U.S., CUBA RESTORE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS AFTER 50 YEARS

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Earlier today, President Barack Obama announced that “it is time to cut loose the shackles of the past.” and restore America’s relations with Cuba.

In a speech at the White House, Obama said the thaw in relations after a five-decade freeze is being made after he determined the “rigid” and outdated policy of the past failed to have an impact on Cuba.

“Today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today America chooses…to reach for a better future, for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world,” he said.

He said the new policy will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. Obama said he would also talk to members of the US Congress about lifting the US embargo
on Cuba.

Pope Francis assisted in the thaw in relations by pressing for the release of American aid worker Alan Gross from Cuba, the president said. Gross was released and flew back to America this afternoon. .

Obama thanked Canada for the role it played in hosting US-Cuban discussions.
The policy shift was heralded by the release of Gross, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Cuba is also releasing an intelligence agent who spied for the United States and was held for nearly 20 years, and the United States is releasing three Cuban intelligence agents held in the United States, the officials said. Gross’ imprisonment had been a block to any movement by Washington toward improved ties with Cuba.

Obama said the US spy Cuba has released as part of the diplomatic effort is one of the most important intelligence agents the US has ever had in Cuba.

The man’s sacrifice is known only to a few people, Obama said. But he says the spy provided the information that allowed the US to arrest Cuban agents, including three spies the US is now releasing as part of the deal.

THE COMMON SENSE CITY

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Every resident in our city has experienced frustration with some aspect or an-
other of city’s policies. Wonderful as it is, our city can improve in many dif-
ferent ways. What is needed is a common-sense approach, based on solving real-
world problems. Some of these are physical and space-related issues. Others are related to the way projects are approved and built. Here are a few items we feel
are important.

Density, Traffic and Service Issues:

• Santa Monica’s daytime density is comparable to that of Athens or Barce-
lona. City policies are increasing the density of the city beyond normal and sustainable limits, and will continue to erode our quality of life unless some-
thing changes.

• Trains are scheduled to cross the three major north/south streets at 4 to-
6 minute intervals in each direction, increasing traffic gridlock unless coor-
-dinated with a timed traffic-light system.

• Getting to the train stations will be a challenge – with no apparent plans
for a DASH system, and/or electric jitneys, to cover the first/last mile problem.

• Getting there by car will be a problem – with no commuter parking at the 4th
St and Bergamot Expo Stations, and only 77 spaces at the 17th St. Station, conges-
tion from pick up and drop off at both stations is guaranteed. The 4th St. bus and drop off area has yet to be resolved.

• A single guard gate appears to have been built along the light rail route at the midblock of 20th street. All other on-grade rail crossings will rely on traffic signals to separate trains from other vehicles, bikes and pedestrians . This is an invitation for accidents.

• Light rail will create more challenges to the delivery of timely emergency services because the system will bifurcate the city. The city’s emergency service providers at present are understaffed to deal with this problem.

Common Sense:

• Provide an in-city network of public transportation to get people to the train stations–soon.

• Provide parking at the train stations for those who cannot use public trans-portation to get there.

• Install guard gates at on-grade crossings to reduce accidents.

• Assure that police and fire departments are adequately staffed to provide timely service in all parts of town regardless of traffic conditions.

• Fully coordinate traffic light timing and train schedules to minimize disruption to the flow of traffic.

• Allow the city to become denser over time and within the parameters of the zoning code.

Development Decisions Issues:

• Community benefits provided by developers are insufficient to justify the burden imposed by excessive development. The City has allowed developers too
much slack for new projects.

Examples:

• Hines saved $ 35 million by eliminating 650 cars from their parking garage.
It would have taken 60 years before proposed community benefits would have matched their savings!

• Hines could have built 33% of the project, the most profitable office build-
ing and traffic generator in the complex, with no obligation to build any housing
at all for ten years.

• Hines would have provided 498 housing units- 2 units below the number requi-
red to provide proof of an available water source.

• The city has allowed downtown developers during a time of drought to build apartment buildings without individual water meters, contrary to the building code thus saving developers money at the community’s expense.

• The city continues to allow large projects to proceed, even in the midst of extreme drought. These approvals will complicate the city’s goal to become water-independent by 2020 and likely result in higher water rates for residents.

Common Sense:

• The City needs to negotiate or prescribe agreements where the benefits to
the City match or exceed the savings to developers.

