Category Archives: leadership

Coronavirus Update: New Customer Service Center 📞

New Hotline and Coronavirus Customer Service Experience
March 17th the City of Santa Monica launched a new customer service experience for the Santa Monica community to get questions answered on the local response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.

The new hotline number to call us at is 310-458-8400. They will also continue to respond by email at info@santamonica.gov. Connecting between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Community Resources
Essential Services Business Map
New COVID Hotline: 310-458-8400
Sign up for SMAlerts!

City of Santa Monica will continue to respond through social media. Please remember that new information is available daily at santamonica.gov/coronavirus.

Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick or Spreading the Virus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting. Smokers who already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity could be at increased risk of serious illness
  • Following guidance from public health officials.

Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Santa Monica Farmers Markets are Open

The Farmers Markets will be an option for shoppers to continue to have access to fresh produce in an open setting to maximize social distancing. All markets will continue offering CalFresh/EBT for low income shoppers to access healthy produce. The market’s continuation of service will also minimize economic impacts to participating small Farmers, so they remain able to serve the market community in the months and years to come.

All vendors and customers are requested to avoid the market for non-essential visits, if ill, and if concerned of potential COVID-19 transmission. Additional options for hand washing and hand santitizer are available at each market in addition to plumbed restrooms. Any updates to market programming will be provided on both the City of Santa Monica & Santa Monica Farmers Market social media and website. (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @SMFMS)
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If you’re coming to the Santa Monica Farmers Markets, please practice safe social distancing, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water, and cover your cough. If you are sick, please stay home. 

MARKET HAND WASHING OPTIONS
At the Downtown market
– Hand washing stations are available in the restrooms in Parking Structures 2 & 4.  Hand sanitizer stations will be located within 6 feet of the info booth.  
At the Pico Farmers Market – Hand washing stations are available in restrooms inside the Park Center.   Hand sanitizer stations will be located within 6 feet of the info booth.  
At the Main Street Farmers Market – Hand washing stations are available in restrooms inside the Victorian .   Hand sanitizer stations will be located within 6 feet of the info booth. 

Changing how the City works to protect Santa Monica 

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed every aspect of our lives – school closures, teleworking, sports seasons cut short, bars shuttered.  The City of Santa Monica has adjusted how they work in this local emergency.  Their goal is to focus all their energy, resources, and talent to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered
New Emergency Orders – March 18th

The City will continue to provide essential public services, but have changed how they do it to limit exposure for their workforce and for residents. Here’s what this means for their operations:

  • The City of Santa Monica is currently operating in a local emergency and this means staff – planners, administrative assistants, architects, and IT experts become Disaster Service Workers in order to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of property. 
  • Only essential staff will be coming into work while most of the workforce will telework and collaborate through teleconferencing.  
  • All non-essential City travel has been suspended and City staff will not attend in-person events or conferences that gathers people for a non-essential purpose.

Here’s what this means for you now through March 31: 

  • City Hall will be closed to the public and all non-essential staff. Reach out to them via phone, email or the City’s website
  • Santa Monica Public Library branches will also be closed. All items checked out will be renewed and late fees waived for the duration of the closure. No fines will be incurred and materials will be automatically renewed. The book drops will be closed; we encourage everyone to hang onto their materials until the library reopens. 
  • Facility closures, including Annenberg Community Beach House, Camera Obscura Art Lab, Clover Park office, Memorial Park buildings, Miles Memorial Playhouse, Reed Park tennis office, Swim Center, and the Virginia Avenue Park campus. 
  • Public counters like the Animal Shelter, Housing Division office, Rent Control, GoSaMo Center at Parking Structure 5, and Finance Office will be closed. The Public Safety counter will remain open.  
  • Youth and recreation programs have been cancelled for the duration, including CREST, PAL, adult sports leagues, tennis court permits, swim classes and the like.  
  • All Board and Commission meetings have been suspended. The March 24 Council meeting will proceed, but with a different format that is accessible to the public (they have more on that soon).

These changes are significant, and they are necessary.  The City has taken them to protect you and your neighbors from the profound health and economic impacts of this global pandemic. That’s why they have also issued an emergency proclamation placing a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by residential tenants impacted by COVID-19.They’ve also suspended water and sewer service shut-offs for non-payment and are waiving late fee penalties for water and sewer bills and the late fee penalties for parking tickets. 

