Santa Monicans vote during an election. (File photo)


Didn’t vote!

Stayed up so late worrying about the outcome that by 7 a.m. I figured, no sense fighting the crowd that votes early before work, I‘ll catch a nap and vote around 11.

Since sixth grade I average 5-6 hours sleep per night. Who knew my body would demand makeup for a lifetime of sleep deprivation, all in one night?

At 8 p.m., after an unheard-of 13 hours of conked-out slumber, I woke suddenly (in my nightmare) as though someone had slapped me, sat straight up adrenalin-awake, but confused. Why is it dark? It was like the time I went out to my apartment parking space in Beverly Hills to get in my car and it wasn’t there, because it had been stolen. Pause. Pause. Does — not — compute.

No one had slapped me. My wife and daughter both assumed I had already voted, because I had never missed voting in my life. Just wouldn’t. Too many fought, suffered terribly, and died for that privilege and right. I voted when I was in the Army, 19 years old. I voted at the American embassy in Athens when I was traveling in ‘88. But now, in an election this important, I slept through it?! That’s my nightmare.


Choose not to vote. For good and bad reasons. Bad reasons like, I don’t know enough about the candidates and issues (the same people who will know everything about the song they just heard a snippet of, because they googled it), my vote doesn’t matter (it doesn’t if you don’t vote!), I forgot to register (too late now, Monday was the last day, but — you didn’t forget to renew your driver’s license, did you?). “Good” reasons like, why vote, I never get representatives who represent people like me (true, but not voting can’t possibly change that), the vote of some guy in Wyoming is worth 20 times my vote in California (true, so vote for candidates who promise to scrap the Electoral College, which has given us three illegitimate Republican presidents in a row), there is so much voter suppression by one side that my side needs two votes for one, to counteract (so, be one of those two votes and bring the other one with you to the polls).

I like going to the polling place to vote. It’s a ritual, a community participation. Your precinct is literally your neighbors. Election Day is a given date; if you vote early by mail, your candidate may have body slammed a reporter in the final days, may have said really, really bad things about women and immigrants, may be headed for prison.

But back to…


After recovering from shock, and mewling to explain to my incredulous family, I rushed to the TV to get the results, of the election I had no vote in.

It could hardly have been worse. (After all, this is my nightmare, and I don’t do things halfway.)

Some I was prepared for. We got our ancient one for another six years in the Senate instead of a true progressive. The House person was, of course, thank God, a Shieu-in, as was Gov. Handsome. But the SMS school bond passed, indebting Santa Monicans for a billion yes Billion dollars, with nothing in writing guaranteeing what must be accomplished. That’s an awfully danged big blank check. Couldn’t find room for a Mom with in-depth knowledge of the system and incredible research skills on our school board? Nope, need those SMRR folks back on board, the ones who did such a good job of making sure there was no hanky-panky with big contracts, and that we got the much-needed playing field straight off.

Voters decided we needed another renter-lawyer on the Rent Control Board, instead of a savvy and reasonable property owner (that I bullet-voted for — and she lost by one vote! My one vote!!) for a more balanced view that would ultimately benefit our many renters here (rapidly disappearing). One small victory, that a sensible doctor made it to SMC trustee. No on Term Limits? Are you kidding? That was a no-brainer. Even POTUS and local volunteer commissioners have term limits. I guess voters decided they had to be able to choose O’Connor and McKeown next election to continue their lifetimes on the Council rather than have to exit after only 32-34 years.


Was the worst! Neither of the two really good newbies made it and, sadly, the one pretty good incumbent also fell short, oh no! Four more years of the one who knocks down Oaks with regularity and stomps a foot and costs us a million bucks’ lawsuit, and the “slow growth” member (choke, wheeze) who loves to declare “no money from developers!” but has no problem with the PAC funded by developers banging his drum. And… the least suited, for any of these offices, parlayed big bucks raised and a big Rolodex into victory. The incumbent (not running for Council) who admitted swapping consultant fees for contacts/contracts won a seat on the board most open, in the entire state government, to corruption, and that departure left room for the other SMRR-anointed newbie to step right in. As planned.

Somebody wake me!!

Better yet, go vote Nov. 6. You are NOT welcome to my nightmare. Let’s amaze ourselves with a huge turnout for the best candidates.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Of course we all notice how much more organized the scooters and bikes are now, and far fewer of them. This morning I drove by Birds who were lined up like soldiers. The City Council promised us that would happen. But — why did it take more than a year? It didn’t happen soon enough to prevent my friends Bob and Mary from becoming really seriously injured tripping over strewn scooters. Many cities insisted on that immediately, and enforced it. We did not.

Do not forget that when you vote for City Council Tuesday, Nov. 6.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Government is best which is closest to the people. Yet that belief is betrayed by those State and local officials who engage in denying the right of citizens to vote.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.