• The City must receive ironclad guarantees that “future promises” are kept
in a timely manner–not a decade or two away.

• The City must prevent indirect costs, such as infrastructure upgrades rel-
ated to developments, from being passed onto residents.

• The City must enforce both the building and zoning codes, for all develop-
ers and their projects large and small.

• The City must restrict the construction of large projects unless they can demonstrate an independent water supply that will not impact water availability elsewhere in the city.

City Management Issues:

• An excessively burdensome building approval process imposes unreasonable
delays.

• City projects lack common-sense benefits to the public. Example: the bus shelter redesign has provided uncomfortable bus benches, little shade and insuf-ficient bus information.

• City projects impose burdens on everyday tasks. Examples: 1) parking at the
Ken Edwards Center is difficult to operate, especially for seniors. 2) Parking structure signs at city-owned lots obstruct view of oncoming traffic.

• City duplicates work done by expensive outside consultants. The Fifth/Ariz-
ona project, for example, had six planning staff working on the project proposal,
in addition to staff employed by the developer.

• The city pays excessively high salaries in relation to its size to that of comparable cities. Our city employs 62 people earning over $300,000 a year, not including their 80% pension. Pasadena–with a larger population– has only one per-
son earning over that amount.

Common Sense:

• Streamline the building approval process and apply building and zoning regulations in a consistent manner. This provides certainty to developers and assurance to citizens that rules will be followed as intended.

• Use a common-sense approach to city projects. It doesn’t take a brain sur-
geon to understand that a bus stop needs seats with arms and backs and shading
from sun and rain.

• Make sure that everyday projects such as parking signs and gates work for people in a practical way. Bring in members of the public to test prototypes and
see if they actually function as intended.

• Control the use of outside consultants (who often promote their projects despite community concerns). Don’t duplicate the work of developers. Do more
work in-house and use expensive consultants only when necessary. The city already employs many talented, well-paid people who are qualified to perform most city functions.

• Control and limit the top salaries of city employees to align with the city’s goals are comparable with other cities of a similar size.

We want the city to start using common sense in its operations, expenditures, transportation policies and finances. Santa Monica needs a healthy dose of Common Sense.

SMa.r.t. (Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow)

Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA, architect, Daniel Jansenson, Architect, Thane Roberts AIA, architect, Robert H. Taylor AIA, architect. Armen Melkonians, Civil Engineer, Ron Goldman FAIA, architect, Samuel Tolkin, Architect, Phil Brock, Chair, Recreation and Parks Commission

NEW COUNCIL ACTS TO FILL SOME OLD LOOPHOLES

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The agenda for the first full meeting of the new City Council suggests that
it plans to move quickly to resolve some old questions and add some new rules.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Council members Gleam Davis and Ted Winterer will
ask the Council to direct Staff to prepare a proposed amendment to the Interim
Zoning Ordinance that will add small youth-serving arts and exercise facilities (e.g., dance studios, martial arts studios less than 3,000 square feet) in build-
ings designed and constructed for commercial purposes on multi-family residen-
tially zoned lots located across an alley from a commercially zoned district. Parking standards for these uses should be broadly consistent with those being proposed in the draft DSP. This amendment will encourage the retention of afford-
able youth-serving businesses in the community that provide a vital service to
local school children and their families.

Request of Mayor Kevin McKeown and Council members Sue Himmelrich and Winterer
that Council direct staff to prepare an ordinance or other means to protect households that have received a rent subsidy from the City of Santa Monica,
including Section 8 or Shelter Plus Care, from income source discrimination, including landlord refusal to accept vouchers.

Request of McKeown, Himmelrich and Winterer that Council direct staff to develop
a plan to augment AB2222’s affordable housing replacement provisions with local protections, providing existing tenants who are displaced with interim housing support and the right to return to the new development.

Request of Mayor Pro Tem Tony Vazquez and Council member Himmelrich that the
City Attorney present the Council with an ordinance to require lobbyists repre-senting clients who seek benefits or contracts from the City to register with
the City and provide other information that will help promote transparency.

WE ARE FERGUSON LA SATURDAY

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Tomorrow, Saturday, 1:00pm, Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. 586 people
will be there.