Your City team is working around the clock to implement best practices. Please follow this advice to protect yourself and your neighbors: 

  • If you are over age 65, stay home and shelter in place. If you need nutritious food, there are resources available, including Meals on Wheels West  (310-394-5133, extension 1) and delivery services like Postmates and Instacart. Local grocery stores also offer similar services, including Bob’s MarketRalphsGelson’s, and Pavilions.  
  • Everyone else should limit activities outside your home and practice “social distancing” by putting six feet of distance between you and others.   
  • Avoid people who are sick or who may have been exposed to those who are sick. 
  • Wash your hands  often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
  • If soap and water are not readily available,  use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
  • Avoid touching  your eyes, nose, and mouth  with unwashed hands. 

Please continue to check santamonica.gov/coronavirus for the latest daily updates and videos through this SaMoNews community newsletterFacebookTwitter, and Instagram. All information is accessible at santamonica.gov/coronavirus.  
You can subscribe to get City of Santa Monica updates yourself here!

The situation is changing daily, even hourly.  The City is adapting their operations, taking guidance from State and County public health officials. Santa Monica is a community with a heart and strong sense of family.  Take care of yourself and let’s work together to take care of others. 

Stay informed.  Stay calm.  Stay healthy.

Facts About Price Gouging The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division advises business operators and the public that price gouging, or raising the cost of certain goods or services more than 10 percent during a State of Emergency, is against the law.  The ban on price-gouging applies to medical supplies, food, emergency supplies, transportation, temporary and permanent housing, and other essential goods and services. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency throughout the state on March 4, 2020, after California’s first death due to coronavirus. The ban is in effect in areas such as Santa Monica. The price-gouging law applies to both businesses and individuals. Prices can be increased by more than 10 percent only if the costs of providing the goods or services also increased. Both businesses and consumers should save receipts and records of prices.  If you think you’ve been subjected to price-gouging in Santa Monica, contact the Consumer Protection Division at 310-458-8336 at Consumer.Mailbox@smgov.net or smconsumer.org.

In Los Angeles County, contact the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at dcba.lacounty.gov

City Temporarily Closes Santa Monica Businesses to the Public

March 16th, effective at noon, the City of Santa Monica issued a supplement to the local emergency proclamation that requires two week closure of the following businesses: 

  • All bars and nightclubs that do not serve food will be closed to the public. 
  • Any bars or nightclubs that serve food may remain open only for purposes of continuing to prepare and offer food to customers via delivery service or to be picked up. Dine-in food service is prohibited. 
  • All restaurants and retail food facilities are prohibited from serving food for consumption on premises. Restaurants and retail food facilities may continue to operate for purposes of preparing and offering food to customers via delivery service, to be picked up or for drive-thru. For those establishments offering food pick-up options, proprietors are directed to establish social distancing practices for those patrons in the queue for pick-up. 
  • The following are exempt from this Order: (i) cafeterias, commissaries, and restaurants located within hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities; (ii) grocery stores; (iii) pharmacies; and (iv) food banks. 
  • Trucks and other vehicles that deliver grocery items to grocery stores, when such items are to be made available for sale to the public, are exempt from having to comply with any City rules and regulations that limit the hours for such deliveries, including, without limitation, Section 9.28.080 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code. 
  • All movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades will be closed to the public. 
  • All gyms and fitness centers will be closed to the public. 
  • All businesses providing physical health and beauty services, including spas, hair salons, massage parlors, and nail salons, that do not provide medical care or services that supplement medical care as directed by medical professionals will be closed to the public.

The Order will go into effect at noon on March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

City Temporarily Closes the Santa Monica Pier

March 15th the City of Santa Monica issued an executive order to temporarily close the Santa Monica Pier to the public as part of its local emergency proclamation. This follows new guidance from  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calling for events and gatherings, whether planned or spontaneous, that include 50 or more people to be canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Beginning at 6 a.m. March 16, 2020, the Santa Monica Pier, parking deck, and Pier businesses will be closed to people and cars.

