COVID-19 Economic Recovery
Our city has been dealt a seismic shock by the sudden downturn in our local economy because of the pandemic. Tourism has tanked. Our municipal budget has been eviscerated and the prospects for a rapid recovery are not bright. So, we have a choice in our city. We can choose recovery or rebirth. I choose a rebirth that values the residents of this city. I hope you will join me.
To be reborn, our economy must be built around the industries that thrive in Santa Monica. Medical, Entertainment, Technology, Automobiles, Retail, and our strong Tourism base are all vital to a diversified economy that values our residents. We want residents to shop locally, buy locally, and work locally. To do that successfully, we must work hand in hand with residents to attract businesses that the people of Santa Monica love to shop at, eat at, and work at. Only 12% of locals shop in downtown Santa Monica on an annual basis. That is a terrible statistic. Throughout Santa Monica, all types of businesses will thrive if they realize that their first and foremost order is to please the people who choose to live in the City by the Bay.
Tourism will return if our city is safe and our residents love this special place. To do that, we must make sure that Santa Monicans love our city once again. Locals must want to shop and dine here because there are price points offered for all. Businesses will locate and stay here if they do not feel like they are being fleeced. We tax too much and the benefits are too low to retain businesses. Let's be a fair and equitable city, for all.
We can bring our economy forward in a new Santa Monica that values each and every resident.
One last thing: a rebirth can only occur if we don't feel like we must return to the Santa Monica that existed before the pandemic began. Frankly, we were not doing well. Our city was overspending, overpaying and not listening to residents. To rebuild the old Santa Monica is wrong. To birth a new Santa Monica is the right way to move into the future.