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Civic Center: RAND Campaign Scrutinized

July 07, 1994

I would like to thank those citizens who supported our campaign against the City Council/RAND Civic Center Plan for 2.1 million square feet of development, 23,000 additional car trips and globally irresponsible air pollution.

Our grass-roots campaign is part of a Santa Monica residents movement motivated by a vision that respects the history and the environmental quality that was once cherished in our community. Unfortunately, RAND's slick, big-money campaign won out. Like many cities in this country, we will have to learn by repeating what history has tried to teach us.

Unlike those who supported the plan, opponents will not have to bear the political responsibility for its folly. But all Santa Monicans will have to suffer its negative fiscal, environmental and social consequences.

Voters should remember the City Council/RAND's promise of a tax-free Civic Center this November when they are confronted with a large ($50 million to $60 million) bond measure to build a new Civic Center parking structure and "police, fire and emergency facilities." We should also remember how our right to "public safety" was held hostage to approving mega-development standards for RAND, and how in November a new police facility will be tied to the approval of a six-story parking structure on Fourth Street.

RAND was up front about one thing, the need to "clean up our city." With the help of every City Council and Planning Commission member and $140,000 of your tax dollars along with RAND's $200,000-plus in campaign funds, sprinkled on everyone from the newspapers to developers to political consultants, RAND did "clean up"--on June 7.

Although we were outspent 30 to 1 and opposed by the full weight of the city's entrenched elite bureaucracy, 40% of the voters (over 6,500 Santa Monicans) still saw through the cynical, misleading City Council/RAND campaign.

Thanks again to all of you who see a better future for Santa Monica. Please send this message to City Hall in the elections this November.

ERIC SISS

Treasurer, Citizens for a Better Civic Center

*

Many thanks to the reporting staff of the Los Angeles Times for coverage of the recent Santa Monica Civic Center issue.

This coverage was, for the most part, comprehensive, balanced and fair, while the issue was virtually nonexistent for the electronic media.

Thanks for performing your watchdog function. I hope that the Times will continue to cover the issue and to publicize the forthcoming deviations from what was promised.

MERRITT COLEMAN

Santa Monica

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