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Santa Monica Council Candidates Get Personal
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

Editor’s Note: The Lookout News sent several questions to the 10 candidates running for Santa Monica City Council. Eight responded. Each answer was limited to 150 words. The Lookout is publishing the candidates' answers verbatim over several days.

October 28, 2016 -- For the final item on the questionnaire, the candidates were told the following: Let’s get to know you outside politics. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Gleam Davis, incumbent
I do a pretty good Marvin the Martian impression.

Armen Melkonians, challenger
I was driving on the 5 freeway with my good friend in the passenger seat. It was midday, clear skies, a sunny summer Saturday. We were in the fast lane. Suddenly, my friend shouts and points toward the median. I see a tiny quivering kitten. Her bigger than life eyes lock contact with mine and I know I must act. I stop, hazards blinking. I can’t remember how, but we safely stop traffic. Approaching the kitten, she bolts across lanes. I catch her. She bites my hand. Traffic is now moving again and I know if I let her go she's sure to get hit. I hang on tight with tiny sharp teeth piercing the web of my hand between my thumb and index finger. Our family grew by one that night. My lovely wife, our dog, and Freeway--our new kitty cat.

Ted Winterer, incumbent
Little known facts: I have a varsity letter earned in college for slalom whitewater kayak racing and was awarded the Clarence E. Allen trophy as an accomplished naturalist when I was a teen.

Terry O’Day, incumbent
I once played semi-professional baseball in Southeastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey.

Mende Smith, challenger
I am a published poet. Poetry is my first love. As a writer and author with two collections of poems and an evolving collection of pieces in literary mags and anthologies, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a creative life. For me, Santa Monica is a great place to live and work. After five years as a freelance writer commuting back and forth from my home state of Washington to Los Angeles, my kitty cat -- Santa MoniCat on Facebook -- and I have finally settled in the North East Neighborhood.

Jon Mann, challenger
I'm a voracious reader and avid science fiction fan. World traveler; living in a lighthouse, windmill, caves on Formentera, and Matala (where I met Joni Mitchell). Cycled New Zealand, skied Mt. Cook, body surfed Kuta Beach, Puerto Escondido, the Atlantic coast of Morocco, etc. My first demonstration was the Poor Peoples March on Washington, every anti-Vietnam moratorium, Kent State, Million Mom March, Battle in Seattle, and most recently I was a Bernie peace keeper at the DNC in Philly.

Tony Vazquez, incumbent
Throughout my life I have always been drawn to animals. We have always had a dog or a cat in the family. I also love horses, and felt immense pride being able to ride a beautiful Palomino in the Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade.

Terence Later, challenger
I was in the music industry under the likes of Stevie Wonder and Gil Scott Heron and many other bands doing promotion and music production.


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