Earlier tonight, about 50 residents gathered outside a candidates’ forum in downtown Santa Monica to protest what they described as “massive amounts of developer money from around the country being used to buy Santa Monica’s election.”
Developers from as far away as New York, Dallas and Chicago are funding what is shaping up as a half–million-dollar campaign to defeat Proposition T, a residents’ ballot measure that would limit commercial development to 75,000 square feet annually for the next 15 years.
“Do you think these developers care about our quality of life? No, they care about profits and residents are telling them to get their money out of our elections,” Diana Gordon, co-chair of Yes on Prop T, told the crowd.
She went on to say, “They can’t win on the facts or the truth so they need truckloads of out-of-town developer cash to drown us with lies. Without Prop T, residents face more and more overdevelopment and the traffic that it brings. The City Council has failed to set limits on development, despite worsening traffic.”
Some of the developers backing the No-on-T campaign have also funded the re-election campaigns of the three City Council incumbents who oppose Proposition T – Richard Bloom, Ken Genser and Herb Katz
The fourth incumbent Council member who’s running for re-election, Bobby Shriver supports Prop T.
The measure has also been endorsed by a diverse group of community organizations and leaders, including all the neighborhood organizations, Council member Kevin McKeown and Planning Commissioner Jay Johnson, as well as the County Democratic Party.
Over 10,000 residents signed Prop T’s qualifying petitions.
If approved by voters, in addition to limiting new commercial development, Prop T would require that any large projects above the cap go before voters for a thumbs-up or down.