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Santa Monica Peace Activist Jerry Rubin Announces Sixth City Council Bid

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By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

April 3, 2014 -- Hoping the sixth time's the charm, Santa Monica activist Jerry Rubin announced Tuesday that he will run once again for City Council.

Rubin is the third potential candidate to formally announce a bid for three open seats on the November ballot. Physical therapist Ken Robin and Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Phil Brock have also announced that they intend to run. 

“I've been an activist for 35 years and this is a part of my ongoing activism in the city of Santa Monica,” Rubin told the Lookout.  “I love Santa Monica.  We are one of the best beach cities in America.”

“I know it’s a long shot, I've run before,” Rubin said.  “But I feel it’s important and I'm going to be a part of it.”

Rubin—who has likely attended more council meetings than most council members--launched his campaign April 1 with a three-week liquid-only “campaign health” fast scheduled to end April 22, Earth Day.  

Consisting of juice and herbal teas, the fast is not a political protest hunger fast, but a way to prepare himself emotionally and physically for what is likely to be a stressful seven-month campaign, Rubin said.

Rubin, who has declined to accept campaign contributions in his past bids, also pledges to “conduct a civil campaign in a positive and respectful manner with no personal attacks.”

“Santa Monica doesn't deserve negative campaigns,” said Rubin.

Rubin, a co-founder of the successful campaign to save the “Chain Reaction” anti-nuclear sculpture at the Civic Center, announced his intention to run on April 1, a date important to him because of the significance it holds.

“No, it's not an April Fools Day Joke,” said Rubin. “April 1 is that date in 2012 when the 'Save Chain Reaction' campaign that I co-founded held its first public event. It was a documentary film screening at Vidiots about Paul Conrad, the creator of the 'Chain Reaction' sculpture.”

Rubin said he will make support for art, including public art, an integral part of his campaign.

Rubin has been on the ballot for City Council six times since 2000 and has never solicited campaign contributions.

“I don't think people should donate their money to my campaign,” he said. “I'd rather people use the money to help the homeless.”

Rubin, who has been labeled as a "perpetual campaigner" and "not a serious candidate," says he is a serious activist and council candidate.

“If everyone who votes for me gets another person to vote for me, then I'd win,” he said. “But I'm not expecting that to happen.

“No, I don't think I will win a seat in the council.  I think it’s important to be honest.  What I think is important is to have people get involved in the political process.  Even if I do lose, I'll continue to go to City Council meetings.”

Rubin's campaign will also urge eligible adults to register to vote.

“The saddest thing I hear is 'I'm not going to vote.'  As an activist, that makes me sad,” he said.

Rubin’s campaign also is urging students not yet old enough to vote to attend public election forums and debates.  He believes that everyone in Santa Monica, even those who can't vote, should stay informed about the issues and about those who are running in local, state and federal elections.

Rubin also intends to use his campaign as a way to bring up key local issues, such as development. He says he supports the Downtown hotel developments proposed along Ocean Avenue.

“I'm a believer in development that benefits the city,” Rubin said.  “I believe, in certain areas, larger buildings will benefit the city.

“The Miramar plan is one and the Wyndham by the pier is another.  All these hotels are slated to be union hotels and the Miramar already is.  I think more union jobs are important to Santa Monica.”

Rubin also supports plans by Texas-based developer Hines to build a five-building complex of apartments and commercial office space near the future light rail stop at Bergamot Station, saying that it will benefit Santa Monica in the long run.

“I did not sign the ballot initiative for the Bergamot referendum,” he said, referring to the ballot measure to halt the proposed development that was submitted by opponents last month.
“I don't think it’s positive to overturn the council decision,” Rubin said, “I think it’s a good project.  It will add more affordable housing and more work force housing, among other benefits to the City.”

The project is opposed by several groups, including Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, one of the bayside city’s most powerful political organizations.

Rubin is also a supporter of saving the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, maintaining the City's Triple A bond rating, developing the City's public transportation, and expanding affordable housing. 

Rubin is expected to be part of a crowded field, especially if Councilmember Bob Holbrook chooses not to seek a record seventh term.  

The other two incumbents -- Mayor Pam O'Connor and Councilmember Kevin McKeown – are bothe expected to run.

Potential candidates have more than three months to officially file with the City Registrar’s office.

From July 14 to August 8, potential candidates can pull nominating petitions, pay a $25 filing fee and collect the requisite 100 signatures from registered voters needed to make the ballot.

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