Author Archives: Cynthia Rose

Santa Monica Community College earns Bronze Level!

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Congratulations to Santa Monica Community College (SMC) for being awarded a Bronze Level designation from the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Friendly University℠ program (BFU). You may recall the City of Santa Monica received a Bronze designation in May 2009 and raised it to Silver in 2013. SMC joins thirteen colleges in California that have made the list in the last few years – now totaling 100 nationally in 37 states and Washington DC.

The BFU program has been in place since 2011, and just as the City of Santa Monica and SM City Hall applied, schools or businesses must also apply for the award by filling out a lengthy application. Amelia Neptune, the Bike League’s program manager says of the BFU program “We try to create an application that offers flexibility, so small colleges with few roads can still brag about what they’re doing for bicyclists, even though their needs are very different than at large universities.”

“Campus leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of colleges and universities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their staff, students and surrounding communities.”

Genevieve Bertone, Director of Sustainability, Center for Environmental and Urban Studies at SMC had this to say “Receiving this certification was not easy, it took a great deal of effort from many contributors including the Transportation Task Force, the SMC Bike Center, SM Spoke and many students.” Special congratulations are extended to SMC student and 2013-14 Bike Coordinator, Cade Maldonado who led this effort. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Cade and all the SMC students over that last few years!

California ranks in the top 10 Bike Friendly States at #9 (up from #19 in 2013) much of that due to state wide efforts of the California Bicycle Coalition, some engaged elected officials, regional campaigns and advocacy like at LACBC and it’s local chapters, i.e. Santa Monica Spoke. Check out the California Report card here. See what we aspire to here in Attributes of a Bicycle Friendly State.

The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. The League’s Bicycle Friendly America℠ program provides a roadmap, hands-on assistance and recognition for states, communities, universities and businesses. The BFA℠ program is a tool for states, communities, business and universities to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people. As leaders, their commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change. I invite you to join us and be a part of that momentum for change.

The League sends out a survey to campus users at the schools that apply, in addition to consulting with local cyclists and advocates. Each application is judged on how well it fulfills bicycling needs in five categories:

  • Engineering (bike lanes, fix-it stations, showers, bike lockers)
  • Education (campaigns, bike maps, classes —academic classes on bike planning, for example, as well as safety/skills classes)
  • Encouragement (bike clubs, events, and rides)
  • Enforcement (bike registration programs, ways to recover lost or stolen bikes, police training on bike laws and safety, police bike patrols and policies)
  • Evaluation and planning (campus bike planning and programming, policies, goals; systems to track the number of bike riders or parking)

To earn the Bronze-level award, a college has to have at least one program in all five categories and excel in one of them. Santa Monica College, with a Bronze-level designation, offers organized rides, education classes, a mentoring program for new riders, information to incoming students, faculty and staff about programs groups and riding on campus, huge new bike corral, and bike valet parking at events. SMC also has a cash incentive program for employees who bike, walk, carpool, or take transit to campus.

To earn a Silver-level award, a school needs to excel in two of the categories; for Gold it would require excelling in three to four categories . To get Platinum, excellence in all five categories is required. California has two Platinum universities, UC Davis and Stanford! As an shining example of Platinum level, UC Davis offers information, bike valet parking, bike tours and rides, car-free days on campus, commuter events, campus-wide traffic calming measures with speed limits of 20 mph or lower on campus streets, bicycle roundabouts and colored bike lanes, and car-free zones on campus. All that helps foster a campus culture where bicycling is the norm. I visited there and took a tour last year during the CalBike Conference – is was AWESOME! Bikes everywhere – and so much more!

As Amelia Neptune explains, the award isn’t just about letting bike-friendly universities gloat. “One of most satisfying things about this program is when a school who didn’t win — who got honorable mention or something — takes our feedback, then reapplies after a few years, and wins,” said Neptune. “They use the feedback we give them on their application to create a plan, to organize a committee, and respond, improving their bike facilities and programs.”