Temporary Moratorium on Evictions 

March 14th 2020 the City of Santa Monica issued a supplement to the local emergency proclamation that places a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by residential tenants impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

During the period of local emergency declared in response to COVID-19, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, including:being sick with COVID-19, or caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19;lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19;compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency;extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; orchild care needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19. A landlord also cannot pursue a no-fault eviction unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors, or the landlord.The order also suspends the discontinuation or shut off of water service for residents and businesses in the City for non-payment of water and sewer bills; the imposition of late payment penalties or fees for delinquent water and/or sewer bills; and the imposition of late payment penalties or fees for parking violations for the next 60 days.
Read More

Coronavirus Update on Gatherings and Social Distancing

The City of Santa Monica places the highest value on your health and safety. We are taking aggressive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in cooperation with the LA County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health. Today, March 12 we have:

  1. All gatherings are cancelled, including events, programs, and activities, both hosted by the City of Santa Monica and other groups. A full list of closures is available at santamonica.gov/coronavirus.
  2. City of Santa Monica Boards and Commission (except Planning Commission) meetings are suspended through March 31, 2020. City Council and Planning Commission details will be available soon.
  3. We encourage social distancing of at least six feet while in public spaces.
  4. City services will continue, but no public access to City Hall will be available Monday, March 16 – March 31. For information on how to access public counter services, call 310-458-8301, email info@santamonica.gov, or visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus.

You can subscribe to get City of Santa Monica updates yourself here!

Bike 3 February 22nd postponed to March 7th

Due to a forecast of possible rain, we have postponed tomorrow’s class to Saturday, March 7 at 9:00 AM.
We’re sorry, there will NOT be a class February 22. 


Do you want to be more comfortable and confident when cycling on city roads? Take Bike 3 – Street Skills class and practice what you learned in a real-world setting.

The Bike 3 – Street Skills class, presented by Metro, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition – LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke is a free 2.5-hour class for adults and teens to practice safe riding with a group of beginning cyclists. You’ll learn cycling etiquette, practice riding in a real-world setting, and make pit stops at local establishments to get refreshments.

FREE REGISTRATION HERE
Class size is limited. Pre-registration is required. Register now to guarantee your spot!

Kidical Mass: Valentine Edition

A Family Bike Ride for ALL AGES – Kids to Seniors!
Sunday – February 9th – Ishihara Park

Click flyer to load the event page, Spanish language flyer below

DATE:    Sunday February 9th
TIME:    9:00 AM – NOON
START:  Ishihara Park (2909 Exposition Blvd)
– meet Exposition Blvd between picnic area and playground.

Free: Please RSVP HERE so we have enough refreshments and activity supplies!
Por favor RSVP AQUÍ así que tenemos suficientes refrigerios y materiales de actividad!

Join Santa Monica Spoke and the City of Santa Monica Safe Routes to School for the next Kidical Mass Family Bike Ride from Ishihara Park and Community Gardens!  We are excited to be joined by the Santa Monica Community Gardeners with fresh pancakes and tours of the Community Learning Garden. You never know what special guest could join us.
RSVP and arrive to Check-in for your pre-ride snacks and activities!
YEY Prize Drawings!

Schedule.
9::00am – 12:00pm
Don’t miss the fun pre-ride activities!

Pre-ride snacks, fresh pancakes, coffee, and beverages for the kids (Please help us reduce waste and be sustainable, bring your own cups/plates), Helmet Decorating, Prizes, Free Bike Safety Checks, & Check in.
Arrive early and don’t miss the FUN!
We return to Ishihara Park for FUN and post-ride snacks.
Valentine themed activity are being planned!

* 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 bike –
You can #RideBreeze!

Don’t have a Kid Carrying Bike? NOT  A PROBLEM !
Special 20% discount on Rentals at the Santa Monica Bike Center.


Un paseo de grupo en bicicleta, divertido y para toda la familia.

Con el tema de Día de San Valentín en Santa Mónica comenzando en Ishihara Park a las 9 am 2/09/19.

Action Alert: Stewart / Pennsylvania Bike & Pedestrian Project

Your input is needed!

Hello friends, interested in road safety?
We invite you to take this short survey now on the much needed and innovative improvements proposed for Stewart Street & Pennsylvania Avenue. The project is under attack for some of the needed safety improvements.

