By Lookout Staff
September 26, 2012 -- Santa Monica's Sierra Club endorsed four candidates in the Council race Tuesday.
The environmental organization gave their support to Planning Commissioners Ted Winterer and Richard McKinnon, incumbent Terry O'Day and newcomer John C. Smith, citing concerns that overdevelopment and pollution from the airport have had a negative impact on Santa Monica's environment.
“This is one of the most important elections the City of Santa Monica has had in a long time,” said Sierra Club Airport Marina Group Conservation Chair Kathy Knight. “We believe that if our endorsed candidates are elected, they will provide the leadership to get the city back on track and focused on protecting our quality of life and nature in the city.”
“My neighbors and I are very concerned about the increased influence of developers and how big construction projects have overshadowed the neighborhoods,” Knight, a Sunset Park resident, said.
The group gave Smith his first endorsement in the race, calling him “a refreshing, strong and clear voice for the environment.”
According to Sierra Club officials, Smith lead the organization in the 1990s in the effort to protect the Ballona Wetlands from development.
Winterer and McKinnon have already garnered the support of two groups concerned with the level of development in Santa Monica -- The Santa Monica Coalition for a Liveable City and the newly-formed Santa Monicans for Responsible Growth.
“We are heartened to see that important environmental issues are being discussed throughout the city, and we are confident that some of Santa Monica’s serious overdevelopment issues, Ballona Wetlands wildlife protection and pollution concerns related to the Santa Monica Airport will be addressed properly by the Santa Monica City Council if our chosen endorsed candidates are elected,” said Marcia Hanscom, a former member of Sierra Club’s national Board of Directors.
“We urge everyone to get out and vote for McKinnon, Winterer, Smith and O’Day,” stated Knight.