About the Bicycle Friendly America℠ Program: The Bicycle Friendly Community℠, Bicycle Friendly State℠, Bicycle Friendly Business℠ and Bicycle Friendly University℠ programs are generously supported by program partner Trek Bicycle in collaboration with Benchmarking Reports of The Alliance of Biking and Walking. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America℠, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA

I’ll post a follow up on local Bike Friendly designations. For now these are the colleges that have earned designations as Bicycle Friendly Universities in California:

Platinum

  • University of California, Davis
  • Stanford University

Gold

  • University of California, Santa Barbara

Silver

  • University of La Verne
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (new)
  • California State University, Long Beach

Bronze

  • University of San Diego
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Pomona College (new)
  • Santa Monica College (new)

VOTE: Be Engaged, Ballot Measures We Support & Why

This upcoming election is critical for the future of our city, with three City Council seats up for grabs and four important measures on the ballot.

Santa Monica Spoke is a 501c3 and cannot endorse candidates. To find information on what Civic and Community Leaders in the biking community are recommending you can look here:
Bike the Vote (includes local and regional races)
Assemblyman Richard Bloom has this to say..

Important Ballot Measures We Endorse and why:

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Click image for Operative Text of Measures LC and D [Infographic]

We endorse YES on LC and NO on D. See our complete write up here
Visit It’sOurLand.org to learn more about Measure LC, to donate or volunteer to the campaign. Measure LC is for “Local Control” and has received overwhelming community support: see the growing list here.
Measure D is deceptive and paid for by outside interests!  Measure LC was written at the request of residents, 99% of the funding is from small donations almost entirely from within the local community of Santa Monica.
Measure LC does not close the Airport but will keep Santa Monica residents in Control of Airport Land. It allows us to manage the airport for the health and safety of our community and not special interests.
Operative Texts of Measures LC and D [Infographic] ,   Side by Side Analysis Measures LC vs D

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Santa Monica Spoke Supports
Affordable Housing Ballot Measures
VOTE

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.40.49 PM Measure H will generate new local revenue for the City so that its affordable housing stock can be maintained and rehabilitated, and that more affordable housing opportunities for people who live and work in the city can be created. 100% of the money collected through Measure H will stay in Santa Monica. It is our money for our community – Sacramento cannot touch one cent.
Measure HH specifies that voters want the revenue from Measure H to be spent on affordable housing programs.
Read why we support H & HH here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Measures H and H

KIDICAL MASS Bike Ride: October 25th, Reed Park

Kidical Mass Bike Ride
October 25th, Reed Park
Theme: HALLOWEEN!

Festivities from 9:00am to NOON
The next Kidical Mass Ride for 2014, Saturday, October 25th. A fun bike ride experience for families with kids of all ages! Education with Fun & Prizes! Wear a costume and you could win a prize!

DATE:    SATURDAY October 25th
TIME:    9:00 AM – NOON
START:  Reed Park (7th & Wilshire)
meet north side, California Ave between 7th and Lincoln

Free: Please RSVP HERE

Join Santa Monica Spoke and the City of Santa Monica for our next Kidical Mass Bike Ride.  We will take a family friendly ride around the  neighborhood, just north of downtown Santa Monica.
Prize drawings plus Prize for BEST COSTUME!

COSTUME SWAP – BRING GENTLY USED COSTUMES TO SWAP / DONATE

Schedule
9::00am
Pre-ride snacks, Pumpkin Slalom, Helmet Decorating, Prize, Best Costume, Free Bike Safety Checks, & Check-in
Arrive early and don’t miss the FUN!
10:00am 
Neighborhood Bike Ride*
11:00am (or upon return)
Return to Reed Park around 11-11:15am for FUN and post-ride snacks provided by KIND.
More ideas in the Cauldron – stay tuned…..

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Watch our 1st Kidical Mass in 2013 video here:..

