April 6, 2023 9:17 AM
The Santa Monica City Attorney's Office hosts several community activities to commemorate Fair Housing Month this April. Fair Housing Month recognizes the impact and significance of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and this year marks the 55th anniversary of the landmark legislation.
The Past, Present and Future of Fair Housing: A Symposium Celebrating the 55th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium at the Santa Monica Main Library.
Speakers will include:
- Gleam Davis, Mayor of Santa Monica
- Chancela Al Mansour, the Executive Director of the Southern California Housing Rights Center
- Jacy Gaige, Director of the Compliance and Disability Rights Division for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Gary Rhoades, Deputy City Attorney
The event's masters of ceremony will be Tony Tolbert and Adam Radinsky, friends since law school and the creators of Pay the Tab, a podcast that exposes stories of racial injustice and then explores creative remedies. Adam Radinsky is also the former Chief Deputy City Attorney of the Santa Monica City Attorney's Consumer Protection Unit.
All members of the public are invited to attend, including owners, property managers, attorneys, social-service providers, and tenants, free of charge. A continental breakfast will be provided and parking at the library will be validated.
Pre-registration is required – please reserve your seat here. Space is limited so please register early. Online registration ends on April 16, 2023.
Earlier this year, the City Attorney's Office hosted its popular annual Santa Monica Student Fair Housing Poster Contest. More than 300 elementary and middle school students from Santa Monica participated in the contest, creating dynamic posters that feature the 2023 theme Fair Housing Creates Homes. A recent panel of judges had the tough but enjoyable task of selecting nine finalists. The student finalists are:
- Ryan Mihibzada – 1st Grade – Saint Anne School
- Sienne Hafstrom – 2nd grade – Will Rogers Elementary
- Genevieve Gallagher – 2nd grade – Grant Elementary
- Marcelo Milk-Nercessian – 2nd grade- Edison Language Academy
- Dana Janicic – 3rd grade – Saint Anne School
- Louisiana Clark – 4th grade – Grant Elementary
- Lucy Arndt – 5th grade – Edison Language Academy
- Teo Mann – 5th grade – Edison Language Academy
- Audree Alexander – 8th grade – Saint Anne School
Four of the posters will be published as calendars for 2024 and will be part of the City's 2023 fair housing newspaper ad campaign.
In addition to these events, the City Attorney's Office is re-releasing the short video produced in 2018 for the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act Follow John To Learn About Fair Housing. This unique animation project was a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the City Attorney's Office, IdeaRocket, and Peter Riedle, a young artist who as a seventh grader at Saint Anne School submitted a winning entry to the poster contest.
The video brings to life the characters depicted in the poster, including John the wheelchair user, his friends, family and landlord. View it here.
"Working with the speakers, teachers and students on these anniversary projects is one of our office's most rewarding experiences at City Hall," said City Attorney Doug Sloan. "It speaks highly of both the community and the Fair Housing Act that this comes together each year while supporting Council's priority to advance Racial Justice, Equity & Social Diversity in Santa Monica.”
Acting Public Information Officer