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The Poll That Actually Got It Right

Charlyce Bozzello

The 2020 election outcomes look almost nothing like the predictions, and pollsters across the country are taking it on the chin. However, there was one poll in Santa Monica that actually got it right.

In October, Eyes on 11 released a poll that asked Santa Monicans how they perceived crime and safety in the city. The results weren’t promising ("Poll Shows Lack of Support for Council Incumbents," October 2, 2020).

When asked if they felt more or less safe in the city now compared to two years ago, almost half said “less safe.” On top of that, more than 50 percent of respondents said the City Council should be held accountable for crime and safety.

Over 40 percent then went on to say they believed the city’s performance when it came to managing homelessness was “poor.”

Overall, the majority of residents said they did not believe the City Council had done a good job. And that verdict was reflected in the results on Election Day.

According to the most recent results, Santa Monicans have voted out three City Council incumbents. Instead, residents cast their ballots for candidates who focused on the mounting issues of crime and homelessness in the city.

These candidates fared with voters than some incumbents, including Councilman Terry O’Day, who would rather dismiss these problems as mere “misperceptions.”

Councilman Ted Winterer was also in denial about the poll results, speculating that the questions were designed to "lead to desired answers.” But the poll got it right when it comes to the issues topping residents’ concerns.

Residents don’t feel their voice is being heard by City Hall -- and it’s not hard to see why.

Consider the City Council’s recent vote to approve the Plaza development. The vote was met with outrage from dozens of residents -- many of whom wrote to the Council or testified in person against the project.

But their pleas were drowned out by a letters campaign conducted by hospitality worker union Unite Here Local 11.

Dozens of union members -- many with addresses outside of the city -- sent similar form letters to the Council supporting the project. The union was mainly concerned with its own interests, not the community's. Still, the City Council sided with Local 11.

This is just the latest offense in the Council's long history of prioritizing the union’s interests over residents’ concerns. This Election Day, Santa Monicans decided enough was enough.

Charlyce Bozzello is the communications director at the Center for Union Facts


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