Santa Monica’s annual State of the City event may offer free admission for residents for the first time.

Mayor Kevin McKeown and Councilmember Greg Morena will ask the City Council Tuesday to authorize up to $10,000 from the council’s contingency fund to cover the cost of admission for residents. Tickets currently cost $50 for members of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event, $60 for non-members and $10 for students and seniors.

“This has always been a Chamber of Commerce event, but I hope this year for the first time we will fill the hall with a better mix of neighborhood businesses and neighborhood residents,” McKeown said.

McKeown will give the State of the City address during the Chamber’s annual Economic Summit at the SGI Auditorium in downtown Santa Monica on Feb. 12 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The event will bring together the business and resident communities to hear entrepreneurs speak about the latest trends and innovations regionally and globally, according to the Chamber’s website.

McKeown will present the State of the City address, including the city’s newest initiatives and the past year’s economic report. Mick Ebeling, Founder of Not Impossible Labs, will also speak about changing the world through technology and story.

“We’re entering a challenging transition as old-school retail erodes and we ponder how best to create a 21st-century local economy,” McKeown said. “The State of the City, among other things, will highlight our ongoing Santa Monica 2050 economic planning process and the upcoming transformation of Third Street with Promenade 3.0.”

This year’s event will feature a more streamlined speakers list than last year, when City Manager Rick Cole, Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta, Jesse Draper (a women-forward venture capitalist and president of Halogen Ventures), and DJ Peterson (CNN commentator and top business consultant at Longview Global Advisors) took the stage as panelists.

Last year, Mayor Gleam Davis emphasized the importance of respectful, accurate communication between residents and City Hall during her State of the City Address. She discussed plans to upgrade the city website for greater transparency and hold more community conversations.

“It’s okay to complain. I know things are not perfect, but complaining only identifies the problem,” Davis said in her closing remarks last year. “Help us do the harder and more satisfying work of bringing real solutions to the more difficult problems that we all collectively face.”

For more information on the event, visit

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1 Comment

  1. State of the City:
    This event was very worthwhile when a representative from the Anderson School of Business gave a more objective analysis of Santa Monica including its place within the near by region.
    In recent years it seems more a venue for city politicians, city employees , and beneficiaries to pat themselves on the back.

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