Mission & Principles
We are working for a diverse, progressive, sustainable and equitable Santa Monica. We stand for fact-based, inclusive and civil public discourse that respects the many viewpoints of our residents, workers, businesses, representative neighborhood and community organizations, and other stakeholders.
Increasing Santa Monica’s diversity, in the broadest sense of the word, is vital to enriching our community character. We must meet the needs of all residents, current and future, 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. We must identify City policies and practices that have resulted in economic and racial segregation and change them while recognizing the need to protect vulnerable communities where many lower-income people of color reside.
Santa Monica must do more to address the statewide challenge of housing affordability. We must ensure that new housing is affordable for all income levels and household types and that new rental and for sale housing be located near transit, jobs, and with access to necessary services. We support policies and programs that meet the housing needs of our workforce. We support the preservation of our existing rent-controlled housing and programs that address the housing insecurity of many of our residents. We support the creation of ongoing funding sources for affordable housing to ensure our city is affordable and inclusive for all. We support expanding access to and affordability in established residential neighborhoods, especially near transit, and policies that encourage the creation of new mixed-income neighborhoods in the Bergamot Area, along our boulevards, and around Memorial Park.
The housing-shortage crisis is pushing people out of high opportunity areas like Santa Monica. This burden falls hardest on low-income communities and communities of color. We support strong eviction protections, legal assistance for renters, preservation of our existing affordable and rent controlled housing, and the production of new market rate and affordable housing that does not result in displacement of our most vulnerable residents.
Santa Monica should be a leader in climate action, water conservation and pollution elimination. We support reducing auto emissions by prioritizing zero emission vehicles, more public transit, and better infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. 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 water self-sufficiency goals 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.
Traffic negatively impacts our environment, the air we breathe, and our quality of life. Current traffic conditions will only improve if we significantly enhance 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 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.
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. Our local businesses need the City to be open to challenging long-standing assumptions and pursuing transformative new thinking—and, just as important, to strengthening the “can do” and “we’re open for business” culture in City Hall.
The City must continue its 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 also support providing increased housing opportunities for low-income Santa Monica College students and those among them who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Maintaining a balanced budget without compromising Santa Monica’s commitment to social justice, social services, education and public safety is paramount to our future. We support clear rules, timely and streamlined processing, and delivery of cost-effective results to ensure that residents and businesses alike can pursue their goals without undue and costly delays. All neighborhoods and populations deserve equitable access to these services, especially traditionally underserved areas like the Pico Neighborhood. Investment in children and youth provides exponential social and economic returns for our city and our region; we support continued allocations of public funds for nonprofits that help children, seniors, and vulnerable populations thrive.
Public safety begins with investment in social services, education, and access to well paying jobs. The city should prioritize these goals when adopting budgets and policy priorities. We endorse the creation of a community-based oversight commission with clear roles and authority to help ensure that Santa Monica achieves its security aims through community investment that addresses the root causes of crime. This new commission should have strong (majority) representation from Santa Monica’s communities of color and renters, including residents of affordable housing projects. Representatives of these vulnerable communities must also have a strong role in the selection of members of the commission.
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.
A 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 single group speaks for all residents.
REGIONAL & GLOBAL IMPACT
Santa Monica should think globally, act locally and seek to lead other communities by example and by influence. 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 trust and hold accountable our elected officials and those they appoint, to make the best decisions for the community into the future.