Santa Monica Forward Mission Statement and Guiding Principles

Mission Statement

We are working for a diverse, progressive, sustainable and equitable Santa Monica. We endorse the community’s vision for its future, expressed in the LUCE. We stand for fact-based, inclusive and civil public discourse that respects the many viewpoints of our residents.

Guiding Principles


Preserving Santa Monica’s diversity, in the broadest sense of the word, is vital to maintaining our community character. We must meet the needs of all residents regardless of age, race or ethnicity, gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, national origin, genetic and veteran status, or income. We must welcome new residents – individuals and families – as we create a city where everyone can comfortably age in place.


Santa Monica must do its part to address the statewide challenge of housing affordability. We must ensure that Santa Monica remains affordable for our children, working families and seniors. We recognize the need for new housing near transit. We support building new homes to rent and to buy that are affordable for all income levels while preserving our existing rent-controlled homes.


We must preserve existing residential neighborhoods and rent-controlled apartments by encouraging strategic growth of mixed-income neighborhoods near transit in commercial and industrial areas.


Traffic has a negative effect on our quality of life. Current traffic conditions will only get better by greatly enhancing the safety and convenience of getting around without a car for able-bodied people or people with disabilities. We support walkable neighborhoods, safe routes to school and work, complete bicycle networks, the Big Blue Bus, the Expo Light Rail, and the Metro Bus. We must design and manage streets with the goal of eliminating deaths of people using our roads. Future homes and workplaces should include aggressive traffic demand management programs to discourage driving by employees and residents whenever possible.


We must continue our partnership with our educational institutions, including SMMUSD and SMC. We support quality, affordable and accessible childcare and early education and other recreational, social and lifelong learning programs for our youth, teens, adults, families and seniors.


We recognize the importance of having a strong local workforce that is actively engaged in our community.  We support the right of workers to be represented by a union and bargain collectively with employers.  We believe all jobs should pay a living wage.  We support efforts to create opportunities for local residents to be employed locally, and for those who work here to live here.


Maintaining a balanced budget without compromising Santa Monica’s commitment to social justice, social services, education and public safety is paramount to our future. Police and fire departments must have the resources to address our safety needs at the highest level of service. All neighborhoods deserve equitable access to these services, especially traditionally neglected areas like the Pico Neighborhood.


We support local businesses – from “mom and pop” merchants to start-ups, large technology and creative companies and our tourism and hospitality industries – recognizing that they are vital to the City’s economic health and our community fabric. We support a living wage for all workers.


Santa Monica should be a leader in climate action, water conservation and pollution elimination. New construction should be held to the highest environmental standards for resilience and sustainability, and renovations and adaptive reuse should strive for the same. We support Santa Monica’s goal of water self-sufficiency by 2020 as part of a coordinated regional effort to meet the challenges of droughts and climate change. The community should strive to meet its power needs with renewable electricity and support the proliferation of zero emissions vehicles.


Publicly accessible, vibrant and active open space is essential to the health and wellbeing of our residents, workers and visitors. The beach and pier belong to the region. We must assure equitable access to these and other public places; encourage the development and maintenance of parks, recreation and open space within the city; and lead the region to reduce pollution in Santa Monica Bay.


Vibrant creative arts community and cultural institutions are essential to our community.


We must preserve our community’s significant historic and cultural assets while meeting the needs of our future.


We believe in thoughtful, fact-based, inclusive and civil discourse. Consensus building is highly valued. Our community is diverse and so are our hopes for the future. No group speaks for all residents.


Santa Monica should think globally, act locally and seek to lead other communities by example and by influence. We trust and hold accountable our elected officials and those they appoint, to make the best decisions for the community into the future. We have a special obligation to work with our leaders to develop statewide strategies for a sustainable future, including policies that address our housing needs.


We are shaping the Santa Monica of 2050, not 1950, and our zoning code should adapt to meet our many future challenges. We believe that in Santa Monica’s comprehensive and responsive community process, overseen by our city’s elected officials, to ensure the best and most responsible outcomes.

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