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Editorials, letters to the editor, and other community opinions about Santa Monica.

Opinion: The Only Certain Thing is Uncertainty

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On Tuesday, the Santa Monica City Council faced a difficult choice: whether to require 20-30 percent of units in new construction downtown be affordable, or whether to leave the requirement at only 15-20 percent. This...

Editorial: To Help End Homelessness in Los Angeles County Vote Yes on H, Tell...

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Every night, tens of thousands of people bed down in shelters, in their cars, or on the street. The causes are myriad. Some are homeless because of bad luck. Some are trying to escape...

Not-Inspirational: More on the Downtown Community Plan

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This was originally published on the Healthy City Local. In my rant a few days ago I promised (threatened?) to come back with substantive analysis of the Downtown Community Plan (DCP), which the Planning Commission...

Moving Goal Posts and New Players: The Plight of Anti-Development Politicians

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When it comes to the goals of the anti-development side, as soon as one goal is achieved, a new, more extreme goal is created. After Tuesday night’s City Council meeting Councilmember Sue Himmelrich might understandably...

We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Zoning and the World Is Getting Worse

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This article originally appeared on Streetsblog Los Angeles. This week marks a noteworthy anniversary. The first city-scale zoning law in the United States was enacted on July 25, 1916, in New York City. The New York...

Rick Cole: Focus on Fixing Government, Not Bashing It

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This piece was originally published on Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole’s blog, The Long View. Santa Monica Next also covered this issue here and here. I recently wrote about the always controversial issue of public employee compensation. In...

The Downtown Community Plan and the Lingering Impacts of the Great Recession

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The question I ended my post with on Saturday was why would Santa Monica enact a Downtown Community Plan (DCP) that makes it easier to build commercial development than housing? Keep in mind that...

Riel Politics, Part 4: Getting to $710,000

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This article first appeared in the Healthy City Local. Click on the links for parts one, two, and three. One question people keeping asking about the firing of Elizabeth Riel is why the City Council...

Editorial: Santa Monica College Bond Should Include Money for Student Housing

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Last week, the Santa Monica Daily Press reported that the Santa Monica Community College Board of Trustees is considering its own ballot initiative to be placed on the fall ballot. The $295 million bond...

When The Sky Isn’t Falling

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This article was originally published on The Healthy City Local. I’ve been mulling over an article I read in the Daily Press a couple of weeks ago. The article was about how the owner of Cars...

Opinion: Is This SMRReally Happening?!

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Santa Monica Next received the following opinion piece with a specific request that we not use the writer's name. After a back and forth, we consented to publish it because the author feared reprisal,...

Community Voices: Happy Birthday, Social Security!

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The following was written by former Santa Monica resident and activist Ernie Powell. Powell is currently an organizer and consultant with Social Security Works. August 14 is Social Security’s 82nd birthday. All of us, young,...

Community Voices: YIMBYism and the Cruel Irony of Metropolitan History

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The following originally appeared on Streetsblog L.A. It is by David Levitus. Levitus earned his Ph.D. at USC with a focus on the history of cities, policy, and politics in the United States. At NYU, he majored...

Community Voices: It’s Time to Make Santa Monica’s Streets Safer

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In the past few weeks, Santa Monica has experienced five more violent pedestrian crashes and almost as many deaths, reminding us all that we are unsafe in our city, whether crossing the street for...

Community Voices: Santa Monica Mourns with Charlottesville

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The following is a letter from Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer and Mayor Pro Tempore Gleam Davis. To the residents of Santa Monica, We share the nation’s heartache following the events in Charlottesville. It’s painful to...
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