Council Abandons Residents

By Kevin McKeown

September 13, 2023 -- Want better gun control? You’ll have to wait, thanks to Christine Parra. If you worry about people brandishing knives, you’ll have to wait, thanks to Phil Brock.

If affordable housing near the Expo Terminus excites you, you’ll have to wait, thanks to Lana Negrete. If you want to ride with your kids on bike paths unblocked by parked cars, you’ll have to wait, thanks to Oscar de la Torre.

The four named Councilmembers voted Tuesday night to leave unresolved a whole agenda full of timely items, with their petulant vote “no” on the standard motion to continue past 11 p.m.

I cannot recall another time ever when a Council majority deliberately chose to abandon the work of the City, apparently because they were unhappy with how the night had gone so far.

There cannot be a make-up meeting on the 22nd, as at least one key Councilmember will be out of the country. That means most of Tuesday night’s agenda must instead be addressed on the 26th, the meeting at which the Council previously had promised to hear the Housing Commission’s proposal on ownership housing.

I don’t know how many of us residents actually saw Tuesday night’s Council meeting. Atop all the truculence, technical difficulties meant there was no Granicus nor CityTV.

Those of us watching agape on YouTube saw the most dysfunctional meeting so far, with the only notables being what did NOT happen.

Councilmember Brock at the beginning withdrew his item to oppose SB 423, and then, just as public testimony was about to start, attempted to remove the labor demonstration part of his item 16-D, thinking that would mean he wouldn’t have to listen to hotel workers who’d been waiting five or six hours to speak.

Those workers DID speak. And brought up an interesting point worth pursuing: What action is being taken by the City to respond to the violence perpetrated on striking workers by Miramar security on August 5th, a shocking incident of which video has been widely distributed?

Editor's note: Kevin McKeown served on the Santa Monica City Council from 1998 to 2021.

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