On Saturday (12/13), thousands of people across the country will take part in
a national day of resistance, demanding justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner,
and all those targeted by the systemic crisis of anti-Black policing. Our na-
tional leaders are paying more attention to police brutality than they have in
years. It’s the power of our collective voices and civil unrest that have got-
ten us here — and we must continue.

Join an action tomorrow to help increase pressure on President Obama and Atto-
rney General Eric Holder to hold Darren Wilson, Officer Pantaleo and other off-
icers who have killed and brutalized Black youth and adults fully accountable.
We need a powerful show of people to match the crisis of our time. Find an
event in your area using the links below and click on the posters to download
a printable version.FergusonAction.com. Ferguson National Response Network

And if you can’t make it in person, please help strengthen the growing movement
by sharing the Justice For Mike Brown and Justice for Eric Garner campaigns with
your friends and family.

Although the vast majority of protests are peaceful, there is a real risk of po-
lice violence or arrest. In response to the growing movement for police accountability, law enforcement have militarized their tactics and are cracking
down on people exercising their first amendment right to free speech. Before attending an action, make sure you know your rights and check out the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) on twitter and your local NLG chapter for a local hotline to report police violence or receive legal support if you are arrested.

From Colorofchange.org

SW CITIES VOTE TO REPLACE O’CONNOR ON METRO BOARD WITH INGLEWOOD’S BUTTS

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Damien Newton, StreetsBlogLA

Earlier this morning, the “Southwest Corridor” cities voted for a new official
to represent them on the Metro Board of Directors, replacing Santa Monica Councilwoman Pam O’Connor with Inglewood Mayor James Butts. The vote needs to
be ratified by the City Selection Committee when it meets in January.

Butts was Chief of Police in Santa Monica from 1991 to 2006. His tenure here overlapped O’Connor’s tenure as Councilwoman. .

Assuming he is approved by the full City Selection Committee in January, Butts
will serve a four-year term that ends in January 2019. There is no term limit
to serving on the Metro Board nor as Mayor of Inglewood, so Butts could be a
major player for a long-time on transportation issues.

Butts doesn’t have quite the record that O’Connor does as a leader on transpor-
tation, but Inglewood has become a larger player in recent years. The future
Crenshaw Line has two stops in Inglewood and the city earned a grant from Metro
to host a CicLAvia-style open street event in the next couple of years.

O’Connor, who served as Metro Board Chair in 2007 and founded the agency’s sustainability committee, barely survived a municipal election in Santa Monica
last month. She will continue to serve as Chair of the Expo Construction Author-
ity as the representative from the City of Santa Monica. .
Before the meeting, rumors circulated at potential challengers to O’Connor which included former Beverly Hills City Councilman John Mirisch and Torrance Mayor Pat Furey. Mirisch, an opponent of the Westside Subway Extension, seconded Butts’ nomination.

The Los Angeles County City Selection Committee Southwest Corridor Sector consists of nineteen cities. Each city has a weighted vote depending on population. Santa Monica has 9 votes.

SHINE CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAYS WITH STORIES OF FORGIVENESS

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SHINE will present a special show this holiday season with true stories on
the theme “A Time to Forgive?” on Thursday, December 18, at the YWCA Westside.

As the SHINE audience will be celebrating the holidays, with families and
friends, the producers trust these stories of forgiveness will be touching, heartwarming and inspiring.

SHINE is a storytelling series highlighting experienced and new storytellers
coming together on the third Thursday of every month to share inspiring true stories. The event features a relaxed community atmosphere, powerful and enter-
taining stories, refreshments, mingling, and live music.

This edition of SHINE will be hosted by Deana Barone, storyteller/ actress/
writer/director. Deana runs The Tell-Tale Company, acts, tells stories all
over L.A., tutors kids and teens, guest artists at UCSB, leads story work-
shops for actors and business people. She created, curated and co-hosted
the long-running The Trunk Show (The Elephant Theatre’s monthly multi-genre storytelling show),

Professional storytellers for SHINE are chosen from some of the nation’s top
award-winning storytellers and writers. Amateur storytellers of all ages and
walks of life also take the stage. Submissions are accepted before the event
and two slots are reserved for audience members selected through a random draw-
ing.

Storytellers scheduled for December include:

Joan Afton, an actress, began her career doing improv and is known for the
films Sweetener and Help Yourself. A research and business consultant, she is currently working on a solo show on her lifelong relationship with her breasts.

