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  • 07/08/2020 9:42 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    In an effort to provide assistance to local residents who have experienced a loss of income or increase in expenses due to the pandemic, the City of Santa Monica is now accepting applications for the recently launched COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

    The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide eligible applicants with up to three months of rental assistance. Applications opened Tuesday and residents are allowed to apply until noon Friday, July 17. All eligible applications will subsequently be entered into a lottery for final selection.

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  • 07/08/2020 9:32 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Those hoping to replace Greg Morena also include nearly a dozen former and current City Board and Commission members, nine attorneys and former City Clerk Maria Stewart, who offered to hold the seat until a new Council member is elected by voters in November.

    Morena resigned last month after learning his position bars him from renegotiating his restaurant lease with the City ("Morena to Resign from City Council," June 17, 2020).

    The applicants who have served on City boards and commissions include former Rent Control Board member Robert Kronovet, the only applicant elected to local office.

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  • 07/03/2020 9:49 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    ~ The city prevailed in the long-running California Civil Rights Act Lawsuit, brought by Santa Monica resident Maria Loya, and the Pico Neighborhood Association to force the city to change from an at-large city council election process to local district elections for each city council member. Maria won the battle in the trial court, and the city then appealed to the Appellate Court. The three judges wrote a tentative court ruling that the current at-large system was fair. The chance of a change in the verdict is less than 1% as of this writing. 

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  • 07/01/2020 4:58 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The Santa Monica COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program application will launch on Tuesday, July 7, 2020to provide rental funds to eligible Santa Monica residents who demonstrate a loss of income or increase in expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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  • 07/01/2020 8:22 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A court of appeals issued a tentative ruling Tuesday that if made final, would reverse a previous order forcing Santa Monica to change the format of its city council elections.

    The ruling was announced early in the afternoon when attorneys for the city of Santa Monica and Pico Neighborhood Association started their oral arguments in a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit. The lawsuit, which began on Aug. 1, 2018, stems from a complaint filed in the California Superior Court that alleges the at-large election system for Santa Monica City Council dilutes Latinx voting power.

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  • 06/30/2020 5:32 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    At the start of the oral arguments Tuesday, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District judges announced their tentative ruling in favor of the City of Santa Monica in the case Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica.

    The tentative ruling overturns a trial court’s order that directed Santa Monica to switch to district-based elections. 

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  • 06/29/2020 7:39 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Trial for the CVRA lawsuit began on Aug. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles Superior Court and the City of Santa Monica lost. The city was ordered to conduct a district-based election on July 2, 2019. It was also ordered that no City Council members elected at-large could continue to hold their seats past August 15, 2019. However an appeal was filed by city attorneys temporarily preserving the status quo.

    The two sides are set to make oral arguments to the court of appeal Tuesday.

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  • 06/27/2020 9:14 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    In the wake of the unprecedented economic crisis sparked by COVID-19, Los Angeles County’s 2020-21 Final Changes budget includes a wide range of curtailments affecting virtually every County department.

    The $34.9 billion budget, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for budget deliberations on Monday, June 29, represents some of the most challenging fiscal decisions in recent County history.

    The cuts are needed to address a projected $935.3 million budget gap, mostly due to sharp revenue declines at the same time the County also is investing in major response and reopening activities to support its communities during the pandemic.

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  • 06/27/2020 9:10 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Former City Manager Rick Cole is advocating for Council to abandon current plans for a large-scale development on city owned property downtown and instead is advising City Hall to pursue a new idea with more housing and less office space.

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  • 06/27/2020 9:05 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The City on Tuesday approved a $613.6 million budget decimated by the coronavirus shutdown that provides last-minute funding for "racial justice initiatives" in the wake of nationwide protests against police.

    The budget -- which kicks in July 1 -- reduces the current budget amount by nearly 25 percent by slashing jobs and services to help bridge a looming $224 million deficit through June 30, 2022.

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