Club Fails to Take Stance on Prop T
By Jorge Casuso
September 26 – The Santa Monica Democratic Club
will take no position on Prop T after the group’s endorsement
meeting Wednesday ended before a vote could be cast.
While the group’s members rejected a motion not to take a position, it
seemed clear that neither side had the necessary 60 percent of the vote to either
back or oppose the measure, which caps most commercial development in the city,
club officials said.
“The final result not to endorse would have happened anyway,” said
Julie Lopez Dad, the club’s president. “But we ended up with some
very unhappy members.”
The meeting at St. Anne’s Catholic Church ran 10 minutes over and had
to be adjourned when the person in charge of locking up the building had to
“If we’d had another minute it could have been (to
make a motion ) to continue” the item at an upcoming meeting
when the club is scheduled to make endorsements on State ballot
measures, Dad said.
The members also had no time to discuss the measure formerly known as the Residents’
Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT), which would cap most commercial development
in the city at 75,000 square feet a year for 15 years.
Members “didn’t have a chance to ask questions,” Dad said.
“That was as important as the vote. It’s very important for people
to talk about these issues.”
The local Democratic Club is not the first group that has failed
to take a position on Prop T.
At its August convention, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights
(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)
While the local Democratic Club will take no position on the
issue, the County Democratic Party voted earlier this month to
endorse the measure, which proponents contend will curb traffic
congestion in the beachside city. (“Dem
Club Endorses Genser, Bloom; Shriver Falls Short,” September
So far, all the major local public unions, as well as the Chamber of Commerce
and the School and College Boards, have voted to oppose Prop T.
Opponents argue the measure will do little or nothing to alleviate the city’s
worsening traffic crunch, while potentially curbing future general
fund revenues that could be used for education and public safety.