Funded: Rendering of Brunson Terrace where the small business marketplace will be located. Courtesy image

The City of Santa Monica may still be cash strapped, but Council members are nevertheless finding the discretionary funds to allocate towards what they feel are worthwhile community initiatives.

In an April 26 meeting this included money for the Pico Youth and Family Center’s annual Classic Car Show, a small business artisan marketplace at the Brunson Terrace affordable housing property, and the Police Activity League’s Rick Crocker 5K Walk Run Challenge. 

The largest allocation is the $25,000 in discretionary funding given to non-profit housing developer the Community Corporation of Santa Monica to assist the establishment of a community marketplace. 

The marketplace will be located on the ground floor of the upcoming 48 unit Brunson Terrace affordable housing development at 1819 Pico Blvd. The vendor space will host local Pico-based businesses, pop ups, workshops and more and was created in response to Pico community stakeholders expressing a need for an affordable small business space. 

“It’s consistent with our budgetary priorities that we identified about having an inclusive economic recovery because it will give people who otherwise wouldn’t have opportunity the ability to sell wares, learn how to run a business, that sort of thing,” said Councilmember Gleam Davis. 

The marketplace space is slated to open in early 2023 with construction and vendor selection taking place throughout 2022. While the entire initiative requires around $50,000, Council’s allocation is intended to help kickstart the project and be a show of support that will encourage private donors to fill in the gap in needs. 

Council also voted to waive rental fees for the Pico Youth & Family Center’s use of the Santa Monica Pier parking lot for their annual Classic Car Show and to give the organization $5,000 to help execute the event. The show, which will take place during Latino/Hispanic heritage month, celebrates the culture of vintage low-rider cars. It is a family friendly event that features live performances by local bands and DJs and is currently tentatively scheduled for Sept. 10. 

Council also allocated $5,000 and waived Pier parking lot rental fees to support the Rick Crocker 5K Walk Run Challenge, which is sponsored by the Police Activities league. This event will take place on May 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Mr. Rick Crocker was a very fine person, a great police officer and someone who I recall with fond memories just being a great guy,” said Councilmember Oscar de la Torre. “He was in the military on a tour in Iraq and a great example, you know, for our community and so I support making this happen in his memory.”

This will be the second annual event in honor of fallen SMPD Officer and Marine Corps Reserve Major, Ricardo Crocker, who was killed by a rocket propelled grenade while on tour in Iraq in 2005. Previous to being redeployed to Iraq, Rick was assigned at PAL where he was a passionate advocate of programs which mentored PAL youth in their scholastic and outdoor activities. The run will raise money to support the youth programs at PAL.