Santa Monica voters will elect four City Council members from among 14 candidates Tuesday, November 2nd.
Sixteen people qualified to be placed on the ballot, but two later bowed out — community volunteer/fundraiser Lorene “Leah” Mendelsohn and Santa Monica Red Cross director Tom Viscount. Their names will remain on the ballot.
Among the candidates still campaigning as of press time are four incumbents and ten challengers.
n Richard Bloom, Santa Monica mayor.
“Four years ago, I pledged to do whatever it takes to preserve and improve Santa Monica’s unique heritage and quality of life. I have delivered on my promise,” Bloom said.
If re-elected, Bloom said he will address the issues of homelessness, transportation, gun violence and gang violence.
He says he will also “protect neighborhoods from irresponsible overdevelopment.”
Bloom has been endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the local Firefighter’s Association, the local Police Officer’s Association, the Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees, the Santa Monica Democratic Club and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
n Michael Feinstein, Santa Monica councilmember and author.
“I’m running for re-election to continue working tirelessly on a quality of life, pro-neighborhood and pro-community agenda,” Feinstein said.
He was first elected to the City Council in 1996 and has been a Santa Monica resident for the past 20 years.
His plans, if re-elected, include dealing with development.
“As we update the city’s Land Use and Circulation Plan for the first time in 20 years, we face traffic, parking and livability problems resulting from ill-conceived past development locally and in Los Angeles,” he said.
“Together, we must now answer ‘how’ and ‘how much’ we should develop.”
Feinstein has been endorsed by the Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees.
n Ken Genser, Santa Monica councilmember.
“Working collaboratively with my colleagues and fellow residents, I have proudly provided leadership to significantly expand our park system and double the city’s ongoing contribution to public education,” Genser said.
He said he also increased police funding and balanced the city budget “in spite of difficult financial times.”
His re-election pledge is to revise the city master plan and zoning laws to “control development and limit traffic,” find more school funding resources, defend the rent control law and make sure the city has safe and clean streets and parks.
Genser has been endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the local Firefighter’s Association, the local Police Officer’s Association, the Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees and the Santa Monica Democratic Club.
n Herb Katz, Santa Monica councilmember and architect.
“My goal is to continue serving as the voice of reason on the City Council for all Santa Monica residents on issues that affect quality of life,” Katz said, of his re-election campaign.
Some issues he specifies are homelessness, traffic, parking, housing, parks, landscaping, open space and greater respect for the community.
Referring to the “respect” issue, Katz says he will “adopt a policy that no official city meeting or public hearing continue past 11 p.m. so residents won’t be forced to wait until 2 a.m. to express their concerns.
Katz has been endorsed by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and the local Firefighter’s Association.
n Leticia Anderson, nurse and environmental/Bill of Rights activist.
She was a Hemet City Council member in 1992 and recently served as a Green Party state representative.
“Santa Monica is a beautiful city filled with potential, that’s why I moved here. I am not an insider. If elected, I will bring openness and accountability to city government,” Anderson said.
She feels that there is a “strong sentiment for change” in the city and will focus on issues such as homelessness, parking, traffic congestion, overdevelopment and poor city planning.
“I think of government as a position of service, not power,” she said.
Anderson is campaigning with candidate Jonathan Mann on the progressive Greening Santa Monica Slate.
n Linda Armstrong, data entry operator for Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights.
“I am running for City Council because I am very concerned about homeless women in this city,” Armstrong said.
She said the current City Council has ignored various proposals — such as a voucher program — that could significantly help homeless women.
Armstrong, if elected, says she will also find ways to prevent students from dropping out of Santa Monica High School and lobby the University of California system to admit more Santa Monica students.
She said any student with a 3.0 grade point average should receive automatic admission to any UC campus.
“It may not be easy going up against a state education system, but we can get publicity behind this. Admission should be based on academics alone, not a combination of athletics or other factors,” she said.
n Bill Bauer, advertising copy writer and political columnist for the Santa Monica Daily Press and Ocean Park Gazette.
“Vagrants and transients have been allowed to take over the city, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and quality of life,” Bauer said.
If elected, “I will work to fix ineffective homeless service programs, control food giveaways and support aggressive policing for lawbreakers,” he said.
He volunteers for the Santa Monica police and fire departments and in the mid-1970s campaigned to save the Santa Monica Pier from being demolished.
Bauer says that as a council member, he will vow to support local schools, assist seniors and the disabled, protect homeowners’ rights and get special interests out of city government.
“I will bring common sense to government. Political pork, cronyism and special interest giveaways will cease,” he said.