* Children must be accompanied and are the responsibility of their parents. Bikes should be in good working condition. Free Safety Checks on site for minor adjustments/repairs. Please use good judgement – ride is on city streets – smaller children should be in a child seat, in a trailer or Tag-a-long……

Don’t have a Kid Carrying Bike? NOT  A PROBLEM !sm_bike_center
Special 20% discount on Rentals at the Santa Monica Bike Center. You can find special Kid carrying cargo bikes, kid seats, trailers, tandems, tag-a-longs!! Anything you could need at a 20% discount for rentals) – Please reserve online and write “Kidical Mass” in the special requirements section of the reservation – 20% discount will be applied at check out! Reserve early and plan to pick up bikes Saturday morning in time to arrive at the event.

Candidates speak about bikes & Santa Monica’s Next Round

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Informative article on City Council Candidates and bikes, Santa Monica’s Next Round Mixer

City Council Candidates on bikes: Santa Monica Next invited all 14 City Council Candidates to describe their bicycle platform in 250 words or less my Monday afternoon (10/13). All responses, provided they were within the word limit, were published unedited and without comment on Tuesday (10/14), in the order received. Nine of the fourteen candidates responded, you can read their responses here:

Santa Monica’s Next Round: This Friday, October 17th, 5:30 – 7:30pm Join an informal meet up at Wokcano Santa Monica for “Happy Hour Apps and Beverages” for people who live and work in Santa Monica and who want to see their community thrive with sustainable progress and more livable neighborhoods. Next Round is casual and unstructured but you never know what ideas, collaborations or moments of serendipity might spring up.
More info here: Facebook event here.
Wokcano – Santa Monica, 1413 5th St
Santa Monica’s Next Round picks up where #VoteLocal winds down after the November 4th election.

Can’t make this round? Get in the loop for the next round at santamonicanation.nationbuilder.com

Wellbeing Festival, Buy Local, BIKE LOCAL! Saturday October 18th!

Santa Monica Spoke will be hosting a BIKE SKILLS COURSE at the Wellbeing festival this Saturday! Come join the FUN!!

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Wellbeing Festival featuring Buy Local Marketplace
FREE 

Saturday, October 18, 2014
11:00am to 5:00pm
Santa Monica Civic Center,
1855 Main Street, (outdoor Surface Lot)

We are excited to participate in the popular Wellbeing Festival to be held at the Santa Monica Civic this year!

Santa Monica Spoke joins Buy Local / Bike Local to build momentum and support Bike Santa Monica, sharing tips to encourage and empower people to ride bikes for everyday transportation and have FUN in a healthier and safer environment.

Santa Monica Spoke will be hosting a BIKE SKILLS COURSE at the festival with generous support from Perrys’ at the beach and our sponsor Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP, who have demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the bike community with education and legal services., Come join us, learn tips - test your skills – HAVE FUN!
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Join the growing bike culture being created in Santa Monica with Santa Monica Spoke and our community partners!

The Wellbeing Festival celebrates Santa Monica by showcasing the services and products of Santa Monica businesses to over 4000 locals and visitors at the Civic Center outdoor area The festival brings together local businesses and non-profits to provide expertise, advice, and product samples promoting a healthy and happy lifestyle for all the visitors and the entire Santa Monica Community. Stores and restaurants from every neighborhood will have food and vendor booths. Look for the new BIKE ZONE!

There will be musiccooking demos and interactive classes on stages and lots of opportunities to get free resources and screenings.

And there will also be a GIVE LOCAL clothing donation drive in support of 2014 Westside Thanksgiving so please be sure to bring any gently used clothes to help support to those in need! 

Clothing Drive Email

This event is free to the public and draws thousands of people every year.

For up-to-date event info on Facebook: Wellbeing & Buy Local Festival  #LocalWellbeingFest 

Organized by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce & the City of Santa Monica in partnership with the Buy Local SM Campaign, SM UCLA Hospital + Medical Group, St John’s Health Center, American Red Cross, Revolution Fitness, 220Fitness, Wholefoods Santa Monica + many more of our local businesses!

