It’s a new year and that means it’s time for Santa Monica’s annual State of the City breakfast.
Billed as an “networking and educational event,” the breakfast is a chance to hear from business and community leaders — including Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown — about the accomplishments and challenges of last year. It’s also a chance to learn about what the future may hold in store for Santa Monica.
“The annual State of the City breakfast networking and educational event brings together the Santa Monica business and resident community with, city government leaders to hear the annual economic report and learn about new initiatives impacting our city. This year’s event will highlight the game changers of our community,” according to the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s website.
This year, the event will be held at the SGI- USA Auditorium (606 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401) on Tuesday, January 20 from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Tickets are available here.
Last year, Cirque du Soliel hosted the annual breakfast beneath its big top tent, which the world-renowned troupe had pitched in the parking lot north of the Pier.
At the 2014 breakfast, hundreds gathered — including Zev Yaroslavsky, who recently termed-out after 20 years sitting on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — to hear what was one of the first roundly positive State of the City addresses in Santa Monica since the start of the recession.
At that meeting, then-Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor spoke about the city’s many successes, including its pivotal role in securing the right-of-way and funding for the Expo Light Rail line, the first light rail line to connect Santa Monica to Downtown L.A. in about half a century. Santa Monica’s leadership as a regional champion of the environment was also highlighted.
While the 2014 event was mostly positive, Brad Cox, who was then chairperson of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, spoke about one of the major problems facing the city: a lack of housing.
Cox pointed out that there isn’t enough housing in the city for even half the people who work here.
This year, the housing problem still looms, especially after voters rejected Measure H in November. Measure H would have raised the fee Santa Monica levies on all property transfers in the city to generate funding for much-needed affordable housing preservation and construction.
But, at next Tuesday’s breakfast, we’ll also have a chance to hear about how local leaders hope to overcome the current challenges, big and small.