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Dem Club Fails to Take Stance on Prop T

By Jorge Casuso

September 26 – The Santa Monica Democratic Club will take no position on Prop T after the group’s endorsement meeting Wednesday ended before a vote could be cast.

While the group’s members rejected a motion not to take a position, it seemed clear that neither side had the necessary 60 percent of the vote to either back or oppose the measure, which caps most commercial development in the city, club officials said.

“The final result not to endorse would have happened anyway,” said Julie Lopez Dad, the club’s president. “But we ended up with some very unhappy members.”

The meeting at St. Anne’s Catholic Church ran 10 minutes over and had to be adjourned when the person in charge of locking up the building had to leave.

“If we’d had another minute it could have been (to make a motion ) to continue” the item at an upcoming meeting when the club is scheduled to make endorsements on State ballot measures, Dad said.

The members also had no time to discuss the measure formerly known as the Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT), which would cap most commercial development in the city at 75,000 square feet a year for 15 years.

Members “didn’t have a chance to ask questions,” Dad said. “That was as important as the vote. It’s very important for people to talk about these issues.”

The local Democratic Club is not the first group that has failed to take a position on Prop T.

At its August convention, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) voted not to make an endorsement, although it voted to retain its usual procedures and allow its steering committee to take a position. (“Divided SMRR Stays Neutral on RIFT,” August 3, 2008)

While the local Democratic Club will take no position on the issue, the County Democratic Party voted earlier this month to endorse the measure, which proponents contend will curb traffic congestion in the beachside city. (“Dem Club Endorses Genser, Bloom; Shriver Falls Short,” September 3, 2008)

So far, all the major local public unions, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and the School and College Boards, have voted to oppose Prop T.

Opponents argue the measure will do little or nothing to alleviate the city’s worsening traffic crunch, while potentially curbing future general fund revenues that could be used for education and public safety.

Ted Winterer for Santa Monica City Council

Dr. Margaret


Vote # 158


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