Does Not Take Position on T, Backs AA, SM
By Lookout Staff
October 2 – The PTA became the third Santa Monica
organization not to take a stance on Prop T, a controversial measure
on the November Ballot that would cap most commercial development
in the beachside city.
The PTA’s Legislative Committee did take stances to support Prop A, a
$295-million bond measure to replace outdated facilities at Santa Monica College,
and Prop SM, which would continue and update the City’s Utilities Tax
on telecommunication services.
The decision not to take a position on Prop T came after lengthy deliberations
last month following an analysis of each the ballot measure's
language, as well as arguments from both sides. It also studied
whether the measure had a basis for advocacy as required under
State PTA authorities.
“Based upon the studies and recommendations of its Legislative Committee,
PTA Council determined that sufficient PTA authorities exist to warrant taking
positions on Measure A and Proposition SM, but not on Measure T,” Kennerly
The PTA joined Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR)
and the Santa Monica Democratic Club in not taking a position
on Prop T, formerly known as the Residents’ Initiative to
Fight Traffic (RIFT).
The two organizations were deeply divided over the measure, which would cap
most commercial development in Santa Monica at 75,000 square feet a year for
the next 15 years.
At its August convention, SMRR voted not to make an endorsement,
although it voted to retain its usual procedures and allow its
steering committee to take a position. (“Divided
SMRR Stays Neutral on RIFT,” August 3, 2008)
Last week, the Democratic Club failed to take a position when
its meeting ended before the members could take a vote. (“Dem
Club Fails to Take Stance on Prop T,” September 26, 2008)
While the PTA is a non-partisan organization and cannot weigh in on candidate
elections, it can take positions on local measures “that fall within our
PTA authorities,” Kennerly said.
“November’s crowded ballot is no exception,” she said. “Our
Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs has a long history of advocacy, including
participating in local races.
“Local PTA advocates for and takes positions on measures promoting programs
for the health, education and safety of all children and families
as well as measures affecting adequate and stable funding to support
student academic achievement,” according to a statement
from the organization.