Motivated by a Los Angeles Times editorial calling for government officials to mandate protections for residents living in dangerously hot homes and apartments without air conditioning, I emailed all of the Santa Monica City Council members on Monday, October 3.

I noted that the vast majority of the rental housing stock in Santa Monica is decades old and does not have air conditioning and that these buildings are generally so poorly insulated that they retain heat well after outdoor temperatures cool down, presenting an ongoing health and safety danger to residents.

The record-breaking heatwave is August and September was brutal to deal with, making it difficult to eat or sleep. I’m sure the symptoms were even worse for others who may not be as healthy, and even life-threatening. Opening my front door was like entering a sauna. 

None of the Council members bothered to respond to my letter. On Friday of that week I re-sent the message which also had included a link to the editorial.


The subject line specified that a response was necessary. Only one Council member, Lana Negrette, responded to me. Seriously, Santa Monica City Council? You’re elected representatives and can’t even address a serious issue that threatens the health and well-being of many residents of our city?

I’ve completely lost faith in these politicians, who obviously do not care about anything except approving boxy, ugly, overpriced “luxury” units along Lincoln and Broadway, which most like do have air-conditioning.

Maybe those folks who live in these units will vote for you. I certainly won’t.

Hillary Atkin, Santa Monica