The Senior Community
A large percentage of our city's residents are elderly. Yet, being elderly does not have the same connotations it used to have. Our population of senior residents are alert, vital, active, and want to keep living and learning for a long time to come!
As a city, we should assist our seniors in living long, meaningful lives. Our current senior center is in a government office building in the heart of downtown Santa Monica. Wise & Healthy Aging operates the gathering place and offers a wide variety of activities for seniors, including meals, outings, and yoga. However, it's an office building with a lack of transportation access points, and it sits across from Santa Monica Place. There is no place to catch a breath of fresh air and no spots to sit and gaze at the fast-moving world around them. Santa Monica College's Emeritus College, an excellent senior learning facility is on 2nd and Wilshire.
For the long term rebirth of our town, I propose the following steps to aid our Senior population (which I joined last year):
We can return the former Senior Recreation Center in Palisades Park to the exclusive use of our seniors. We know that frequent contact with the outside world helps to extend lives. There is no excuse for our senior residents to not access the site (part of Camera Obscura) located at 1450 Ocean Avenue as soon as the pandemic eases.
Restore full funding to Wise & Healthy Aging, now.
Expand the advisory powers of the Commission for for the Senior Community and listen to them!
Our seniors have so much talent. I know because I arranged a senior talent show at Miles Playhouse to showcase the extraordinary singers, comedians, and actors in our town. I want us to do it again, every year!
Seniors should have free transportation options within Santa Monica that are convenient. Even though cooperation with LYFT may be ending due to state regulations, we must fund another option. This needs to be an immediate priority.
Plan for a new Senior Recreation Center that combines Emeritus College with Wise & Healthy Aging services in one facility. An indoor/outdoor facility can be built that will be the epitome of wellness and learning for this vital part of our community. Thousand Oaks and Culver City are among the communities that have outstanding facilities. By utilizing best practices, we can add to our city's longevity and provide one-stop for learning, recreation, and wellness.
We built a city hall addition that cost over $150 Million for administrative employees yet neglected the needs of an incredibly significant portion of our community. Our economy will undergo a rebirth. Our residents of all ages must come always come first. Edifices for the staff who serve our residents should never supersede our communal needs. We must find a better way to assist our seniors.