OPA Update 6/15/23: Highlights & Video Clips from the June OPA Monthly Meeting with SMDP Chief Batista, Welcome to Juneteenth Weekend & Other Things To Do This Weekend


Highlights & Video Clips from the June OPA Monthly Meeting: 

  • SaMo Police Department: Click here to watch Crime Prevention Coordinator Halima Barreto & Officer Navarro discussed crime data, offered tips, etc.
  • SMPD Police Chief Batista: Click here to watch him discuss how best to interact with officers, staffing updates, and fielded a variety of questions. He also strongly encouraged people to ALWAYS call the police when they see something that seems reportable because even if the incident or person disappears, SMPD creates internal “pins” on a map for all reports and that helps them know where and when to keep an closer eye on areas. 
  • June 2023 Board Reports: Discussions included 4th of July Parade planning, Sharing an Open Main St 2023 and other event planning, Homelessness Task Force, Renters Task Force, & Diversity Task Force (click here to watch the video). Volunteers NEEDED to join them and drive their agendas!
  • Click here to watch the meeting in its entirety.
  • July 10 Meeting Preview: Michele Wittig (Santa Monica Coalition for Police Reform) & Karen Reitz (Santa Monica Public Library).

Juneteenth on Monday: In March 2022, City Council designated Juneteenth as an official City holiday, one year after President Biden acknowledged Juneteenth nationally. Details below on the city celebration this weekend at Virginia Park. 

4th of July Parade: It is less than a month away and we need volunteers to help with planning. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP OR VOLUNTEER!

Council Adopts Solid Waste Rates: The new rates will be effective on August 1 with single-family homes go up about 67% from $84 to $141. More details here and this SaMo Lookout article details the rate increases.

Santa Monica Based Food Bank Braces for Worsening Humanitarian and Hunger Crisis: The Westside Food Bank is reporting a significant increase in the need for food assistance. Meals on Wheels West, has seen an almost two-fold rise among seniors and other homebound individuals. Donate to Westside Food Bank here.

Residents Urge City Council Stronger Action to Curb Homeless Problem: This SaMo Lookout article discusses the “More than a dozen Santa Monica residents took to the podium at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to share their personal encounters with the homeless and urge stronger action to curb crime and anti-social behavior.”

Advertising Funded Wayfinder Kiosks Are Getting Closer to Deployment: This SMDP article offers a look at the functioning prototype. Install dates on Main St and elsewhere are TBD and we are planning to have a representative from the company come to an OPA Monthly Meeting later this year to share more details.

What to Eat & Drink?

  • Gin Rummy is a Tiki-Inspired Cocktail Lounge in Venice: This EaterLA report says “there’s still a few things to eat, but …this is basically a budding cocktail destination.”
  • Le Great Outdoor @ Bergamot Station Getting Great More Reviews: This Eater LA write up says “Santa Monica’s Coolest New Restaurant Doesn’t Need Marketing or Even Investors…with a red-hot wood grill and strong word-of-mouth hype, Santa Monica diners are passionate about Le Great Outdoor.”

Things To Do This Weekend: 

  • SaMo Pride Event – Drag Queen Storytime (Friday, June 16, 11a.m.-12p.m.): Drag Queen Storytime in front of the Marion Davies Guest House at the Annenberg Community Beach House. Guest of honor Pickle will lead an interactive story time designed to challenge gender stereotypes, encourage self-expression and promote diversity and inclusion. More details here.
  • SMC Fashion Show (Friday, June 16 @ 7p.m.): SaMo College Fashion Program’s annual student fashion show — LA Mode 2023 features a mix of casual, club, evening and avant garde capsule collections showcasing each designer’s creative direction. More details here.
  • Annual Cardboard Yacht Regatta (Saturday, June 17, 9a.m.-2p.m.): “Kick off the 2023 Summer of Fun at the Annenberg Community Beach House with this annual event. More details here.
  • Community Garden Summer Solstice Celebration (Saturday 9-11a.m.): The Ishihara Community Garden will also be helping people build solar ovens. More details here.
  • “Big Gay Bake Sale” (Saturday, June 17, 11a.m.-2p.m.): Compass Real Estate @ 1333 Montana Avenue is hosting the event and all proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center to help support LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. More details here.
  • “Broadway to Freeway: Life and Times of a Vibrant Community” Opening @ Quinn Gallery (Saturday, June 17, 11a.m.-5p.m.): The exhibition tells the story of how residents built SaMo Broadway neighborhood into a flourishing community of color and how the Interstate 10 freeway destroyed it in the 1960s. More details here.
  • Juneteenth Celebration at Virginia Avenue Park (Saturday, June 17, 1-7p.m.): This year’s theme is Coming Together in Appreciation, Reconciliation, and Commemoration. The free all ages event features an afternoon of music, unique food and craft vendors, a kid’s activity area, a community stage, and local resources. More details and schedule of events here.
  • Rock ‘n’ Polo IV (Saturday, June 17, 1p.m.-5:30p.m.): Throw on your sun hats and bow ties! This fun-filled polo tournament will have live music, a performance by celebrity gymnast Nia Dennis, and gourmet food from the farm to table eatery, Farmesa. More details here.
  • FREE Metro Rides This Weekend to Celebrate Extending Metro from Santa Monica to East L.A. Without Transfers: More details here on the new line opening Friday June 16 taking riders from SaMo to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Broadway Station and Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station. Metro offering free rides during opening weekend.
  • Sunday Main St Farmers Market: Local favorites, Dj and the Main Street Jam will be playing for the Main Street Farmers Market for a very special Fathers’ Day.
Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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