For many, the political process can be immensely confusing. Characterized by inaccessibly long meetings and decisions that are presumably made “behind closed doors,” the inner workings of politics have long fascinated political scholars, while often alienating the general public. Even in the relatively insular political climate of Santa Monica, it can still take considerable effort to follow and understand the process by which decisions are made. Yet, many of these decisions have a large impact on the city’s sustainability and livability, such as the recently approved Bergamot Transit Village or the Michigan Avenue Greenway. Thus, it becomes vitally important to understand how these decisions are made. That’s where this week’s featured event comes in.

Who: The event is hosted by the Santa Monica Democratic Club and will feature three guests:

  • Susan Shannon, Assembly District E-Board representative to the CA Dem Party
  • Kevin McKeown, Santa Monica City Councilmember
  • Armen Melkonians, creator/organizer of “Residocracy”, the new community online campaign to overturn the Hines/Papermate project

What: For their February meeting, the Santa Monica Democratic Club will be hosting a discussion on the political process, calling it “A Peek Behind the Curtain.” The event is free and open to the public. There is also free parking and light refreshments will be provided.

When: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 (7 – 9 PM)

Where: Mt Olive Lutheran Church (1343 Ocean Park Blvd. Santa Monica 90405)

Other Events:

  • Tuesday: The Santa Monica City Council hosts its weekly Tuesday meeting at the Council Chambers, located at City Hall, 1685 Main Street. The meeting begins at 5:30 pm. All City Council meetings are open to the public, and members of the public may comment on any item listed on the agenda. A list of topics can be found here. One such topic at the coming meeting has been mentioned on this site several times in the past few months: the fate of the Chain Reaction sculpture. A group called Save Chain Reaction has raised over $100,000 over the past two years in the hopes of convincing the city council to preserve the sculpture. Read more about their efforts here.
  • Tuesday: As part of its ongoing Beach=culture series, the Annenberg Community Beach House hosts a “Proposal Writing for Artists” workshop, presented by Helen Lessick. From the website: “Struggling with your grant proposal for writing or public art? Attend this hands-on workshop for literary and visual artists to gain proficiency in describing projects to funders, fellowships or commissioning programs.” The event begins at 6:15 and will be held at the Beach House (415 Pacific Coast Highway). Tickets are free but space is limited and reservations are required. Make a reservation here.
  • Wednesday: The Santa Monica Planning Commission hosts its biweekly Wednesday meeting at the Council Chambers, beginning at 6 pm. The agenda for this week’s meeting can me found here.
  • Wednesday: Sustainable Works hosts the first meeting of a series of Green Living Workshops that will take place through March and the beginning of April. These free workshops will provide a wealth of information on how to live sustainably. Register for the event here. On the same day, Sustainable Works and American Cinematheque will also present a screening of “Last Call at the Oasis” at the Aero Theatre (1328 Montana Ave). The featured film, a critically acclaimed documentary about the world’s water crisis, will be followed by a panel discussion. Buy your tickets here.
  • Saturday: Santa Monica College hosts the first of five classes on healthy eating. The class will focus on the fundamentals of healthy eating through a whole-foods, plant-based diet. It runs from 11 AM to 1 PM and will be held at the SMC Bundy Campus (room 216). Register for the course here.
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