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The Capital Of Hip

June 09, 1991

"The Capital of Hip," by Jill Stewart (April 28), was much too glib.

Ten years ago, when Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR) won a majority on the City Council, we were told that our city would turn into a seedy, seaside slum and that business would abandon the city.

The evidence is clear that just the opposite has happened. In fact, as a result of the policies promulgated by SMRR-elected government, our city has prospered while maintaining its diversity. Because we have stood firm to protect rent control, we have been able to provide secure housing for our low-, moderate- and middle-income residents.

I know that our toilet-rebate program is not as exciting to write about as Dennis Hopper and his baby, but it is the model for similar programs to cut domestic-water consumption throughout California. Our social services programs for seniors, youth, families with child-care needs and the homeless set an example for other cities.

We have the most open politics of any city in Southern California. At a time when voter apathy nationwide is increasing, our elections routinely boast voter turnout that is 10% to 20% above the statewide average.

It is true that success has brought us new challenges. But we can--and we will--build a Santa Monica that is on the cutting edge environmentally and that can be celebrated for its diversity beyond the year 2000.



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