For more http://smchamber.com/wellbeingbuylocal
exhibitor forms + sponsorship opportunities:

Exhibition: “Reimagining Santa Monica Airport – Part 1″

Chen Liu.
Chen Liu.

You are invited to join Airport 2 Park for the exhibition
“Reimagining Santa Monica Airport – Part 1″
- for one night only

When:    Thursday October 23rd
Time:      6-9pm
Where:   Writers Boot Camp Gallery, Bergamot Station #1,
2525 Michigan Avenue, for one night only.
*Car pooling is encouraged bicycle valet will be provided by Santa Monica Spoke.

The Exhibition will feature the work of USC graduate landscape architect students, Christopher Sison, Chen Liu, Zeek Magallanes and Yongdan Chunyu who under the direction of internationally renowned landscape architect Aroussiak Gabrielian (FORGROUND Design) took a practical approach in choosing bicycles for the their site visit to Santa Monica Airport where they started working on a three month project to design a park to replace the controversial facility. The tour was lead by Airport2Park.org, a coalition of community groups and neighbors that formed to promote the creation of a great park on the land that is currently Santa Monica Airport. The exhibition is curated by Professor Michael Brodsky of Loyola Marymount University, Founding member of Airport2Park.

Professor Brodsky says this about the exhibition, “Very few people have actually seen the potential beauty and space that is currently fenced and covered with asphalt on the Santa Monica airport property. This site has such great potential for a park with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains that are currently only seen by the very few people that use it now.

“I feel that once people see this exhibition of talented graduate landscape architecture students, they will view the Santa Monica Airport site in an entirely new context; as one that can serve many more people in a variety of creative, healthy and sustainable ways than is currently served by the present industrial use.”

For additional information go to Airport 2 Park 

Vote YES on Measures H & HH: Support Affordable Housing in Santa Monica

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The complex at 26th and Broadway is geared toward working families earning significantly less than the area median income. With only two- and three-bedroom units,

Santa Monica Spoke Supports
Affordable Housing Ballot Measures
Vote: Yes on H and HH

Two companion ballot initiatives proposed by Santa Monica City Hall would raise as much as $10 million a year to fund low-cost housing production. These proposed measures comes at a time when Santa Monica is struggling to maintain its commitment to economic diversity in the face of record high rents, and in large part due to rising land values and a regional housing shortage.

Measure H is a ONE-TIME fee that is paid when any residential and commercial real estate over $1 million dollars is sold from one owner to another in the City of Santa Monica. This means that real estate sales under $1 million, such as low and medium priced condos, are exempt from Measure H. Renters pay nothing. Also exempt are changes in ownership when a property is held in a trust. The buyer and seller can negotiate who pays all or a portion of the fee.

  • Measure H will generate new local revenue for the City so that its affordable housing stock can be maintained and rehabilitated, and that more affordable housing opportunities for people who live and work in the city can be created. 100% of the money collected through Measure H will stay in Santa Monica. It is our money for our community – Sacramento cannot touch one cent.
  • Measure HH specifies that voters want the revenue from Measure H to be spent on affordable housing programs.

In 2012, Santa Monica lost about $15 million a year of permanent funding for low-cost housing when the State of California shut down its 400 redevelopment agencies. The City has been searching for alternatives since. A local, dedicated funding stream would help support local equitable housing built by nonprofits while helping them qualify for state money, like cap-and-trade funds, 20 percent of which is to be set aside to finance low-cost transit oriented housing. While these cap-and-trade funds are expected make available about $100 million statewide for affordable housing (in the future that number expected to increase to about $500 million) – it is a fraction of the more than $1 billion in Redevelopment Agency money that was available before 2012.

We support the measures that City Council’s voted 5-to-1 to put on the ballot. Measure H would increase the fee paid to the City when a property worth over $1 million changes hands from $3 to $9 for every $1,000 of the property’s sale price, while the companion measure HH would dedicate that funding stream to affordable housing. Approving these measures will help nonprofit housing developers like Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM) and Step Up on Second to not only build but maintain permanent affordable housing units in our city .

