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SMRR Members Weigh In On Sunday’s Convention

August 6, 2014 -- Santa Monicans for Renters Rights’ (SMRR) steering committee member will recuse herself.  Slow growthers didn’t split the vote.  Leadership should have allowed a third ballot.


I am proud to be a longtime member of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and serve on its steering committee. At least one local news organization has speculated that the spouse of a candidate for City Council might not be technically required to recuse herself from the deliberations and any votes of the steering committee in its process for deciding whether to support that candidate and others running for seats on the Council.

I perceive a conflict of interest and have discussed this with my husband, Councilmember Kevin McKeown. He too feels that a conflict of interest would exist. Whether this situation in fact comprises a conflict or not, we choose to avoid even the appearance of impropriety that might arise. I therefore will not participate in the SMRR steering committee process on Kevin or any other candidates for City Council.

I hope that others with potential conflicts or appearances of conflict will agree that preserving trust in the process is of the utmost importance, and guide their decisions accordingly.

Genise Schnitman

Dear Editor:
In your article, SMRR Fails to Back Santa Monica Council Candidates, you say "Slow growth advocates -- who mounted a campaign to deny O’Connor the group’s backing -- split their votes among McKeown (201 votes), McKinnon (170 votes) and Planning Commissioners Sue Himmerlich (138 votes) and Jennifer Kennedy (113 votes)."

This is not a factually correct statement and assume that all voters are single-minded. I, for one, voted for two of the above identified "slow-growth" candidates and for two who are not on this list and do not necessarily identify as "slow-growth."

To get my vote, whether it be at a SMRR convention or during a general election, a candidate is vetted by me against a whole host of core issues.

I do not think SMRR failed at the convention.

Rather, the convention succeeded in not letting single-minded people take over the organization which stands for so much that many of us appreciate-things such as affordable housing, rent control, fair labor practices & unionization, living wages, open space, balanced development, education, and humane treatment of the homeless.
Yours truly,
Beth Leder-Pack, long-time SMRR member
Ocean Park

Dear Editor-

We the Convention Delegates to the SMRR Convention on August 4, 2014 were robbed by the SMRR Co-Chair Patricia Hoffman not allowing us our third round of voting for City Council Candidates. 

The voting strategy on the third and final round could have been quite different from the previous two rounds.  This deprived us Convention Delegates of our right to select the SMRR City Council candidates by changing the election rules at the very end. 

We assumed and planned for three voting rounds and then the SMRR Co-Chair abrogated our voting rights. 

After this, a majority of the Delegates present voted to preserve their third round voting rights but were again overruled by the SMRR Co-Chair. 

SMRR should be ashamed of themselves for robbing their very own Convention Delegates of their right to vote for the City Council Candidates using SMRR’s very own published agenda.
Dr. Daniel Galamba 

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