Dylan Brody is a nationally renowned humorist and storyteller, an award-winning playwright, an author, a poet, a lyricist, and a martial artist. He has opened
for David Sedaris and has headlined clubs all over the country including the Los Angeles Story Telling Festival. He has appeared on A&E, FOX TV and Showtime. He currently writes and performs regularly for the David Feldman show on KPFK in Los Angeles and is a regular contributor to John Rabe’s Off Ramp on KPCC, NPR’s Pasa-
dena affiliate.

Stacie Chaiken is writer-performer of Looking for Louie, What She Left [Next Year
in Jerusalem], based on Holocaust materials, and The Dig, running at the Odyssey Theatre in January. A Fulbright Senior Specialist in the field of Performance and Story, she facilitates What’s the Story? a Los Angeles-based studio for writers
and performers who are wrestling with personal story.

Melanie Hamlett is a three-time Moth StorySLAM winner, a comedian, and a writer. She’s done the Risk! podcast six times, has performed all over New York City and
now Los Angeles, including places such as the Upright Citizens Brigade, where she
is a regular monologist for Asssscat 3000, the longform improv show.

Saul Isler has authored three novels and is currently completing a trilogy of his Ovid Kent mysteries. He has recently published The Man in the Parking Lot; 24 Short Short Stories. Flashes II. He’s a Cleveland native who now lives alone with his cat, Andy, in Santa Monica.

Montana Roesch is an actress new to the story telling community. After graduating from San Francisco School of the Arts, Montana began studying with Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in Los Angeles. This year Montana helped found Two
Way Street Productions with fellow Adler Academy alumni. Montana can also be
found volunteering at West Side German Shepherd Rescue.

Joshua Silverstein is an actor, beatboxer, event producer, host, youth mentor, educator, and writer. He co-hosts monthly Westside events.

People interested in becoming a SHINE storyteller are encouraged to visit www.StoreyProductions.com in advance for monthly theme and guidelines.

SHINE is produced and hosted by Isabel Storey and presented by Storey Productionsin association with Santa Monica Repertory Theater, UCLArts and Healing, and the YWCA Women’s Partnership, 2019 14th Street, Santa Monica 90405. For more information, www.smywca.org or 310-452-2321.

ADMISSION:
$10 Suggested donation at door

JOBS ARE RECOVERING, BUT INCOMES FALLING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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Los Angeles – Fueled by low-paying jobs that offer little opportunity for
upward mobility, Southern California is on an economic collision course,
according to new reports that show income levels throughout the six-county
region stagnating even as jobs return.

The reports, by the region’s top economists, highlight the seismic shift that
has taken place as low-paying jobs with minimal education requirements have
replaced higher-paying positions that once sustained Southern California’s mid-
dle class.

In Los Angeles County alone, two-thirds of projected job openings over the next
five years will come from occupations that require a high school diploma or
less and little to no work experience. This continues a disturbing trend that
has eroded inflation-adjusted median household incomes in the county since 1990.

“This is a call to action,” said Carl Morehouse, a councilmember from the City
of San Buenaventura and president of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). “We’ve talked for years about the impact of the jobs we lost – the kinds of jobs that allowed people and families to thrive – and now we’re
seeing it in black and white.”

For the remaining jobs anticipated, the region will need to overcome current challenges to providing quality education and training.

“While we are growing lower paying jobs and part-time work, the paradox is that
we are seeing a lot of higher-paying jobs going unfilled because of a skills
gap,” said Wallace Walrod, SCAG’s chief economic advisor at the Orange County Business Council. “More needs to be done in terms of creating pathways from educ-ation and workforce development programs to available good-paying jobs.
That’s where the opportunity lies.”

The economists’ reports will be the centerpiece of SCAG’s Fifth Annual Southern California Economic Recovery & Job Creation Summit, to be held on Dec. 4 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. More than 400 of the region’s top busi-
ness and government leaders are expected to attend. Featured speakers include California State Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León and former Gov. Gray Davis.

SCAG, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, has become a lead-
ing voice on the region’s economic challenges. At last year’s economic summit, it reported that one in four children in the six-county region live in poverty. It
has since pulled together stakeholders from throughout the region to discuss
tangible solutions, and on Dec. 4, will unveil a seven-point poverty plan.

“This is not someone else’s problem; it’s our problem,” said Hasan Ikhrata, SCAG executive director. “It’s also not simply about poverty, but about the quality of life for our entire region. We can’t ignore it anymore.”