• You will be prompted to click on each icon in the navigation on the left.
• At the bottom of each element, there is a + with the name of the project.
• Click to take survey.
• Fill in comments, then submit. You only get once chance, so make it count.
• Move down the list to the next of the 4 element of the project to give your opinion.

City planners have designed a very innovative project and clearly worked extremely hard to design the best possible project incorporating community and local business input and feedback for the fewest tradeoffs and losses to parking. In addition to two Community Open Houses, local business and stakeholders have been engaged for input during the design process. This project is also identified as part of the Land Use and Circulation Element, the Bike Action Plan, the Bergamot Area Plan, and the Pedestrian Action Plan

It appears the project is being attacked by one of the local businesses that has taken a dislike to the project due to a (minimal) loss of on street metered parking, and a median that restricts left turns. These changes mitigate the current rather serious traffic conflicts and congestion by improving traffic flow and safety for all road users. The business has chosen to use a hot button issue to solicit push back on this safety improvement project – THIS PROJECT IS ABOUT SAFE AND EQUITABLE ACESS and IMPROVING OVERALL STREET SAFETY FOR EVERYONE! We love and support our local businesses, but we are extremely disappointed in this one for this smear campaign. Parking must NEVER, EVER outweigh safety improvements. 

This project exceeded our hopes for Stewart & Pennsylvania as it was identified in the Bike Action Plan and the Pedestrian Action Plan. WE LOVE IT. It will finally provide a needed north/south bike connection, pedestrian improvements, improved – safer north/south connections to EXPO and improved safe routes to schools, parks and local businesses! There are almost always tradeoffs when streets are reimagined to incorporate and improve equity and safety as a priority. Please join us in support of this project by taking the short survey – it really only takes a few minutes. 

About:

Stewart & Pennsylvania Safety Enhancement

The City of Santa Monica’s Stewart & Pennsylvania Safety Enhancement Project will enhance safety and access to/from the Expo 26th Street/Bergamot Station, and address safety issues identified as part of the City’s Take the Friendly Road campaign. The project seeks to enhance the safety and comfort for pedestrians and bicyclists along Stewart Street between Colorado and Kansas, and Pennsylvania Avenue between 26th Street and Stewart Street The safety enhancements include:

  • Enhancement of the existing bikelane to a protected bikeway along Stewart Street from Kansas to Colorado/Yale. 
  • Intersection safety enhancements at Stewart Street/Colorado/Yale and Stewart/Nebraska making crossings easier to navigate for pedestrian/bicyclists 
  • Add new sidewalks and pedestrian scale lighting along Pennsylvania Avenue, between 26th Street and Stewart Street
  • Add Curb Extension and new curb ramps

This project is part of an on-going citywide effort to enhance safety for people that walk, bike, or take transit. 

Please do let us know if you have any questions. Stay tuned for future updates and Action Alerts!
Thank you in advance!

Open House: Stewart / Pennsylvania Bike & Pedestrian Project

Please join us at an Open House hosted by City of Santa Monica for the Stewart and Pennsylvania Avenue Bike and Pedestrian Improvement project. There are two dates you can attend, December 14th or December 18th. There is also an interactive map to review and provide comments online. We were excited to give input to help shape the project to date and look forward to community input to help further build a project that will best serve equitable mobility in a safer, healthy and active Santa Monica. Together we can create a safe and friendly community for everyone.

Project Goal:
Walk & Bike Pedestrian improvements for Stewart and Pennsylvania Avenues

This project aims to make improvements that will connect local neighborhoods to transit facilities, bikeways, schools, parks, and employment opportunities. The Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), Bicycle Action Plan (BAP), Bergamot Area Plan, and Pedestrian Action Plan all identify Stewart Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to include safety enhancements for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities. This project plans to implement those improvements.

Project Elements:
•  Add new sidewalks, and pedestrian scale lighting on Pennsylvania Avenue between 26th Street and Stewart Street.
•  Enhance bike facility to a protected bikeway on Stewart Street between Colorado Avenue and Kansas Avenue to accommodate riders of all ages and abilities.
•  Enhance intersections at Stewart/Nebraska and Colorado/Yale.

We encourage you to check out the interactive map to review the project and provide comment.
Upcoming open house information session flyers:
•  Virginia Avenue Park Library Annex Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
•  Edison Language Academy Wednesday, December 18, 2019 from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM