July 22, 2023
IT’S NOT OVER!
CALL OR WRITE COUNCILMEMBERS TO
SAVE THE SANTA MONICA CIVIC
Fifty years ago, Santa Monica councilmembers voted to approve demolishing our beloved Santa Monica Pier and replacing it with a bridge leading to a man-made island resort. Residents were furious. They wanted to preserve this venerated treasure and rallied to defend it. Council backed down and the Pier was saved. But without that resident revolt, Santa Monica’s most iconic landmark would now only be a distant memory.
Currently, our City Council is engaged in closed-door negotiations to decide the fate of another Santa Monica jewel, our Civic Auditorium. Built in 1958, and now landmarked, The Civic is every bit as iconic as our Pier. While demolition may not be on the table, privatizing this public space most certainly is. In fact, it appears Councilmembers are about to sell or commit to a long-term lease of this public space with no public discussion.
Does that seem right to you? Should Councilmembers decide on the fate of public spaces – spaces that by their very definition belong to the public – behind closed doors, without hearing the opinions of that public?
No. They should not.
Council’s final closed-door hearing on privatizing the Civic has been postponed until this Tuesday, July 25th. But Council is still proceeding full speed ahead on liquidating this irreplaceable community property.
If you agree that the sale or long-term lease of public land should be decided by residents – or at least that these decisions should not be made in secret -- please write or call our Councilmembers and tell them what they are doing is not acceptable. And if you’ve already written, feel free to write again! Reference Council agenda items 3C and 3D:
Fifty years ago, the Pier was saved by residents who stopped their City Council from making a tragic mistake. History has vindicated those residents. And the Council members who voted to demolish the Pier? None of them ever were re-elected again.