A walk in the park, a vegan meal in the shade, and an after party at
Santa Monica landmark Chez Jay: these activities were part of Michael
Feinstein’s announcement that he is seeking a return to the City
Council, where he once served as mayor more than 10 years ago.
Feinstein formally announced his bid for this year’s City Council
race on Tuesday in front of a few dozen supporters at Tongva Park.
Should he be elected to one of the three seats up for election during
this cycle, he would return to the dais almost exactly after the day he
left the City Council in December 2004.
His announcement at Tongva Park was a symbolic gesture, as Feinstein
took credit for helping lay the foundation to bring the public park
across the street from City Hall. The land was originally the proposed
site of a commercial development. However, City Hall bought the land
from RAND during his first term in office. The council ultimately
decided to build a park on the land.
During a nearly 50-minute speech, Feinstein outlined his campaign. He
said he hopes to spur conversation within the community and find a way
to keep residents from opposing every single proposed development,
instead finding middle ground to have projects built to benefit Santa
Beyond development, Feinstein said his campaign would also focus on
affordable housing, homelessness, and the future of Santa Monica
The former mayor also said he would try to lay the foundation for
another major park project, this one a 17-block park built directly
above the Santa Monica Freeway as a cover.
Through all the specific plans and policy goals mentioned, Feinstein
said his candidacy is ultimately about promoting civil dialog amongst
Santa Monica residents, policy makers, and business leaders.
“I feel that this community is being ripped apart by our debate on
development and people aren’t talking to each other. People aren’t
listening to each other,” Feinstein said. “One of the things I want to
accomplish in office in the next four years is to provide an ability to
help this community to actually talk together, learn together, and
respect our differences, and at the same time find ways to get projects
that we want to see happen, rather than just oppose the ones we don't want to see happen.”
Feinstein’s announcements comes a few weeks after Planning
Commissioner Richard McKinnon and Recreation and Parks Commissioner Phil
Brock announced their respective candidacies for City Council.
First elected to the Council in 1996, Feinstein earned the highest
number of votes in 2000. He was appointed to mayor that same year. In
2004, Feinstein’s second re-election bid was unsuccessful.
Mayor Pam O’Connor and Council members Bob Holbrook and Kevin McKeown
currently occupy the three seats up for election in November.
Holbrook is the longest-serving council member in Santa Monica
history, while no member of the City Council has served as long as Kevin
McKeown without sitting in the Mayor’s chair.
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