Convert Santa Monica Airport into a Great Park

I support converting Santa Monica Airport into a multi-purpose/ multi-use great park.

Back in 1926, Santa Monica residents voted for a park bond to purchase the land upon which Santa Monica Airport (SMO) sits today.  Its our land - we own it - and its our right to decide what to do with it!

Santa Monica is one of the densest cities in California - and we are well short of enough open, green space for families, recreation, the environment and our health.  Several Santa Monica neighborhoods are especially lacking, while two-thirds of Santa Monicans are renters with little or no open space of their own.

Utilizing public land to fit the unmet needs of the many is good public policy. We can start by taking control of the 35+ acres 'quit claim' parcel on SMO's western edge in 2015. Its time we regain planning say over land we own!

Other complimentary considerations should include cutting edge solar energy production, and expanding and synergizing the arts/cultural/educational uses on the southwestern side. We also should look at a potential large scale cistern for water runoff and storage under the park, after we remediate any environmental contamination there.

On funding for the new park, I moderated a forum in January entitled “Airport2Park, an Investment for the Future“ where two approaches were explored, that I believe are realistic: (1) for the capital costs, state and national funds could be available if the site met regional/national environmental objectives; and (2) the operating costs could be met by leasing existing on-site city properties (other than the arts/cultural/educational uses on the south side) at higher rates.

There are two ballot measures on our November ballot affecting our ability to determine the future of this public land - Proposition LC and Proposition D.

I'm voting 'yes' on Proposition LC, which would ensure our right to vote on any new development there, and would direct future planning there towards the creation of great new parks and open space.

I'm voting 'no' on the deceptive Proposition D, which is designed to prevent any change whatsoever, even to mitigate the airport's negative health, safety and environmental impacts upon our community.

For true resident choice and local control, I'm voting Yes on LC, no on D.

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