Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution Announce City Council Endorsements

Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012, 5:30:00 AM

Mitch James

Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP) has announced it has endorsed four Santa Monica City Council candidates: current Santa Monica Planning Commissioners Ted Winterer and Richard McKinnon, former Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Frank Gruber, and former Santa Monica Councilmember Tony Vazquez.

"In making our choice, we considered how candidates presented themselves at our September 13th SMO-focused Candidates Forum and the opinions from our CRAAP group members, as well as other local neighborhood groups' opinions; weighing all available information before deciding whom we support to be seated in the year 2015 when the Council will make very important decisions regarding the future of SMO," said CRAAP director Martin Rubin. "Rising to the top of the list were these four candidates experienced with Santa Monica government."

In a statement, the organization listed the following as its criteria for its choices:

1) Support for the 1981 Santa Monica Council Resolution 6296; It states, that It is the policy of the City of Santa Monica to effect the closure of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport as soon as possible and to devote the property on which it is located to its highest and best use and for an environment consistent with the City's generally residential character. Resolution 6296 remains in effect.

2) Support for maintaining open space in place of the airport and adding traffic arterials to help alleviate Westside traffic.

3) Support for adding Los Angeles representation to the Santa Monica Airport Commission in an advisory non-voting capacity.

Rubin said the City had lost its way since the 1981 Airport resolution.

"In 1984 the City contracted into a deal with the FAA allowing the airport to turn into a private and corporate jet port for the one percent," Rubin said. "In 1983 there were about 500 jet takeoffs; ten years later there were 2,000; another ten years later there were 8,000."

Rubin said jet traffic peaked before the economic downturn at more than 9,000 jet takeoffs in 2007.

"Since then the number has dropped to about 6,500," he said. "That reduction is not an all-clear signal to those forced to breathe toxic jet emissions. Many are deeply disappointed that the City of Santa Monica has made no real effort to use its rights as owner and operator of SMO to address environmental air pollution even after many scientific studies show serious cause for alarm."

Rubin said its organization believed that the current council was not representing the best interests of Santa Monica; hence why they did not endorse incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day.

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