Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

"Mayor Himmelrich Wants to Suspend Meetings of Housing Commission Now That Her Husband Is No Longer On It."

In one year Mayor, Councilmembers move from full support of Housing Commission to attempting suspension

Editor's Note:

The following is a public comment by Michael Soloff, the Mayor's husband and then-Chair of the Housing Commission, at the 4/27/21 meeting of the Santa Monica City Council. His request was approved.

Good evening Councilmembers, I'm speaking tonight in my capacity as the Chairperson of the Housing Commission, and I'm addressing you on behalf of the Housing Commission.

Specifically, I'm addressing the issue of how often we're going to be allowed to meet going forward from this point.

At our last meeting we voted seven-nothing to urge the City Council to permit us to resume our normal operations.

Affordable housing is one of the key issues in the City right now.

We're faced with the idea of coming up with 6,158 affordable housing units, we have to get homeless folks into temporary and permanent housing, and we have to keep our residents housed, who are under severe rent burden shortage.... All of those are the issues that this Commission has been addressing for years, and brought forward initiative to this Council that has been adopted year after year, and we can't do that work for you unless we're allowed to meet.

For example at our last meeting, in our one quarterly meeting, we had to talk about the budget, because we didn't know when we were going to meet again, we had to talk about the Housing Element, because we didn't know when we were going to get to meet again, we had to talk about the Administrative Plan that you approve tonight because that's something we are required to do. By the time we got to the issue of the Boards and Commissions recommendations, we were not prepared to spend another two hours of that very late evening already to come up with Commission positions on that.

Looking at the material given to you, it only costs $40K to support us for the entire year. I think that's well worth it.

We strongly urge that you authorize us to resume our normal operations.

We challenge you to show that you're seriously committed to affordable housing in the City.


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