Disabled access


As a disabled resident I would like to support Debra Shepherd’s letter of July 5.

Disabled people disproportionately live in poverty and experience homelessness. This is not only compounded by the lack of accessible housing but the lack of consideration into what is actually required for access and inclusion. If there is a serious desire to keep people housed, I hope Santa Monica will consider taking a far more proactive stance on this issue.

There are currently three unassigned items on the 2022-2023 Housing Commission Work Plan, including both 2.2.a and 2.2.b, pertaining to disability and access. 2.2.a indicates that hiring of a full-time “dedicated ADA Housing Coordinator” was recommended by the 2020 Fair Housing Assessment. The outgoing commissioner relinquished this item and no further action is noted. Why aren’t these items being addressed?

As it is right now, disabled residents are largely on their own and it’s slim pickings with housing, whether one has a Housing Choice voucher or can pay the full amount of rent. Older housing stock in Santa Monica and other local cities is largely inaccessible, with stairs even to reach first floor apartments. This strongly limits housing availablity and options for independent disabled or elderly people who require an elevator or ramp. Further exacerbating the issue: many new buildings, including affordable housing, are accessible within but appear to have been constructed without a single consideration for exterior access needs. Vehicles can’t even stop outside these buildings and there is no adjacent guest parking, which impedes the ability of disabled or elderly residents to use MODE or Metro’s Access paratransit or receive deliveries of groceries, medication or meals or home healthcare visits. This in turn increases isolation and drastically reduces quality of life and access to needed support services.

Santa Monica can do better – and I hope it will. Accessibility should not be an afterthought for the affordable housing and HCV programs.

Denise Reich, Santa Monica

Dogs on the beach


I am a 63 year resident. On, Thursday July 6, around 5:30 p.m. I took my daily walk on the beach at Station 25.

I was ready to take my daily swim when I saw two dog owners with giant dogs off leash right at the shore line. One dog stopped and took a dump in six inches of water as waves were rolling in. I told the owner they had to pick it up and they stopped and acted like they tried but left quickly.

No way they could have found it and retrieved it. 30 seconds later a SM police truck drove up and I flagged the two officers down.

They were polite but would not do anything and the dog owners were within 50 feet of the officers. I believe they should of informed the dog owners that dogs were not allowed on the beach.

They asked me if I wanted them to call human society. What is the proper procedure when someone is breaking the law in front of an officer?

I proceeded to talk to the lifeguard and specifically asked how many times he saw the white truck (dog patrol) on the beach today and he said zero.

He explained his frustration of people breaking the law and nothing being done. I know it is not in his job description to enforce dog laws.

I believe we need the more signs and more enforcement of the no dog rule. I can tell you that I use south and northern beaches on a regular basis and laws are being broken on a regular basis. More needs to be done


Edward Jacobs, Santa Monica