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We say this a lot, but this week really is a busy week in Santa Monica.

Hear from Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez and City Manager Rick Cole at the State of the City, celebrate the end of Hack the Beach, Santa Monica’s first civic-engagement hackathon, volunteer your time to help combat homelessness, get caught up on all thing related to Expo safety with the SMPD, and discuss Fair Chance employment policies for the formerly incarcerated with Social Service Commission.

Volunteer to Help the Homeless

There’s still time left to register as a volunteer to help with Santa Monica’s annual homeless count on Wednesday, January 27 from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Volunteers can register today at www.santamonicahomelesscount.com. No experience necessary. Training will be provided.

Why is this important? According to the city’s website, “The Count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to track each community’s progress towards ending homelessness. Count results have a direct impact on the amount of federal funds allocated to homeless programs nationally and how those funds are distributed. The count and demographic survey will give a snapshot of who is experiencing homelessness and where they are located.”

Next Sponsor

It’s a big undertaking so the city needs is seeking about 250 volunteers.

When: Wednesday, January 27 from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Where: St. Monica Catholic Community, Grand Pavilion, 725 California Ave.

State of the City

It’s a new year and that means it’s time to check in with our community leaders for the annual State of the City event, put on the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s theme is “Innovate & Create,” fitting since at the event, the winner of Hack the Beach, Santa Monica’s first civic-oriented hackathon will be announced.

“The annual State of the City event provides an important update by our City Leaders as well as offering a robust and ambitious business discussion with some of Santa Monica’s leaders” said Julia Ladd, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and A.V. P., Santa Monica Place.

For more information or for tickets, visit the Chamber’s website here.

When: Thursday, January 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: SGI – Soka Gakkai International Auditorium 525 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Hack the Beach Happy Hour

Hack the Beach is back from winter vacation and kicking off the final stretch of the city’s first civic-oriented hackathon with a happy hour at General Assembly tonight (Monday).

Last fall, Santa Monica launched Hack the Beach to activate the brain power of Silicon Beach to find innovative ways to disrupt the way people engage with their city, interact with their community, and get around.

Now that contest is coming to an end and tonight, you’ll be able to hear from the finalists. Register for the event here.

When: Monday, January 24 at 6 p.m.
Where: General Assembly, 1520 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Expo Safety Q&A with SMPD

It is arguably the biggest change to Westside transportation since the I-10 freeway was built out to Santa Monica. More than 50 years since the last passenger train ran through our streets, the Expo light rail train is set to start ferrying passengers this spring and the city of Santa Monica wants to make sure everybody is ready.

To that end, the Santa Monica Police Department will be holding the second of two informational meetings, emphasizing Expo safety, on Wednesday.

Lauralee Asch, Santa Monica Police Department crime prevention coordinator, told the Santa Monica Daily Press: “The reason that we think [the meetings are] important is because we want to make sure people are safe and we realize this is a big change in the daily lives of our residents and people who work here because we haven’t had a train here in 50 years.”

Metro just took control of the right-of-way from the Expo Construction Authority, the state-created agency charged with building the train line, on Friday, which means testing is expected to ramp up as Metro begins pre-revenue testing of the trains.

For more information, call SMPD Community Affairs at (310) 458-8474

When: Wednesday, January 27 from 7 to 8 p.m.
Where: Main Library, MLK Auditorium (601 Santa Monica Blvd.)

Social Service Commission Discusses Fair Chance Hiring

Starting at 7 p.m., the Social Services Commission will be discussing how Santa Monica can reduce barriers to employment for those who have been formerly incarcerated.

Chair Shawn Landres will be discussing steps Santa Monica can take to “ban the box,” removing barriers to employment for qualified workers who may have records.

Here is the meeting agenda.

When: Monday, January 24 at 7 p.m.
Where: Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401