Economic Recovery Task Force

About the Task Force

The Santa Monica Economic Recovery Task Force was created in April 2020 and formally launched with City staff members.  The Task Force consists of the following five policy areas listed below.  A working group has been created for each policy area.  The Task Force, along with expert business and community economic development advisors, were brought together to identify key actions item sand local champions for each area. 

The Task Force has now been busy implementing a myriad of actions through Council approval, emergency orders and targeted public private partnership efforts.

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Business Retention and Reopening

Business Processes and Permitting Cost

Federal and State Resources

Community and Economic Development

Business Retention and Reopening

  • Summary: Helping businesses reopen quickly and more flexibly, different configurations and requirements, marketing support via existing Buy Local partnerships (Business Improvement Districts, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce) 
  • Working Group Co-Leads: Jing Yeo (CDD), Jason Kligier (CCD), and Brandon Ward (CAO) 

Business Processes and Permitting Cost

  • Summary: Enhancing the existing Chamber-Santa Monica Alliance effort involving Economic Development, City Planning, Building & Safety, Finance and Public Works   
  • Working Group Co-Leads: Ariel Socarras (CDD), Haley Favre-Smith (FIN), and Jing Yeo (CDD) 

Federal and State Resources 

  • Summary: Leveraging technical assistance for local businesses and accessing loans, grants, and stimulus resources. Expand existing partnerships with El Camino College Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Santa Monica College, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporations (LAEDC) in addition to identifying federal/state opportunities. 
  • Working Group Leads: Lisa Parson (CMO), Melissa Spagnuolo (PW) 

Community and Economic Development

  • Summary: Creating opportunities, such as a rental assistance program, job fairs or web-based resources, to connect displaced workers to prior/new jobs and promoting resources and support for those who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 impacts.  Tracking child care. Assessing the potential expansion of Pico Wellbeing Project efforts to citywide .  
  • Working Group Leads:  Angel Villasenor (CSD), Carla Fantozzi (CSD), and Shannon Daut (CSD) 

Outreach and Communications

  • Summary: Public messaging campaign that focuses on business resilience and businesses reopening using communications strategies like “Open for Business” / “Back and Better than Ever”.   
  • Working Group Leads: Debbie Lee (CMO) and Erin Taylor (CMO) 

Economic Recovery Task Force Members


Andy Agle, CSD

David Carr, Finance 

David Martin, PCD 

Anuj Gupta, CMO 

George Cardona, CAO 

Task Force Leads

Jennifer Taylor, CDD

Peter James, PW 

Task Force Department Representatives

City Staff

Andy Agle, CSD 

Angel Villasenor, CSD 

Anuj Gupta, CMO 

Ara Sargsyan, Planning – Building & Safety 

Ariel Socarras, Planning – Building & Safety 

Ben Delfin, CAO 

Brandon Ward, CAO 

Carla Fantozzi, CSD 

David Martin, Planning 

David Carr, Finance 

Debbie Lee, CMO, OOC 

Erika Cavicante, CDD

Erin Taylor, CMO, OOC 

Francie Stefan, Planning - Mobility 

Gigi Decavalles, Finance 

Haley Favre-Smith, Finance – Business License 

Ivy Chang, CSD

Jason Kligier, Planning - Mobility 

Jennifer Taylor, CSD 

Jing Yeo, Planning 

Kirsten Gellar, CAO 

Kriss Casanova, CSD 

Lane Dilg, CMO 

Lisa Parson, CMO, OCW 

Melissa Spagnuolo, PW

Nia Tang, HED 

Roxanne Tanemori, Planning 

Shannon Daut, CSD 

Shannon Parry, Public Works- OSE 

Stephanie Venegas, CMO 

Steve Mizokami, Planning 

Steven Torrence, CMO, OEM 

Tony Kim, Planning 


  • Albin Gielicz, Montana Ave. BID
  • Elise Levyn, Santa Monica Pier Corporation
  • Hunter Hall, Main Street BID
  • Jan Williamson, 18th St. Art Center
  • Kara Taub, Montana Ave. BID
  • Kathleen Rawson, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
  • Kim Sidoriak, Santa Monica Travel Tourism
  • Laurel Rosen, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce
  • Mackenzie Carter, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
  • Matt Stauffer, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce
  • Misti Kerns, Santa Monica Travel Tourism
  • Negin Shah, Santa Monica Pier
  • Shawn Landres, Planning Commissioner, City of Santa Monica
  • Stephanie Elgin, Santa Monica Place/Macerich

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