Santa Monica Lookout
“Mr. Santa Monica” to Headline City's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
By Lookout Staff
January 15, 2013 – Former mayor Nat Trives, who is widely known as “Mr. Santa Monica,” will be the keynote speaker at the City's 28th annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday Saturday.
Trives, a veteran of the Santa Monica Police Department, was the city's first black mayor, serving on the City Council between 1971 and 1979 and as mayor from 1975 to 1976.
Trives will speak at the SGI Auditorium at 525 Wilshire, rounding off a program that includes “inspirational readings, speakers, music, dance, singing and the MLK Education Awards,” Santa Monica College officials said. The program starts at 10 a.m., and the event is free.
Saturday's main celebration -- which is sponsored by the City, SMC, SMC Associates, City TV, RAND Corp. and SGI-USA -- is only one of several events planned in the beachside city.
On Friday, the Calvary Baptist Church will be holding an interfaith prayer breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. “The event will feature Dominique Washington’s courageous 'Ready for the Dream;' a 'Table Talk' conversation on 'Courage in Action;' gospel music and more,” SMC officials said.
Suggested donations for the breakfast are $25 per person or $200 for a table of 10.
On Sunday at 3:30 p.m., residents are invited back to the SGI auditorium for a free performance by the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra after President Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term in office.
Still, the Saturday program is the main event.
“The annual celebration of the official King holiday has become one of the largest and most diverse celebrations of its kind in Southern California,” officials said.
Trives, who will pay tribute to the famed activist at the Saturday celebration, has a long history of community activism.
He began a decade-long career in law enforcement in 1958 when he joined the Santa Monica police force, staying until he began teaching criminal justice at Cal State University Los Angeles.
During his time on the council, Trives worked with the local YMCA, the National Urban League and the National Conference of Community and Justice.
He is chair of the Board of the Center for Healthy Aging, as well as one of the founders of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition.
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