The economist reports drive home that point. Though most project jobs to return
to pre-recession levels sooner than expected, the quality of the jobs gained versus those that were replaced along with a looming skills gap threatens the region’s economic viability.

In the Inland Empire, the median income adjusted for inflation declined 9.1 percent from 1990 to 2013. A major factor is continued slow growth in the manufacturing sector, which produced only 142 jobs in 2013 and is on track to add a mere 125 jobs this year.

Similar stories play out throughout the region:

– In Los Angeles County, the four fastest-growing employment categories – cashiers, retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, and food preparation and serving – pay an average of $18,860 to $21,480 annually. Overall inflation-adjusted median household income dropped from an equivalent of $61,544 in 1990 to $54,529 in 2013.
– In Orange County, despite a 90 percent chance of employment totals returning to pre-recession levels sometime in 2015, job growth in predominantly low-wage sectors and an increase in housing prices pose a significant risk to steady economic growth. Even in the health care industry, a key growth driver for Orange County, jobs are mainly comprised of low-paying services and assistant roles while high-paying RN positions are the most unfilled in terms of current job openings.

– In Ventura County, job growth has slowed since 2012-2013, and for the first time since the mid-1990s, the county’s vital defense industry has experienced an actual decline in employment. Though the leisure and hospitality sector has been one of the county’s strongest, it also tends to pay poorly.
– In Imperial County, the most impoverished county in the SCAG region with an unemployment rate of 23.9 percent, 61 percent of jobs in the fastest-growing sec-
tors pay less than $30,000 per year.

THE TWO SCARIEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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By Danny Feingold, Publisher, CAPITAL & MAIN

If you’ve opened up a California newspaper over the last month, there’s a good
chance you’ve come across a phrase that, despite its blandness, is routinely
deployed by editors, reporters and politicians to strike terror in the hearts of voters:

“Unfunded liabilities.”

Newspapers all over the state would have you believe that the existence of un-
funded liabilities in California’s public sector pension systems is the fiscal equivalent of Hurricane Sandy. The wonky truth, however, is much less dramatic.
As Dan Braun explains in exquisite detail, the reality is that unfunded liabil-
ities are a routine part of the boom-and-bust cycle of the financial markets
that pension systems are invested in.

But that’s not what you’ll hear from the many hyped-up horror stories in papers
like the L.A. Times. Lingering behind these stories is a political agenda: to
blame the state’s budgetary problems on public sector workers, and to force them
to shoulder the burden of closing the fiscal gap.

Read Dan Braun’s breakdown of the real condition of the state’s public pension systems (in Capital & Main), and share it with your friends and colleagues so
they know not to take the bait from what they read in the papers.

“FACING AL AQABA,” A WEST BANK PHOTOGRAPHIC INSTALLATION TO OPEN HERE

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Facing A Aqaba, a West Bank photo installation, will be displayed at Arlington
West, on the beach north of the Santa Monica Pier, in collaboration with the Vet-
erans for Peace, Los Angeles.

Early on December 14th, a team of volunteers will gather on the beach on the north side of the Santa Monica Pier and install a unique wooden & fabric structure that will be on display for three consecutive Sundays, Dec. 14, 21, 28.

It features 35 life-size photographic images, printed on fabric and hung from a
grid allowing visitors to walk around and among the photographs.

The images represent the 300 remaining men, women and children of the village of Al Aqaba, located on the Palestinian West Bank. The village is now under threat of extinction with every house in the community under demolition orders from the Israe
li Civil Authorities.

Maurice Jacobsen, creator of Facing Al Aqaba, explains: “”In 1967 2000 people lived in the community, today only scattered families remain. The question, of course, has to be asked why, and this is our story. . . . The village wants the international community to know and understand who they are and what the village stands for…to gain an understanding of their day-to-day lives and the conditions under which they live. Theirs is a philosophy of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect.”

The Facing Al Aqaba installation has three main goals and objectives.
• To introduce Santa Monica visitors and residents to the men, women and children
of the village through photography.

• To raise the visibility and profile of the village in the eyes of the international community, thus literally enhancing its chance for survival

• To create an environment in which visitors have the opportunity to judge for themselves the course of events in Palestine. Our goal is to provide a place in which teaching and learning, not conflict, can be shared.

