October 12, 2012 -- This is the 10th in a series of posts that provides the answers to questions by candidates in the November 6 race for Santa Monica City Council. The answers from the candidates will be posted in the order they were received.
Name: Shari Davis
Profession: Non-Profit Policy Advisor
Birth place: Okinawa, Japan
Running for: City Council
1. How long have you lived in Santa Monica?
23 years, starting in Ocean Park. In what neighborhood do you live? North of Montana with my husband, three kids and our dog.
2. Describe yourself in 10 words or less.
Idealistic, diligent, earnest, practical, happy, committed to family and community.
3. What was your first job?
Besides babysitting and teaching gymnastics classes, I worked at McDonald’s.
4. Describe your history of community involvement, if any, in 75 words or less.
In addition to serving as co-chair of CEPS (Community for Excellent Public Schools) for seven years and President of the 8,000+ member PTA Council for our local public schools for two, I have chaired, co-chaired or served on ten community-wide ballot measure campaigns and on five economic feasibility committees for SMMUSD. I co-founded the Borderline Neighborhood Group and served on the boards of organizations addressing homelessness, children’s issues and affordable housing for seniors.
LIMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS TO 50 WORDS OR LESS:
5. How would you rate the current City Council? What particular decisions stand out for you that made you form that opinion?
I believe the current Council tries to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. The vote on the elimination of the Nativity Scenes was illustrative that it is sometimes hard to work through complicated problems to find the solution you wish could happen.
6. What is the most frequent complaint you hear on the campaign trail? What do you plan to do about it?
Traffic. Ensure that development does not overburden our streets by making it transit-oriented along the new Expo Light Rail line; balance housing and jobs; enlist all innovative traffic demand management strategies available; encourage healthy alternatives like walking and biking, and advocate for regional transportation improvements.
7. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
There are already enough jobs in Santa Monica, so the city doesn't need more commercial development.
We are an economically vital city, and we are in a fortunate position that industries like technology, the arts, entertainment and “green” innovators are attracted to Santa Monica. I want to provide the leadership to responsibly plan for an appropriate amount and pace of development and a healthy economy.
8. Should Santa Monica residents be allowed to vote on major development agreements? Why or why not?
No. Too costly and impractical.
9. Do you believe developers have undue influence on City government?
10. How would you solve the traffic problem in Santa Monica?
Ensure that development does not overburden our streets by making it transit-oriented along the new Expo Light Rail line; balance housing and jobs; enlist all innovative traffic demand management strategies available; encourage healthy alternatives like walking and biking and advocate for regional transportation improvements.
11. If Santa Monica has the authority to shut down the airport, should it do so?
If we had the funds and the plans to transform it into a grand community park, I would consider it.
12. With which statement do you agree more: [A]
Tourism is an important part of Santa Monica's image and a major revenue source and should be encouraged.
There are too many tourists in Santa Monica and businesses are catering to tourists at the expense of locals.
13. True or False: Santa Monica has become Beverly Hills by the Sea. [False]
14. With which statements do you agree. You can pick more than one.
Affordable Housing: [D]
Creates blight and brings crime.
Pays back hotel and restaurant union workers for their political support in the past
Creates more tenants to vote for Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMMR) candidates
Addresses a legitimate need, especially in Santa Monica
15. In the past ten years, the number of laws passed by the Santa Monica City Council has increased from 32 in 2002 to 48 last year. This is: [A]
A reasonable response to the concerns of residents.
A council that tries to please everyone
A council that believes it knows what's best for the city and likes to impose its will.
16. Santa Monica's contribution to employee pensions has risen from $10 million a year a decade ago to $40 million and growing today. To help pay for its growing contribution Santa Monica should: [D]
Lay off workers
Generate more cash by increasing development
Increase local taxes.
17. Do you support Measure ES, a $385 million bond to build and improve Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District facilities?
Yes. It’s an opportunity to make our local public schools safer and create a better learning environment to provide quality education.
18. Has Santa Monica successfully addressed the homeless problem?
Yes, but there is more to do.
19. Do you believe Santa Monica is a segregated city? No.
20. Do community groups play an important role in Santa Monica? Yes.
21. Which of the following statements do you agree with. [A]
Santa Monica is:
Doing enough to encourage biking
Not doing enough to encourage biking
Doing too much to encourage biking
22. Do you support a law banning smoking in apartment and condo units?
No. While I support smoking bans in public places and spaces, I respect privacy rights.
23. What is your favorite place in Santa Monica? Least favorite place?
Favorite: the beach
Least favorite: the eastbound I-10 at 3 p.m.
24. What is the last piece of music you bought? Samohi Orchestra Spring Concert CD
25. If you were emperor with absolute authority for a day and could do one thing for Santa Monica, what would it be?
I would ensure that every individual and family had access to fulfilling work; great education and lifelong learning opportunities; a comfortable home in a safe environment; quality, affordable health care; recreation time and modern facilities; and a caring and friendly neighborhood.