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Poll Finds Residents Waiting for New Council to Act on Crime and Homelessness
By Jorge Casuso
February 17, 2021 -- A recent poll of Santa Monica residents concerned with homelessness and crime suggests the overwhelming majority is dissatisfied with the early actions taken by the new City Council.
The poll of some 1,000 residents conducted via text message --- which had a 20 percent response rate -- is the first in a series of monthly polls conducted by the Eyes on Local 11, an anti-hotel union watchdog group.
The poll -- conducted between February 10 and 15 -- indicated residents were dissatisfied with the performance of the new Council members swept into office on November 3 as part of a "change" slate.
"The survey results suggest residents are still waiting for the Council’s newest members to lead the way on changing the status quo," the pollsters wrote.
Of the approximately 200 residents who responded, 57 percent rated the performance of the new councilmembers sworn in on December 8 as "poor."
Ten percent rated it as "satisfactory" and 5 percent as "excellent." About 28 percent were "not sure."
When asked if Santa Monica is "on the right track" overall, 86 percent said "no," 3 percent said "yes" and 11 percent were "unsure."
Asked about public safety, only 4 percent of the respondents said the City had made "more of an effort to reduce crime in Santa Monica."
Nearly half -- 45 percent -- said they thought the City had made "less" of an effort, while 40 percent said the effort had not changed. About 10 percent were undecided.
The perception of the state of homelessness in Santa Monica has worsened, according to the poll. Only 2 percent said homelessness has gotten "better," while 80 percent said it had gotten "worse."
About 14 percent said there was no change and 4 percent were "not sure."
Eighty percent of respondents said they would "like to see more security patrols by the Promenade and in other areas of downtown."
The homeless problem Downtown was debated during last week's Council discussion on the Promenade's future and will be the topic of a Council study session on homelessness citywide next week.
The "Santa Monica Pulse" survey is the first of many Eyes on Local 11 polls "aimed at gauging how Santa Monicans feel about pressing issues in their city," the group said.
"One thing seems clear. The people of Santa Monica want a City Council that's focused on solving pressing issues of crime and homelessness," said Charlyce Bozzello, the communications director at the Center for Union Facts, which runs Eyes on Local 11.
"Meaningful change takes time, and that's why the new City Council members need to take the lead."
The poll was sent via text to "a group of civically engaged Santa Monica residents who had previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city," Eyes on Local 11 said.
To view the poll results, click here. To be included in the next poll, email your name and cell phone number to SaMoPulse@gmail.com.
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