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At the June 27th City Council meeting, Councilmember Jesse Zwick queeried police chief Ramon Batista about the crime statistics in the city. Batista replied that while crime has been rising in recent years, it hasn’t reached the pre-pandemic levels that Santa Monica experienced before 2020.
You wouldn’t know that by reading the news, going to a City Council meeting, or interacting with neighbors on social media. The “Santa Monica Is Not Safe” banner at the Promenade has gone from being a curiosity and source of bafflement to a rallying cry for more conservative elements of the city’s body politic.Yesterday, a group called The Santa Monica Coalition held its first volunteer meeting, rallying under the banner of Santa Monica as an unsafe city.
This constant framing of Santa Monica as some sort of urban war zone needs to stop. Here at Santa Monica Next we’re trying to push back against the misinformation that’s being promoted for whatever reason. Whether it’s exposing the shoddy and misleading practices of the Pulse Polls, demonstrating the beauty and ingenuity of Santa Monica’s bike infrastructure, unmasking shady political organizations or keeping an eye on how people skirt (or abuse) campaign finance law; Next has been committed in bringing truth and facts to the local discourse as best we can.
But to say Next has a shoestring budget is not an overstatement. Currently, Next’s editor is splitting time between that and his duties fundraising for and publishing the three Streetsblogs in California. Our advertising stream is picking up steam, but it’s still growing to what it needs to be to support a full time writer and/or editor. To make that next step and continue to shine a light on what’s going on behind the scenes in local politics, we need your help.
Of course, donations to support Santa Monica Next are appreciated, and we hope if you haven’t donated this year that you’ll consider doing so. But if there’s another way you’d like to help (host a party, introduce us to a new donor/advertiser, contribute content, etc…,) you can always shoot an email to email@example.com.
Thank you as always for reading, and look for news on our next event in August!,
The Santa Monica Next Team.