Homelessness

Homelessness

Homelessness has become a critical issue in America, the greater LA area and certainly in Santa Monica. I believe that it will be a combined effort of all stake holders working together to resolve this growing problem in America. But I do believe that with innovation and compassion we can make tremendous progress. First of all we do a great disservice to the homeless community by lumping them all in the same category, “Homeless”. The homeless community is just as diverse as any demographic of people.

I believe in a triage approach. First, let’s help the men and women who only need financial help, people that are recently homeless, living in vehicles, and possibly still employed.

Second I would help the people who can be easily integrated back into society and the workforce, many of these people just need a place to shower, clean clothes, access to a computer, and a place to receive mail. They may also be in need of some coaching or services that can give them some guidance and direction.

Thirdly, and this becomes more difficult and costly, we need to help the people with addiction and substance abuse issues. We need to help those with mental and health issues as well. We need to get them the proper care and medication they desperately need.

Economics and Business

Economics and Business

Santa Monica is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we are a little jewel, in the shadow of a major metropolitan city. We have it all. We have amazing beaches that are easily accessible to all. We have some of the best and most beautiful hotels. We have world renown restaurants at all price points. We have some of the best shopping on the west coast. We have a new beautiful mall with high end shops, and we have many great mom and pop shops with a variety of unique merchandise. We have great public transportation, and so much of what Santa Monica has to offer is within walking distance of each other. We have the Santa Monica Pier, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the World.

All that being said Santa Monica, as is most of the world is currently in a crisis situation. We are struggling to deal with what has been an unprecedented past six months. Not only are we dealing with Covid 19, but we are also dealing with significant civil unrest.

The Third Street Promenade has lost many shops both big and small including flagships and kiosks. The promenade has lost numerous customers, and frankly has lost its feel of being a nice safe place to walk on day or night.

The resurgence of Fourth street has come to a screeching halt with 30-year-old businesses shutting their doors permanently.

Main Street has too many vacancies to count, Montana Avenue is struggling, and our major streets like Ocean Avenue to Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd. are facing similar issues of closures and vacancies.

What can we do? I believe that first of all we must make Santa Monica the safest city in the nation. We must instill to all that come, tourists, visitors, and certainly residents, that they can shop, walk, or sitesee, and that they will be safe in doing so. We need to increase our police presence, and adopt a community based approach. I love the Santa Monica Police Department. I think they do a great job, but they are a small agency of only 210 officers. I believe we need to reconsider that number. We are a small town in many respects, but we have some big city problems.

WE must also become creative with landlords, offering incentives, so they will be more willing to reduce rents, and become creative by attracting new businesses, including both shops, and restaurants.

Community

Community

As a Santa Monica resident I am sure that you would agree that we have a beautiful and wonderful community. We have it all. We have amazing beaches and endless entertainment opportunities. And most importantly we have an extremely diverse community with citizens that are not afraid to engage in change or protests, all to better our community. As a council member I will tap into this valuable resource. I will encourage increased civic engagement whenever possible. I will promote a community-based police force. I would like to see more officers on bicycles, and on foot patrol. I support our mounted police. I also believe that it is important for us to re-claim our parks, I am a firm believer that parks are for children and families. I believe that our parks need to be safe and people who frequent them should feel safe. I will encourage and support neighborhood watch. I will support additional dog parks on city property. I am a supporter of rent control in our city for it is a key factor in preserving our diversity.