Call us sentimental, or naïve, but we not only believe, we insist that residents should have the first, and last, word in Santa Monica.
Evidence accumulates that City Hall disagrees. Our elected and appointed officials make a great show of their interest in “community input” and their Herculean efforts at “community outreach,” but, after all the outreach and input are done, City Hall usually does what it wants to do, not what we want it to do.
Our so-called public servants have apparently become bosses, and have now begun, brazenly, to codify their disinterest in our views by eliminating the public from the review process on an ever-increasing number and kind of projects and policies.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right, and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
We agree. Here and now, it’s the Santa Monica Dispatch’s job to not only report what’s happening, but to record what people think about what’s happening.
As in previous incarnations, we will fully and faithfully cover Santa Monica and its immediate environs, and will not hesitate to say what we think, but now, more than ever, in order to cover the entire community, we need readers’ views, too.
The beauty of the blog is that it’s not static, but constantly evolving, changing, as readers respond directly to news stories, features and opinions – agreeing, disagreeing, amplifying, annotating.
The “of, for and by the people” principle may be dormant in City Hall, Sacramento and Washington, but it’s not only alive and well at the Dispatch, it’s the primary principle.
Peggy Clifford, editor
Clara Sturak, associate editor