I would like to point out how out of touch our Mayor Kevin McKeown is with the current reality of the coronavirus. He states in the Friday, March 27, SaMo News: “We can get our exercise and fresh air in Santa Monica’s neighborhood parks, which remain open, and less crowded, so we can maintain safe six-foot physical distancing.” He does not realize that Santa Monica’s neighborhood parks are full of homeless people, many of whom refuse to maintain a six-foot safe distance. I walked through Tongva Park on Friday afternoon and observed a high number of homeless people, many of whom refused to stay six feet away despite my best efforts to do so.
It has been the City Government’s decision to maintain a high number of homeless people in Santa Monica. The Mayor, City Council, and City employees have maintained policies to keep a much higher number of homeless in Santa Monica than in comparable cities, except Venice. The latest homeless count from last year has: Santa Monica 982 homeless, Pacific Palisades 107, Malibu 55, Marina Del Rey 12, Manhattan Beach 41, Rancho Palos Verdes 4, Brentwood 37, Beverly Hills 87. Thus, Santa Monica has more than 9 times as many homeless people as comparable cities. Your newspaper, the SMDP, had an analysis this summer which also found that Santa Monica had the most homeless people on a per acre of land basis. Mayor McKeown’s recommendation to use our neighborhood parks is at odds with the reality of the corona virus and an attempt to maintain a safe six-foot safe distance while getting some healthy exercise.