A volunteer group of community members, residents and local activists has come together to stand up for a positive vision of Santa Monica’s future.
Santa Monica Forward, the new organization, is a growing partnership of people who support the values that have made Santa Monica what it is today and want to make sure that those values continue to shape the future of this city.
“Residents and community members came together to create Santa Monica Forward because there are many people who believe in the Santa Monica we know and love,” said former mayor Judy Abdo, a long-time resident and one of the founders of Santa Monica Forward.
“Santa Monica today is diverse, sustainable and equitable,” she said. “Thanks to the good work and diligence of community leaders, residents and activists in the past, Santa Monica is a wonderful place to live.”
“We, in Santa Monica Forward, came together to help build on all the good work of the past to shape an inclusive and forward-looking community in the future,” Abdo said.
Santa Monica Forward grew out of many people in the community meeting in various small groups to discuss the need to affirm what makes Santa Monica unique, a long-standing commitment to diversity in the broadest sense, to social and economic justice, to affordable education for all from newborns to seniors and to a healthy and sustainable environment.
“We came together because we believe that a progressive city thrives only with a fact-based, inclusive and civil public discourse that respects the many viewpoints of residents, workers and members of the broader community,” said Juan Matute, a resident and another founder of Santa Monica Forward.
“I don’t feel as though my views are being represented in much of the public dialogue,” he said. “That’s disconcerting when I hear people say they are speaking for all residents.”
Whether Santa Monica will continue its many forward-looking policies will be determined in the upcoming months as the city prepares to comprehensively update its zoning ordinance for the first time in 30 years.
“We are shaping the Santa Monica of 2050, not 1950,” said Abdo. “We owe it to future generations to make sure that they can live in a Santa Monica that is even better than the one we live in today.”