible repeal of Costa Hawkins rent controls on new tenants. He said club members want to ask the College Board about affordability and the impact of homelessness on the campus. Questions for the school board include how the district is preparing students for the future.
“Those races have been pretty straightforward,” he said. “For council, there’s a more interesting dynamic.”
He said in addition to the perennial questions about traffic and development, topics like term limits and e-scooters have risen to the top of member priorities.
“I’m just trying to keep an eye on things that are people are interested in for Santa Monica,” he said of the eventual questions.
The Club’s meetings are open regardless of party affiliation but membership, and therefore the ability to vote, is restricted to registered Democrats. In addition, members must have joined at least 30-days prior to the endorsement meeting to be able to vote.
“All of our meetings are free and open to the public,” he said. “Everyone is welcome to attend, everyone is welcome to join as long as you’re a Democrat.
Those that can’t vote can still participate in the debate and discussion.
“We’re a public forum,” said Katz. “All of our meetings out of principal are always open to the public and are free.”
The endorsement meetings will be held Thursday, September 20. Doors open at 6 p.m., the program starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Main Library – MLK Auditorium. 601 Santa Monica Boulevard. The second meeting will be at the same time and place on Sept. 26.
For more information, visit www.santamonicademocrats.com, call (215) 962-4357, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/santamonicademocrats.