December 7, 2022 7:48 AM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At last night's meeting, the Santa Monica City Council honored the achievements and public service of Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Mayor Pro Tem Kristin McCowan at their final meeting serving on the Council. Neither member ran for re-election. Here are some of the highlights and accomplishments of the City of Santa Monica during the Councilmembers' tenures that reflect the work of which they are particularly proud. For their remarks at the meeting, watch on YouTube.
Sue Himmelrich (2014 – 2022; Mayor 2020 – 2022)
- Provided steady leadership as Mayor during the active COVID-19 emergency and recovery period and advanced technological improvements to allow the community to continue participating in public meetings through remote public comment.
- Advanced policies centered around transparency, fiscal responsibility, and good government by establishing the Audit Subcommittee, lobbyist registration system, code of ethics, and term limits.
- Championed affordable housing by securing federal funds to convert Parking Structure 3 to 100% affordable housing and advocated for policies supporting inclusionary housing in private development.
- Advocated for renters' rights and furthered protections for low-income renters by banning Section 8 discrimination, strengthening eviction protections for students and teachers, and creating the Preserving Our Diversity Program, a first-of-its-kind cash subsidy for seniors living on a fixed income.
- Supported an increase to the minimum wage.
- Approved community benefits of at least $10 million to support City initiatives to address the community's unmet behavioral health needs in the Providence St. John's Health Center Master Plan and Third Amendment to their Development Agreement.
- Sponsored 2016 measure GS and GSH, creating $17 million in revenue to support affordable housing.
- Sponsored 2022 measure GS that creates a new funding stream for schools, homelessness prevention, and affordable housing.
Kristin McCowan (2020 – 2022; Mayor Pro Tem 2020 – 2022)
- Centered Council discussions around equity and inclusion, including supporting the creation of the Santa Monica Black Lives Association, the appointment of Equity and Inclusion Officers in every City department, and the development of a language access plan for City communications and resources.
- Prioritized the City's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through flexibility and support for local businesses as well as major projects like the Historic Miramar Hotel and Providence St. John's redevelopment that bring significant community benefits.
- Supported affordable housing priority for households that were displaced from Santa Monica in the 1950s and 1960s due to the construction of the I-10 freeway and Civic Center.
- Prioritized the restoration of after school programs and activities for local youth after COVID 19-induced budget cuts.
- Encouraged housing production through the Housing Element Update process.
- Advanced six weeks of paid parental leave for City of Santa Monica employees.
Councilmembers Lana Negrete, Caroline Torosis, and Jesse Zwick were installed at the meeting and a forthcoming press release will highlight that and the selection of mayor and mayor pro tempore.
Communications & Public Information Manager