Whitney Bain: Bain is a journalist. Courtesy photo

All candidates were given an opportunity to provide written answers to a set of questions provided by SMDP and two sets of answers will be printed each day. Answers are also available online alongside additional information from each candidate. 

What is your justification for using government authority to require private property owners to subsidize inflation, fees, utilities and other costs for rent controlled tenants? 

Seniors, low income families and students on their own under rent control are hardest hit in these categories. Federal, state and local taxes should subsidize those individuals. My plan to offer a 5% utility tax reduction is a reasonable one that would benefit every Santa Monica citizen with $20-$40 dollar reduction each month that they can spend on food, other utilities, gasoline or rent.

Do government subsidies of homeless services do more to get people off the streets or attract more individuals to the city? Depending on your answer, why should that money continue to flow to service providers or be reassigned to other needs? 

Government subsidies attract more homeless to our streets. The businesses and companies that are supposed to be “helping” the homeless have failed us.

Who is running these organizations and how much are they being paid? How much of the money allocated actually goes to homeless programs? Why did Samoshell change its name from OPCC to the People Concern?

How much government aid are they getting from the federal, state and local sectors? Where is it going and what is the accountability?  Like Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy marathons back in the day the amount of money that was raised, millions, if not billions over the years, should have cured the disease, but it hasn’t. The same goes for the homeless problem. Through money at it, but don’t fix it. My plan is simple; use the old Fisher Lumber building as a staging area. Find out who these people are. If they have mental issues, let’s get them to a mental health facility. Drug and alcohol issues? Let’s get them treatment with the promise of being sober for one year and if they can hold down a job, then they get a Section 8 voucher for affordable housing. If we are to feed and house these individuals, then we find out where they came from and send the bill to that city. Another option is getting them back to where they came from with a one-way, non-negotiable bus ticket. Then again, this is a Herculean task as the majority of the homeless don’t want help. They would rather live on the streets, do their drugs, commit crimes to support their habits and not be held responsible for it We need stricter laws and we need to repeal Prop 47.

Why has Santa Monica become a hub of transit innovation including scooters, self driving cars, delivery drones and zero-emission vehicles and is this industry one that should be encouraged to grow here? 

Money is to be made here in this city with those kind of innovations, yet is it something that other cities are willing to go along with? There are many tech companies that thrive in Santa Monica benefiting from these ideals, but as a multi-statewide influence, I don’t see it. Heavy polluting countries like China and India who have incredibly large populations that dwarf ours by comparison, should be the innovators, but they are not and have no interest.

What specific technological, policy or regulatory ideas do you have to address resident concerns about a declining quality of life in Santa Monica? 

Crime and homelessness are the top priorities we have to focus on first and foremost.

What role does tourism play in Santa Monica’s culture, economy and government? 

We’re down by 60% in tourism and many people who visit here never want to come back telling the friends to avoid us like the plague. We need to rebuild our city addressing the issues on crime and homelessness to have the tourists as well as our citizens feel safe. With that solved,  we can become a more prosperous city overall.

Does Santa Monica’s approach to law enforcement need to change and if so, what would you do to alter the department to meet the needs of the city? 

The police department needs to hire more officers and we need to lift the vaccine mandate in order to do so. We also need more motorcycle and foot patrols. The police need to have a presence. The sheriff’s department is an option as well.

How do street vendors impact the experience of using Santa Monica’s public spaces?

Street vendors need to follow the rules like every else if they are selling certain products like meat or seafood. They need to have a Food Handler’s card just like all the servers, chefs and bartenders do. They are not exempt. Fruits and vegetables need to be refrigerated. If someone gets sick with a food borne virus or botulism there is no one that will be accountable for it. If this is the case, then the city should be held responsible for such illnesses and pay the victim accordingly.

Do you think residents fundamentally trust local government and what can be done to address the feelings many residents have regarding local politics?

The current city council is not transparent nor are they held accountable for their actions. There is dissent among the citizens of Santa Monica with distrust of our so-called leaders. They are never in their office to answers to the public. It’s all pomp ad circumstance for them. Laze-fair; let them eat cake attitude. My platform is I am for the people I will be in my office by phone or in person to help the citizens of Santa Monica and answer questions once elected.