Quote Santa Monica Next:

“One of the things that makes Santa Monica so spectacular is… our economic and social diversity in this town and affordable housing is the only way to preserve it,” said Councilmember Gleam Davis.

Davis also pointed out that affordable housing stock helps take cars off the road if people who work in Santa Monica can also afford to live nearby, rather than commute long distance. She also pointed out that having low-cost housing available benefits young people who may be working their way through school or just starting a career.

Councilmember Ted Winterer agreed with Davis, saying that shoring up the affordable housing funding “is the most critical thing we can do this fall.”

Staff pointed out that without a new revenue stream, the City’s budget for funding affordable housing production would drop to about $300,000 a year and would require decades before the City could pool enough to finance even one project. That is not enough, according to officials, considering the rate at which market rents are rising and the impact of the Costa-Hawkins vacancy decontrol law on rent controlled units.

Frequently Asked Questions About Measures H and H
RENTING IN SANTA MONICA PART THREE: AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Breaking News: Deal Reached on CA’s Cap-and-Trade Spending Plan

VOTE: YES on LC (Local Control), NO on Measure D (Deception)

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Santa Monica Spoke has been a supporter of the grass root community momentum that led to Measure LC  from the very beginning when the Airport2Park community group was formed to bring attention to this important community issue. One of the first public events was a bike tour of the area around the Santa Monica Airport to envision the possibilities of what that area could or should be.
Here is some of what you might want to know about these important measures and the money being spent by outside aviation interests on Measure D.
We endorse a YES vote on LC and NO vote on D
- visit It’sOurLand.org to learn more about Measure LC and to donate and volunteer to the campaign. More links at the end of this post.

VOTE: YES on measure LC

Measure LC for “Local Control” has received overwhelming community support:

Airport2Park, Ballona Institute, Community Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic (CASMAT), Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP), Friends of Sunset Park Board of Directors, Green Party of Los Angeles County, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica – Read full opinion here , North of Montana Association Board, Northeast Neighbors Board, Mar vista Community Council, No Jets Santa Monica Airport, Ocean Park Association, Pico Neighborhood Association, Residocracy Advisory Board, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs, Santa Monica Democratic Club, Santa Monica Next – Read full opinion hereSanta Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR), Santa Monica Spoke, Sierra Club Read full opinion here (PDF)Sunset Park Anti-Airport, Venice Environmental Alliance, Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition
  • Measure LC was written at the request of residents, 99% of the funding is from small donations almost entirely from within the local community of Santa Monica.
  • Measure LC will keep Santa Monica residents in Control of Airport Land. It allows us to manage the airport for the health and safety of our community and not special interests.
  • Measure LC will allow us to retain the ability to end dangerous lead fuel and toxic jet fuel sales as well as reduce the 50 million pounds of annual green house gasses that Santa Monica Airport currently produces.
  • Measure LC will allow us to reduce the runway length and create a “runway safety area” that currently does not exist. Shortening the runway will reduce the number of large private/corporate jets that fly into the airport (like the one that crashed and killed 4 people last year).
  • Measure LC stipulates that if the airport is ever closed, that NO development is allowed without (true) voter approval. 
  • Measure LC mandates that the land could only be used for parks, educational, recreational or open space for everyone rather than for special interests. Imagine this land being made available in the future to walkers, bikers and to all regardless of income, age or ability.
  • Measure LC is a major investment in the future of a more sustainable Santa Monica.

