Editor:

On Jan. 26 at the Special Planning Commission Meeting for Providence St John’s DA, Commissioner Leslie Lambert asked Michael Ricks a very specific question “If we managed to put a requirement in the DA for mental health beds, would you sign it?” He replied quickly and bluntly, “NO.”

Our community deserves better.

If members of the City Council told me before in private that you think St. John’s should be providing our community mental health beds as part of their expansion, then now is the time to start saying it publicly. And you have to mean it and be willing to say the same word to Michael Ricks. “NO. I will not vote for a DA that does not have a mental health bed component.”

You should say it without being asked. Send out a press release or give an interview. They need to hear that you don’t care what a reduced Planning Commission approved. They need to hear that you want mental health beds at the only major healthcare provider in our city that you can say NO to. It will be important to start telegraphing that now for it to mean anything.

And you need to stand firm and be willing to lose all that St John’s is offering. 

And if you don’t I will wonder why I voted for you.

Andrew Hoyer, Santa Monica Mid City Neighbors Govt Affairs Officer