All 15 Santa Monica City Council candidates, including two incumbents, vying for four open seats have been invited to participate at Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution's (CRAAP's) fifth consecutive Santa Monica City Council Candidates Forum Focused On Santa Monica Airport Issues.
The forum will take place Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 6 p.m. inside the Santa Monica Business Park, just north of Santa Monica Airport, at 3250 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 160, Santa Monica, 90405 (parking lot entrance from 31st Street). The forum is free and open to the public. Free on-site parking with validation.
For further information contact: Martin Rubin, CRAAP Director at (310) 479–2529
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , Website: jetairpollution.com
CRAAP's first forum was held September 13, 2004. Now, eight years later to the day, CRAAP is again exercising due diligence by inviting Santa Monica City Council candidates to offer their views and answer questions about one specific Westside critical issue: Santa Monica Airport (SMO).
At our first forum, we were honored to have as our moderator, noted educator / journalist Bill Rosendahl, who at the time was preparing what was to be his successful bid to represent the newly formed Los Angeles District 11 that, as Bill would say, embraced Santa Monica. The moderator for CRAAP's 2006 second forum was Dr. Jean Gebman, a former Santa Monica Airport Commissioner. Two years later, former Santa Monica Mayor Michael Feinstein graciously accepted to be moderator. For our fourth forum in 2010, I took on the task of moderator, and in true masochistic form, I'm moderating again this year.
What's different in 2012?
The difficult challenge of unseating four incumbents running to be reseated has been reduced. This time there will be at least two new faces seated at the council dais because Councilmember Bobby Shriver decided not to run, and Mayor Richard Bloom is running for State Assembly. That leaves two incumbents, Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day running to be elected to their seats that they originally were appointed to by City Council due to the passing of Council members Ken Genser and Herb Katz. However in 2010 both ran and were elected for the remaining two years normally associated with their seats. There are in total seven council members.
The possible election of four new members could potentially change the views of the council and thus the direction of the city. Whoever is elected this November would stay as a majority of the Council in 2014 as the remaining three Council seats become open for election. The Council seated after the 2014 election would then be the Council that will set the direction regarding the fate of Santa Monica Airport when the contract with the FAA expires on June 30, 2015. Therefore this 2012 election and the 2014 election are crucial in determining the makeup of the Council that will ultimately present the city's decisions about the fate of SMO come 2015.
What else is different?
New scientific studies by US EPA, South Coast Air Quality Management District, UCLA, and the World Health Organization point to a major public health concerns stemming from SMO operations. Lead pollution from piston aircraft; carcinogens from jet exhaust; and noise effects on blood pressure are three significant concerns. There have also been a few more crashes around SMO, an airport with no runway safety areas and next to no buffer distance between the runway and homes.
Community groups from Santa Monica and in Los Angeles have taken heed of the evidence. The community has educated themselves. OK, I helped some, but there is no denying that Santa Monica Airport issues are on all the groups' agendas.
One significant bit of information brought to the public's attention recently is City Council Resolution 6296 adopted by the 1981 Santa Monica City Council. It still exists and states that it is the "policy of the City of Santa Monica to effect the closure of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport as soon as practicable." Since 1981, SMO neighbors have experienced a huge increase in negative SMO impacts; with air pollution, noise, and safety threats. Today, the arguments for Resolution 6296 are much stronger than when it was adopted over thirty years ago. Millions of dollars were spent to upgrade the airport's runway to accommodate the corporate/private jet age flagrantly overlooking or dismissing the harm to public health and safety; air pollution has basically been ignored by the City Council. How the candidates view Resolution 6296 will be of great interest at this forum.
There are those aviation enthusiasts who, through their comments to the media, are unyielding in their efforts to undermine, not only the efforts on behalf of the community, but also the scientific studies. They claim that those bothered by SMO are few in number and trouble makers. If you follow the comments, you know just how nasty they can be. It is no coincidence that whenever the Airport Owners and Pilots Association sends out notice of an article about SMO to their membership, a slew of the usual comments appear below the articles.
Might I suggest that we try to make time to attend this important forum, Thursday, September 13.
Thank you, and I look forward to an informative evening with the Council Candidates and you.
For more information, contact me at (310) 479-2529 or email: email@example.com
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