VOTE: NO on measure D

  • Measure D is supported by the special interest aviation lobby who have contributed $500,000 so far. 99% of which has come from the aviation industry and supporters outside of Santa Monica.
  • Measure D portends to allow residents a right vote on the Santa Monica Airport keeping the airport open or closed but it does so under a questionable use of language about what constitutes “voter approval” – an impossible, never before reached threshold written as - majority of “voters”,  not majority of votes.
  • Measure D stipulates, very disturbingly, that unless the airport is closed, that the city, “shall not impose additional restrictions on providers of aviation support services to tenants and airport users that inhibit the sale of fuel or the full use of aviation facilities.”
    This means that the City can not manage or reduce the toxic fuel sales, toxic emissions, noise, limit jets, increase sustainability and create runway safety areas or do anything that the aviation industry feels is a “restriction” This is the real reason that the aviation industry is spending hurndreds of thousands of dollars for measure D.
  • Measure D is being promoted as a means to limit development in the city but contains absolutely nothing about development in the measure.
  • Measure D was written by the aviation lobby serve the special interests and not the needs of our city or the local community.

Statement:
Santa Monica Spoke, local chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to improving the environment for walking and biking in the City of Santa Monica. We are a community based group working to make Santa Monica more sustainable, and a better place to live, walk, bike, work and play. We endorse a YES vote on LC and a NO vote on D.

Also useful are the very active and informative Facebook pages:
-  SMO Future
Santa Monica Airport Sanity Project
No Jets Santa Monica Airport
Airport2Park
On the web
It’s Our Land! – See the Organizations behind “I’s Our Land”
SMO Future  
Airport 2 Park 

Measure LC Guarantees No New Development

The above text is copied directly from the text of Measure LC. It clearly states that “if all or part of the Airport land is permanently closed to aviation use, no new development of that land shall be allowed” without additional voter approval.

The only exception would be the development of “parks, public open spaces, and public recreational facilities.”  What a great deal this is!
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Take the first Santa Monica Wellbeing Survey!

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You are invited to take the first
Santa Monica Wellbeing Survey!

With your input, Santa Monica will build a first-of-its-kind tool to capture our community’s needs and strengths.  But to do this, they need you!

City of Santa Monica Wellbeing Projects wants to know how you are doing.  Take 10 minutes to tell them by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/csmwellbeing?14V=U89N5

This survey – facilitated by the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization based in Santa Monica – is a vital part of a pioneering effort to measure community wellbeing in Santa Monica.  By completing this survey you’ll learn more about your own wellbeing, the wellbeing of our community, and be part of building the first Local Wellbeing Index.

You can learn more about The Wellbeing Project at smgov.net/wellbeing. Please direct inquiries about The Wellbeing Project to the City of Santa Monica Office of Wellbeing: wellbeing@smgov.net. Please note that the survey is for adult residents of Santa Monica only. If the link doesn’t open when you click it, please try copying and pasting the entire URL into your browser.

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 ¡Usted está invitado a participar en la primera encuesta de bienestar de Santa Mónica!

Con su contribución, Santa Mónica podra crear por la primera vez una manera de mejor entender las necesidades y los puntos fuertes de nuestra comunidad.

¡Para realizarlo, necesitamos a usted!

Queremos saber cómo está usted. Tome unos 10 minutos para decirnos y por favor visite: https://es.surveymonkey.com/s/csmwellbeingsp?14V=U89N5 

Está encuesta es facilitada por la corporacion RAND, una organización de investigación no lucrativo basada en la ciudad de Santa Mónica, y es vital para la creación de una forma de medir más exacta el bienestar de la comunidad de Santa Mónica. Por participar en esta encuesta, usted aprenderá acerca de su propio bienestar, el bienestar de la comunidad y podra tomar parte en la creación del primer índice local de bienestar.

Usted puede aprender más sobre El Proyecto de Bienestar en smgov.net/wellbeing. Por favor dirija sus preguntas sobre El Proyecto de Bienestar a la Oficina del Bienestar de la Ciudad de Santa Mónica: wellbeing@smgov.net. Por favor tenga en cuenta que la encuesta es solo para residentes adultos de la ciudad de Santa Mónica. Si el enlace no abre, trate de copiar y pegar el URL en una nueva ventana del navegador.