Last month, Santa Monica Next reached out to all 10 candidates for City Council with an 11 question questionnaire. Some questions were written to give voters an idea of the candidates personality, others on their positions. So far, six candidates have responded. We would like to thank (in order of response) Terry O’Day, Gleam Davis, Mende Smith, Ted Winterer, John Mann and Terrance Later for their responses.
In past Q and A’s, we’ve made meme’s for one of the candidates to accompany the story. At the moment, we’ve memed each candidate that has submitted an answer to our questionnaire, so we’re going to skip that portion in the interest of fairness until we get to LV next week. Every candidate will get an LV meme.
If you’re just joining us, here is a list to past Q and A’s:
- Yes or no on the SMC Bond Measure,
- how to improve the experience of our seniors here,
- a recent trip each had taken on their bicycle,
- how the city can fight Climate Change.
- Vision Zero
- The L.U.C.E.
- Favorite Place to Go on the Expo Line
- Yes or No on GS and GSH
We hope to hear from Mayor Tony Vazquez, Armen Melkonians, Oscar de la Torre and James Watson so we can share their answers for the remaining six questions.
Today’s Question : Roughly 25% of Santa Monicans are between 18 and 35 years old (2010 census). What should the City do to prepare for their needs as they enter the workforce and form families?
Mende Smith :
We have a yearly city-wide yard sale that is coming up on September 24th. I’ll personally have some items on sale; I hope you come by the north east nabe! But why is this only an annual sale event? This is a great way for young people to fill out their homes, meet new people, and transition from a previous residence or consolidate their belongings after a marriage. Last year we had 120 participants – I can’t wait to see what crops up this year. Another solution that might be truly appreciated by our younger residents is an in-city tech-village pass for community
(NOTE : This submission came in well before September 24.)
The City needs to build more housing so young people have a place to live. That’s why I support a Memorial Park plan that will create townhouses and other family-oriented amenities around the park. Many young people also are electing to go car-free (which frees up income that can be used to offset housing costs). We can encourage that trend with more car share locations, improved transit and active transit infrastructure, and by allowing housing projects to reduce parking requirements and unbundle parking so that car-free residents are not forced to subsidize parking. Also, I think the City needs to ramp up its efforts to engage this age group so that its voice is heard and its needs are met. That means going beyond the usual type of City outreach which doesn’t seem to accommodate the needs of people with demanding jobs or young children who cannot always come to lengthy meetings.
LOW INCOME HOUSING!
Santa Monica is an infill city and our region continues to grow. If you oppose all development in Santa Monica, then by definition you favor it elsewhere in the region, pushing sprawl further and jeopardizing those places we MUST protect, like the Santa Monica Mountains and even Joshua Tree. The city graduates about 900 students from high school each year, yet produces less than 200 housing units annually.
We need to find ways to keep money in our city instead of going to developers, contractors, designers, etc. that are outside of Santa Monica. Currently, it seems our priority is drawing in more tourism as thus more development. While tourism is an excellent source of revenue for our city, it is time to re-direct our efforts back to benefitting those who live here, reinstating our commitment to community – especially for the future of our city, the youth.
Our Cradle to Career initiative and emphasis on lifelong learning with our partners at SMMUSD and SMC create many opportunities to continue to learn and our housing priorities have been adjusted to incentivize the production of more two and three bedroom apartments near transit with unbundled parking to reduce housing costs for those who don’t own cars.