The latest Santa Monica Pulse results are in, and it’s a mixed bag for the city. Residents are not thrilled by the City Council’s recent narrow approval of new affordable housing, and they are skeptical of the “safety ambassador” program. Residents were split on a recent Council decision regarding weapons at rallies, and COVID-19 vaccination rates are high.
In a recent 4-3 vote, the City Council approved a plan that “paves the way for building more than 6,000 new affordable housing units, including in exclusive single family neighborhoods.” 70 percent of Santa Monicans disapprove of this housing plan — which was opposed by the three new City Councilmembers. Less than 20 percent approved the decision, and another 10 percent were unsure.
The city also added “safety ambassadors” in the Downtown area as part of a program meant to “address quality of life issues and help deter unwanted behavior.” As we’ve noted before, homelessness and crime are key concerns for residents — 81 percent think the city is doing a poor job reducing homelessness.
When it comes to the ambassador program, 55 percent believe it won’t help reduce crime and homelessness Downtown. Another 28 percent said it will “slightly” decrease crime and homelessness. Only three percent felt it would greatly solve these issues in the Downtown area.
The Council fared a bit better on its decision to oppose an ordinance that would ban the “carrying or possession of items that can readily be weaponized” at community events and public assemblies. 48 percent of residents approved of the Council’s decision to oppose this ordinance, while 36 percent disapproved.
When it comes to vaccinations for COVID-19, almost 75 percent of respondents said they had received at least one shot. Another 10 percent said they planned to get vaccinated, and 15 percent said they did not plan to get the vaccine.
Overall, about 80 percent of Santa Monicans said they didn’t think their city was on the right track. That’s up from the 72 percent who said so last month, but still down from a high of 85 percent back in March.