The people of Santa Monica face a challenge to our decades-long tradition of grassroots community engagement, progressive planning, and responsible, forward-looking governance. That challenge comes in the form of the so-called LUVE initiative. The initiative is a shortsighted reaction to a complex set of issues facing our community and, if it passes, will have long-lasting and potentially devastating consequences in coming decades.
We no longer have the luxury of pretending that we can maintain a no- or minimal-growth position and simultaneously support an affordable Santa Monica. The ideas are incompatible and irreconcilable, as is demonstrated by a mounting body of evidence.
As Santa Monica begins to feel the effects of the global climate change crisis -- hotter summers, longer droughts, and increasingly extreme weather events -- our focus on thinking globally and acting locally becomes especially urgent. Climate change represents a challenge to all generations, and we must be willing to meet that challenge with direct action. It is a fight we’re willing to take to the streets, literally.
With the Expo opening to Santa Monica in a just a few months, our Bike Action Plan transforming our streetscape into a multimodal one, our Pedestrian Action Plan moving forward, and Breeze Bike Share, the county’s first such bike-share program, launching city-wide in just a few weeks, Santa Monica is undergoing a mobility sea change.
The Downtown Specific Plan will shape what the district becomes over the next 20 years, giving us the opportunity to reimagine Downtown Santa Monica as the complete neighborhood we all deserve.
Join Santa Monica Forward, Santa Monica Next, and Santa Monica Spoke on Sunday, October 11 starting at 3 p.m. for an afternoon of drinks, food, and bike-related fun! Address will be provided with RSVP to SantaMonicaForward@gmail.com.
Come mingle with friends and neighbors. We will have a chance to hear from city staff about Santa Monica's new bike-share system and the city's bike action plan from city officials.
Then, stick around for a special presentation by Vancouver's Modacity around 5 p.m., hosted by Santa Monica Next and Santa Monica Spoke, about the emerging bike culture in the Canadian city.
"Modacity‘s Melissa and Chris Bruntlett will tell that inspiring story via words, images and films, including what it means for car-lite, multi-modal families such as their own. They will also share ideas and lessons Angelenos can take home, and help build a bike culture worth bragging to the world about."
Walk, bike or take transit. The location is served by multiple bus -- both BBB and Metro -- lines. There is also on-street parking, a surface lot nearby, and underground parking.
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.”