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Latest Resident Poll Shows Mixed Response to Council Actions

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By Jorge Casuso

March 18, 2021 -- A monthly text message survey of Santa Monica residents saw confidence in the new City Council slowly building as it tackles homelessness and commercial development.

The brief poll, which received some 170 responses, found that fewer Santa Monicans thought the City was headed in the wrong direction.

Asked if they thought Santa Monica was on the right track, 71 percent said "no," down from 86 percent a month ago, according to the poll conducted by Eyes on 11, a hotel union watchdog.

The second monthly "Santa Monica Pulse Survey" focused on specific issues the Council tackled over the past month, including homelessness and public safety and a temporary moratorium on commercial development.

The poll -- conducted between March 11 and March 16 -- indicates residents who responded don't think the City is doing enough to tackle homelessness.

Asked to rate the Council's "approach on reducing homelessness and keeping the public safe in Santa Monica," 82 percent said it was doing a "poor job."

Last month's poll -- conducted between February 10 and 15 -- found that residents' perception of the state of homelessness in Santa Monica had worsened, with only 2 percent saying it has gotten "better," while 80 percent said it had gotten "worse."

When it came to development, residents strongly approved of the Council's vote March 9 to impose a temporary moratorium halting commercial development in zones that allow housing.

Sixty-five percent of the respondents approved, 19 percent disapproved and 16 percent were "not sure."

The emergency ordinance bars commercial projects in the Bergamot area, the Hospital Mixed Use zone and the Industrial Conservation zone.

Residents also indicated they would favor an ordinance that would "limit excessive noise in the evenings in residential areas."

Seventy-eight percent said they would support an ordinance, while 11 percent said they would oppose it. Eleven percent said they were "not sure."

An ordinance proposed by by Councilmembers Phil Brock and Christine Parra that would have placed restrictions on some protests in residential neighborhoods was pulled from the March 9 agenda.

The goal of the ordinance was to “reduce prolonged noise from protest activities in residential neighborhoods while still upholding First Amendment rights.”

In requesting that the item be pulled, Brock said he was "astounded" that the requested adjustment to the residential noise ordinance on behalf of residents had morphed into an overarching anti-protest ordinance revision that affects the entire city.”

Charlyce Bozzello, communications director at the Center for Union Facts, which oversees the polls, said the Council seems to be listening to residents on some key issues.

"Clearly, it's possible to turn the tide in Santa Monica when the City Council aligns its decision making with the will of actual residents," Bozzello said.

"Although the Council got it right on development -- one of the top issues for Santa Monicans -- when it comes to homelessness, residents are still waiting on much-needed action."

The latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to some 1,000 residents and had a 17 percent response rate.

The poll was sent via text to "a group of civically engaged Santa Monica residents who had previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city," Eyes on Local 11 said.

To be included in the next poll, email your name and cell phone number to

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