By Jorge Casuso
October 22 – While the battle over Prop T is essentially
pitting special interest groups and neighborhood organizations,
both sides are capturing dissenting voices to drive home their
An October 16 mailer from opponents of Prop T -- which would
cap most commercial development in Santa Monica at 75,000 square
feet a year over the next 15 years -- quoted the only dissenting
board member of a neighborhood group that supports the measure.
"I studied the traffic analysis. Measure T won’t reduce
traffic," the Friends of Sunset Park board member is quoted
as saying in the mailer opposing the measure.
Meanwhile, supporters of Prop T, also known as the Residents’
Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT), are touting a letter from
the dissenting steering committee member of the Community for
Excellent Public Schools, (CEPS), an education group that opposes
Backs Incumbents, Opposes 'T,'" October 6, 2008)
“CEPS' opposition will alienate community members who have
trusted our leadership and given us broad-based strength in pushing
the City to do the right thing for our schools,” Rochelle
Fanali wrote in her resignation letter to the committee. (see
CEPS is one of half a dozen special interest groups that have
opposed the measure, a coalition that also includes local chapters
of unions representing police, fire fighters, teachers, municipal
employees and hotel and restaurant employees.
“RIFT is opposed by the broadest coalition in our city’s
history,” reads a statement on the web site hosted by opponents
of the measure. Opponents also include “homeowners and renters,
social service and religious leaders, and nurses and doctors.”
On the other hand, Prop T counts on the support of the City’s
neighborhood groups -- Friends of Sunset Park, the North of Montana
Association, the Ocean Park Association, the Pico Neighborhood
Association and the Wilmont Neighborhood Coalition
As the race enters its final two weeks, supporters of the measure
are using what remains of the $92,000 they raised by October 1 and
any subsequent funds raised to make phone calls and send out two
“Remember that Measure T was put on the ballot by more than
10,000 Santa Monica voters who acted because their pleas for a
slowdown in development and traffic growth were being ignored,”
said Zina Josephs, the president of Friends of Sunset Park, referring
to the total number of signatures gathered.
By contrast, opponents, who had in hand nearly $100,000 of the
$428,000 they had raised by October 1, are focusing on full-color
mailers sent to every Santa Monica household.
One of the mailers features State senator Sheila Kuehl, who opposed
the measure two weeks ago and a middle school teacher.
According to informed sources from both camps, the race is too
close to call.