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Year-End Poll Gauges City's Direction, Housing, Indoor Masking and Crime
By Jorge Casuso
December 27, 2022 -- A year-end poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with public safety found few believe the City is headed in the right direction, but many are keeping an open mind as a new Council takes over.
The poll also found about two-thirds of the 160 residents polled oppose reinstating an indoor mask mandate and believe a flood of proposed housing developments will make Santa Monica less livable.
Nearly all of those polled via text message between December 16 and 21 believe not enough is being done to hold repeat offenders accountable.
The monthly poll -- taken shortly after Councilmembers Gleam Davis and Phil Brock were elected to each serve a year as mayor -- found that 15 percent believe the City is headed in the right direction ("Davis, Brock to Serve Year Each as Mayor," December 6, 2022).
Forty-three percent said it was not headed in the right direction.
The remaining 42 percent were not sure about the direction of the city under the new Council, which includes newly elected Councilmembers Caroline Torosis and Jesse Zwick ("Liberal Establishment Makes Comeback," December 5, 2022).
Asked whether LA County's indoor mask mandate should be reinstated during a rise in coronavirus cases, 67 percent said they oppose the move, while 29 percent support it. About 4 percent were undecided.
The poll conducted by the hotel union watchdog Eyes on 11 also gauged residents' positions on the 16 development applications submitted under the “Builder’s Remedy” law.
The flurry of last-ditch proposals would add some 4,500 units or "double the total built in the last 20 years" ("City Officials Caught Off Guard by Flurry of Development Submissions," October 13, 2022).
Sixty-six percent of respondents said the developments would make the city less livable, 9 percent said it would make it more livable, while 9 percent said the projects would have no impact. The remaining 16 percent weren't sure.
The poll also asked if "the city should do a better job holding violent repeat offenders accountable for their crimes, including for instance longer jail time."
The poll noted that "in several instances this year, individuals arrested for violent crimes in Santa Monica were subsequently released from jail ("LETTERS -- Repeat Violent Offenders Expose Folly of Criminal Justice Policies," November 30, 2022).
Not surprisingly, 92 percent agree the City needs to do a better job, 6 percent disagree and 2 percent were not sure.
Santa Monica voters have overwhelmingly approved Statewide measures police blame for rising crime rates driven by repeat offenders.
In 2014, Santa Monica voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 47, which re-categorized some nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors, with nearly 79 percent of the vote, compared to 60 percent statewide.
Two years later, nearly 82 percent of Santa Monica voters backed Proposition 57, which hastened the release of some non-violent offenders from prisons. By comparison, the measure received 68 percent of the vote statewide.
As with previous polls, the latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to nearly 1,000 residents who "previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city." It had a 16 percent response rate.
Those who wish to be included in the next poll should email their name and cell phone number to SaMoPulse@gmail.com
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