He is part of the Team for Change ticket that includes candidate David Cole.
n David Cole, director of Los Angeles area residential care facilities for senior citizens.
“City Hall is broken and needs fixing. Santa Monica needs a council that will focus on resident concerns and spend accordingly,” Cole said.
He says the city government has doubled in size, but the needs of residents have been unmet and problems such as parking and unsafe neighborhoods are getting worse.
Cole helped found the Santa Monica Neighborhood Council, Save Our Playgrounds and the School District Reform group that led to the formation of Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS).
He is a member of various other health and education boards, commissions, committees and groups.
“We need a common sense vision for the city and I have that vision,” he said.
Cole is a member of the Team for Change slate that includes candidate Bill Bauer.
n Matteo “Matt” Dinolfo, internal medicine/infectious diseases physician and teacher at the UCLA School of Medicine.
“I am a leader committed to being an independent, balanced and responsive voice that bridges the diverse communities of Santa Monica,” he said.
He has been a Santa Monica physician for 24 years and provides care to residents as chair of the UCLA Community Practice Network.
He says his strengths are in fiscal management, administrative oversight, long-range strategic planning, budgeting and board leadership.
Dinolfo has been endorsed by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, who said he is “an experienced businessman who as a physician is very concerned about healthcare issues.”
n Patricia Hoffman, nonprofit organization director and vice president of the Bayside District Corporation.
“I will vigorously support education, protect the environment, pursue social and economic justice, honor diversity, champion women’s issues and consistently work to meet the needs of our children, workers and seniors,” she said.
Hoffman has been a business manager at the Family Medical Practice and a Parent Teacher Association member at Franklin Elementary, Lincoln Middle and Santa Monica High Schools.
She was on the Santa Monica-Malibu School District board of education for eight years, which includes two board president terms.
“I am an experienced, committed leader who can deliver on a compassionate, progressive agenda,” she said.
She has been endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the local Police Officer’s Association, the Santa Monica Democratic Club and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
n Maria Loya, director of public policy and advocacy for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.
She said she would, if elected, protect tenants’ rights and advocate for students, teachers, homeowners and small businesses.
She says she will also support smart growth and greater leadership and representation for women in Santa Monica.
“I believe in sustaining democratic principals for Santa Monica and representing change and a new voice for Santa Monica.”
She said her strengths are her experiences as a public policy advocate and as an activist for working families, children and women.
Loya is currently working on a Community Benefits Agreement to help protect communities affected by the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Master Plan Alternative D.
She has been endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and the Santa Monica Democratic Club.
n Jonathan Mann, flight attendant for American Trans Air (ATA).
“We must no longer allow city employees, community organizations, corporate interests, developers, merchants, media or tourism to dominate government and not reflect residents’ priorities,” Mann said.
If elected, he says he will restore the Public Electronic Network, which will bring the Internet to all Santa Monica residents and allow residents to “access information, correspond and directly interface with city government.”
He says he will also preserve Santa Monica’s “rich cultural and architectural history.”
Mann, a former Navy musician, is campaigning with Anderson as part of the progressive Greening Santa Monica Slate.
n Kathryn Morea, database analyst for the legal profession.
“Santa Monica residents are being ignored. Homeowners are up in arms. Traffic is near gridlock. The special interests of a political machine have outweighed the rights of the majority for too long,” Morea said, of why she is running for City Council.
If elected, she says she will also address the issues that affect the police, schools, local businesses and affordable housing.
Morea has been a neighborhood activist who formed the Ninth and Michigan Neighbors group and was a member of the Santa Monica High School Parking and Transportation Task Force.
She says the Santa Monica-Malibu School District board of education agreed to all of the task force recommendations.
“It’s time to bring common sense to City Hall. We can do better,” Morea said.
Morea has been endorsed by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Santa Monica councilmember Robert Holbrook.
n Bobby Shriver, chair of the California Parks and Recreation Commission.
Shriver is a member of the Kennedy family and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s brother-in-law.
“Santa Monica has been my home for 17 years. I love this community, but sometimes the city doesn’t treat residents respectfully.”
He said his careers as a journalist, attorney and businessman will assist him in “starting and managing projects to help people.”
Shriver co-founded DATA to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa and produced Christmas albums that have raised $60 million for Special Olympics charities worldwide.
Locally, he and several other homeowners formed the Santa Monica Hedge Activists group after they received an order to cut their front lawn hedges or be fined $25,000 per day.
“As councilmember, I will focus on traffic congestion, opportunities for youth and a regional solution for Santa Monica’s transient population,” Shriver said.
He has been endorsed by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the local Firefighter’s Association, the local Police Officer’s Association and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.