Members of Veterans for Peace along with Jacobsen, the photo-journalist, will be present at all times to answer questions and enter into discussion of the issues
at hand.

The installation opened at ArtPrize 2013, www.artprize.org. Curator Ben Mitchell says of the work: “Jacobsen’s Facing Al Aqaba is sophisticated and deeply intell-igent, and his photography and videography is highly accomplished and beautiful.
But of far deeper significance, his work is humane, soulful, and tenderly per-
ceptive. Rather than creating a piece of political propaganda about a region
long locked in deep and terrible conflict—the easy way out for a lesser artist—
he has made a socially insightful and human document about ordinary people in an extraordinary time and place. It is powerful work.”

Statement from Veterans for Peace: “The peoples of Palestine, Israel and the world deserve to live in peace and harmony. The ultimate goal of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war. In the meantime, we stand ready to assist those Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace and reconciliation.

Maurice Jacobsen is an independent media producer who has worked throughout the
world for the past thirty years. After completing projects produced for PBS (Dialogue, Will Our Children Thank Us?) and Discovery Channel Europe (Expedition 360), he began working in the Middle East with funding from KQED-TV, San Francisco and ITVS on the online documentary Jerusalem: A Living History.

In 2013 he produced the multimedia project Facing Al Aqaba www.facing-al-aqaba.com
a photographic essay documenting the men, women and children of this West Bank community of 300. A broadcast documentary, “Encircled” was commissioned by Press
TV and has recently been completed. https://vimeo.com/87079373. Currently the photo installation is on tour in Southern California.

Jacobsen has a BA in Film Production from the University of Denver and has studied
at the American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab, Los Angeles where he special-
ized in the production of online documentary programming. He has taught on the faculties of American University, Washington, DC, The New School for Social Research, New York and The University of Bridgeport. While in The Gaza Strip in 2012, he taught video production to aspiring journalists under a USAid sponsored program coordinated by InterNews.

Prior to his work in the Middle East, Jacobsen was a producer with Video Free America, San Francisco where he was involved in the production and editing of projects throughout the world for clients ranging from Cisco Systems to the San Francisco Unified School District.

He has been the recipient of numerous programming awards including four Emmy nominations in local documentary programming and national first place honors from
the National Cable Television Association and the National Federation of Local
Cable Programmers in documentary production.

MCKEOWN AND VAZQUEZ NAMED MAYOR, MAYOR PRO TEM

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The Dispatch reported yesterday that tonight’s City Council meeting would begin
a new chapter in Santa Monica.

In fact, an entirely new era got off to a fast and very propitious start.

Rumors proliferated again yesterday of out-going mayor Pam O’Connor’s efforts
to “stack” the Council with pro-growth allies. In addition, talk of her all-
eged “promise” to make Council member Tony Vazquez mayor, if he would join her
on the pro-growth band wagon and, not incidentally, block Kevin McKeown from becoming mayor continued, but, as we learned tonight, it all came to nothing.

This evening, at 6:30, a capacity-plus crowd, including many children, streamed
into the Council chambers. The requisite paper work was done. The current Coun-
cil’s run ended.

The City Clerk then swore in the new Rent Control Board, the new SMC Board of trustees, the new School Board, and the new City Council, which consisted of
four holdovers, (Gleam Davis, Terry O’Day, Ted Winterer and Vazquez) two re-
elected members (O’Connor and McKeown) and one new member, Sue Himmelrich.

The first order of business was choosing a new mayor and mayor pro tem. Himmel-
rich nominated McKeown for mayor, Vazquez as mayor pro tem in the first term,
and Vazquez as mayor and Ted Winterer as mayor pro tem in the second term.
Someone called for election by acclamation rather than a roll call vote. O’Day suddenly nominated Gleam Davis for mayor, but Davis refused. O’Day then tried
to nominate Winterer, who also refused.

Himmelich’s nominations were approved by acclamation. McKeown then took the
mayor’s seat, to much applause,as O’Connor took the chair McKeown had occupied
for eight years.

The new Council’s agenda had only one item: .a request by O’Day and Winterer
that the Council support Hermosa Beach’s March vote opposing oil drilling in
the waters off its beach. There were ten speakers, including several from
Santa Monica. The Council approved the item.

And a new era has begun. When Vazquez becomes mayor, he will be the first La-
tino mayor in Santa Monica’s 139-year history.