Save Santa Monica! Hear our Voices!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!


Save Santa Monica! Hear our Voices!

Don’t send Santa Monica back 20 years with destructive cuts to programs and services!

Former City Manager Rick Cole is gone, yet the destructive plan is STILL moving full steam ahead with Council’s approval of the SAME PLAN that destroys the heart and soul of Santa Monica. Only Councilmember Ana Maria Jara was brave enough to vote NO to save our City. Thank you Councilmember Jara!

After more than 100 speakers unanimously rejected the plan, the Council made the most destructive vote in recent history, approving a plan that was crafted with no public process, undoes decades of community building, and disproportionately impacts those most in need, including the lowest paid employees. 

Without asking the people, this plan proposes dramatic cuts that threaten current and future generations including:

  • Closing the Santa Monica Public Library Fairview and Ocean Park branches, and firing essential Spanish speaking librarians
  • Making deep cuts to school and youth programs vital for working parents including CREST Playground Access, Homework Club, Youth Sports, & Virginia Avenue Park and PAL programs serving over 4,000 kids
  • Restricting access to Santa Monica Swim Center, tennis courts, ball fields, and Annenberg Beach House 
  • Rolling back 25 years of Sustainable City Plan programs that prevent harm to the natural environment and human health, including water conservation and carbon neutrality efforts essential to fight our climate crisis
  • Ending life-saving transportation programs including firing the crossing guards at every school, Take the Friendly Road, road safety programs, neighborhood traffic calming projects and bike lanes
  • Ignoring commitments made in the Climate Action Plan, LUCE, Downtown Community Plan, Pedestrian Action Plan 
  • Worsening food insecurity, by defunding the community gardens, which grow and donate over 2,000 pounds of fresh vegetables per year to local pantries for families in need

Now is not the time to end these commitments.

In April, the Finance Director projected a $72 million shortfall promptly resulting in harsh proposed cuts. By May, the projection dropped to $48 million, but cuts to SM programs and services are unchanged. Why is Santa Monica cutting essential programs without having the financial backup?

The City Council’s vote was based on the expectation that negotiations would follow to save programs and services. They cited a “30 day time clock to explore alternatives” with Mayor McKeown saying “labor negotiations could result in fewer workers losing their jobs if unions propose pay cuts or furloughs instead of layoffs.” They promised options and solutions to reduce community impacts. Where are they? The people are clear on the next steps, and demand seeing options that are less destructive. Voters expect that Council direction will be carried out. 

Cities around the world are responding with more measured, less destructive steps like furloughs, pay cuts and strategic staff reductions to continue providing services that their most vulnerable residents need, now more than ever. We too can take a more measured approach. City Departments can come up with changes to make programs more cost-effective and must be considered. The budget hole can be filled, and local jobs can be saved, if the City Manager follows community and Council expectations for robust, creative negotiations.

We cannot let this plan reintroduce systemic inequities that community members have worked for decades to improve.

Join us! There is no confusion -- we need all the options heard!

 

 

** Please Note: Donations to Change.org do not come to this campaign.