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Poll Finds Strong Support for Boosting Security Downtown
By Jorge Casuso
May 27, 2022 -- Santa Monica residents who participated in a push poll this month expressed strong support for Counclmember Phil Brock's get-tough approach to tackling Downtown's homeless problem.
The poll of some 170 "civically engaged" residents also found that nearly three in four respondents were unsure who they will vote for in the June primary race for County Supervisor.
The poll taken via phone text between May 19 and 25 found that 85 percent believe Brock's call for replacing the Downtown safety ambassadors with security guards and round-the-clock police patrols would decrease crime Downtown.
Nine percent said they didn't think such a move would reduce crime, while 6 percent weren't sure.
Brock's call -- which came in a May 1 email responding to a Downtown activist landlord -- echoed longstanding complaints that public parking structures have turned into nighttime shelters for the homeless and half the Promenade's storefronts are shuttered.
"It’s been time to act for a long time," Brock wrote in his letter to John Alle. "The inaction has led to stagnation and to further decline. The one thing we can no longer be, is passive."
Brock's letter also called for "a dissolution" of the current Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) board ("Brock Calls for Get-Tough Approach to Promenade's Homeless Problem," May 2, 2022).
This month's poll also found few had settled on a candidate in the June 7 California primary for the Supervisor's seat vacated by Santa Monica resident Sheila Kuehl, who was first elected in 2014.
Asked who they would most likely vote for "if the election for District 3 County Supervisor were held tomorrow," 72 percent said they weren't sure.
Ten percent chose State Senator Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys, while the other five candidates -- State Senator Henry Stern of Malibu, West Hollywood Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath, Roxanne Beckford Hoge, Craig Brill and Jeffi Girgenti -- failed to get 5 percent.
The poll also asked how confident respondents were that Santa Monica's new City Attorney, Doug Sloan from Fresno, "will help solve the issues of crime, homelessness, and overdevelopment facing the city."
One-third said they were not confident, 13 percent were somewhat confident, 3 percent were very confident and 51 percent were "not sure."
The Council voted unanimously on May 10 to hire Sloan two years after embarking on a search to fill the City's top legal post ("Santa Monica Hires Fresno City Attorney," May 11, 2022).
Sloan will assume the post on June 6, replacing Susan Cola, the third person to fill the position on an interim basis since April 2020.
Under the five-year contract approved by the Council, Sloan will earn a starting salary of $320,136, the second highest in Santa Monica City government.
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 17 percent response rate.
The poll is conducted by Eyes on 11, a hotel union watchdog. 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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