Crime Wave Hits Montana Avenue in Santa Monica
Are Santa Monica Officials conspiring to lower property values there just as they have on the Third Street Promenade?
September 18, 2023
Dear Mayor Davis & Honorable members of the Santa Monica City Council,
I hope you're having a pleasant Labor Day Weekend. In case you're unaware, I wanted to inform you of a major crime wave that's hit Montana Avenue businesses in Santa Monica this weekend. Last night, several businesses, including the restaurants Margot's and Bardonna and a Pinkberry franchise were broken into, vandalized and looted. And today, at least one other occurrence happened when a woman (shown in the photos below) brazenly walked off with pricey clothing from a sidewalk sales rack without paying.
I am writing to demand that you do something about this immediately in the form of a robust, constant (not just this week) round-the-clock police patrol presence (of more than one squad car), alongside aggressive efforts to identify and arrest criminals and deter thefts by stopping suspicious individuals and vehicles. .
At this point, it is obvious what your plan is for Montana Avenue, as it is unfolding just like your Third Street Promenade playbook:
Have zero police presence.
Do not arrest or prosecute for any crimes.
Infiltrate the area with homeless and criminals.
Get businesses to shut down and leave.
Reduce property values.
Buy properties cheap.
Replace businesses with high rise "low income housing".
I wish this were a conspiracy theory but it's not -- it's a conspiracy, as evidenced by what you have proactively done to the Promenade by watching it decay without doing a thing. And I have heard from one prominent local developer (who you all know) who has expressed an eagerness to buy up Promenade properties "on the cheap" for future housing development. You have already announced your intention to upzone Montana avenue and turn it into a concrete canyon of higher rise low incoming housing projects. So any reasonable individual would see what you're doing here as well on Montana Avenue, before you're even done with the Promenade.
Let me be abundantly clear about one thing: We have already lost the Promenade thanks to your actions and inaction but WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER MONTANA AVENUE AS WELL. By inviting crime and business closures on Montana avenue, YOU WILL BE CROSSING A VERY THICK RED LINE. At this point, we are on to what you're doing and we will not put up with it. We will not invite crime, we will not tolerate vagrants and criminals and drug addicts on this street and our surrounding residential areas. And we won't destroy one of the last remaining vestiges of cleanliness, safety and peace in our city so you and your buddies can make millions of dollars at our collective expense. IF YOU DON'T IMMEDIATELY AND AGGRESSIVELY TAKE VISIBLE AND DECISIVE ACTION TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER CRIME ON MONTANA AVENUE THAT WOULD TURN IT INTO ANOTHER THIRD STREET PROMENADE, YOU WILL PAY WITH YOUR POLITICAL CAREERS. YOU ARE ELECTED TO KEEP US SAFE, PRESERVE AND PROTECT OUR CITY. SO DO YOUR JOBS.
We have the best, most professional police force in the state if not the nation, led by a committed Chief who will do anything to help us, but you have tied their hands behind their backs by stretching them too thin to cover the entire city, particularly on busy summer holiday weekends such as this (there were other documented incidents where police could not respond for this reason), and not encouraging/empowering them to take in every criminal and make this a no go zone.
Why do most of you hate nice things, beautiful, walkable, tree-lined streets that are safe for pedestrians, where people can safely dine outside or businesses can display nice goods without having them all stolen? What is wrong with that? I know most of you are obsessed with "equity" but if you TRULY believe that equity means we are all equally poor and miserable, you subscribe to a sick philosophy. If you would personally like to live this way, no one will stop you. But don't impose it on the rest of us, who have worked very hard and sacrificed so much to live here and enjoy a high quality of life.
I have remained far more silent on the issues of the Promenade than some others like Mr. Alle, who has been leading the charge on that end. I simply stopped going to the Promenade and instead shop online or go to Century City. But now that my family's safety and quality of life is immediately threatened, and I cannot substitute for the treasured Montava Avenue, I will no longer be silent on this topic.
Actions speak louder than words. I don't want emails, calls and texts urging me to reconsider my position because of [insert excuse here - Gascon/Prop 47/something else], but rather clear signs of action. The residents of surrounding communities, who are largely home OWNERS and not renters, who can't simply pack up and rent elsewhere, and who pay vastly more tax to live here, will become awakened and not take this. If you think I am bluffing or wrong, you'll soon find out I am not.
Please do the right thing. This isn't hard. You are messing with the wrong area, the wrong people, and it will have disastrous consequences on our city and your careers.