Sue Himmelrich Selected as Mayor and Councilmembers are Installed

December 9, 2020 11:39 AM

Last night, Santa Monica welcomed three new Councilmembers and four returning Councilmembers in an installation ceremony held through teleconference. City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren certified Santa Monica’s 2020 election results and swore in Councilmembers Phil Brock, Gleam Davis, Oscar de la Torre, and Christine Parra, recently elected to four-year terms, and Councilmember Kristin McCowan, elected to a two-year term. Councilmember bios will be available at smgov.net/council later this week.

After the swearing-in, the newly installed City Council selected Sue Himmelrich to serve a two-year term as Santa Monica’s mayor. Kristin McCowan was selected as mayor pro tempore, also for a two-year term.

“We have an opportunity to move our community forward past this deadly virus, past our differences, and toward a future that we can all be proud of and one that reflects the best of who we are as Santa Monicans,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “I look forward to doing the hard work ahead with my colleagues and to opening lines of two-way communication with community members at a time when connection is harder than ever.”

Mayor Sue Himmelrich joined the Santa Monica City Council in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. She served on the Planning Commission for one year before running for Council after Councilmember Bob Holbrook retired. Mayor Himmelrich has lived in Santa Monica for 28 years and is passionate about affordable housing production, combining strong fiscal policy with progressive and compassionate social policies, and protecting vulnerable community members, including seniors and front-line workers in every industry. Mayor Himmelrich’s full bio is available at smgov.net/council.  

Outgoing Mayor Kevin McKeown held the position in one of the most challenging years in the City’s history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He led the Council through a difficult process of organizational restructuring to ensure a balanced City budget. During McKeown’s year as mayor, Santa Monica prioritized rental subsidies for vulnerable seniors and took strong action to regulate mid-term housing leasing. Significant infrastructure and community amenities were also completed, including the North Beach Trail Expansion Project, Fire Station 1, City Hall East, and a protected bike lane on Ocean Avenue with 18 miles to follow in the coming years. 

“Members of our community have supported each other through a truly challenging year, and we must commit to each other’s health and safety for another few months until we all have access to COVID vaccines,” said outgoing Mayor Kevin McKeown. “Being your Mayor this year has been difficult, certainly, but a great honor.  Based on the work we’ve done together, Santa Monica is poised for resurgence as the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers.  Led by a new Council and a new Mayor, we will discover a reinvented Santa Monica that proves our commitment and our resilience."

As part of the 2020 election certification, Anastasia Foster and Caroline M. Torosis will return to the Rent Control Board.  On the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board, Jen Smith will join as the newest member, and Jon Kean and Maria Leon-Vazquez will continue as Board members.  Susan Amanoff, Margaret Quinones-Perez, and Rob Rader will continue their work on the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees. Voter approval of two local ballot measures was also certified—Measure SM to increase the real estate transfer tax paid on sales of property above $5 million to fund essential City services, and Measure AB to allow for the modernization of the City’s civil service rules and advance equity-based hiring.

For more information on the 2020 election results, visit smvote.org.

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