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Few Approve of Council's Performance, Poll Finds

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By Jorge Casuso

June 5, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents found that crime and homelessness remain the top concerns, while few approve of the new City Council's performance so far.

The text message poll of some 140 residents concerned with public safety also found that nearly two-thirds support an agreement that averts about a dozen "builder's remedy" projects.

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Conducted between May 26 and June 2, the Santa Monica Pulse poll found that only 12 percent of respondents approve of the Council's performance nearly six months after two new members were sworn in.

Fifty-three percent disapprove of the Council's performance, while 35 percent said they were not sure.

A similar question asked six months after three "Change" slate members were elected in November 2020 found that only 8 percent of respondents thought the city was on the "right track."

Some 70 percent disagreed and 21 percent weren't sure, according to the poll conducted in May 2021 by Eyes on 11, a hotel union watchdog.

Half a year later, the Council's poor rating persisted. The January 2022 poll found that 64 percent said they were less confident in the city's leadership than they were a year earlier.

Reducing homelessness and improving public safety remain the top priorities for respondents of previous Pulse polls, as they have been for the City Council.

Slightly more than one-third -- 34 percent -- said they would "most like the Council to focus" on reducing homelessness, followed by 24 percent who named improving public safety.

Of the five items listed, only 5 percent chose "passing legislation to help small businesses" and 3 percent increasing development Downtown.

Thirty-four percent wrote in "other" responses, with many writing in that "increasing public safety and reducing homelessness would lead to more tourism and more successful small businesses," said Charlyce Bozzello, who oversees the poll.

"Others were specifically concerned about affordable housing and overdevelopment," Bozzello said.

The latest poll also addressed development, gauging support for
the Council's approval of a settlement agreement that averts about a dozen proposed “builder’s remedy” projects.

The poll noted that the projects "would have been built outside of the Council’s control" ("Council Approves Agreement That Removes 'Builder's Remedy' Projects," May 10, 2023).

Instead, the majority of the proposed developments will be "resubmitted under the City’s planning process and subject to height restrictions," the poll noted.

Sixty percent of respondents support the agreement, 22 percent oppose it and 18 percent weren't sure.

As with previous polls, the latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to nearly 1,000 residents who "previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city." It had a 14 percent response rate.

Those who wish to be included in the next poll should email their name and cell phone number to

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