And we’re off!

Earlier this morning, Dan Hall became the first candidate to formally launch a campaign for Santa Monica City Council. Four of the seven seats on the Council will be decided in this November’s election.

Hall should be a strong candidate as he brings a compelling personal story and strong record of public service. Hall is a proud Army veteran and locally serves on the Santa Monica Pier Board Member. He is also a former Santa Monica Democratic Club Vice President.

“As one of the Army’s first out LGBTQ+ pilots, I am no stranger to tough fights and standing up for what I believe,” said Hall in his launch announcement. “West Point taught me the values of duty, inclusivity, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage. These values have guided my professional career as an Army Officer, community organizer, and public servant.” 

Hall’s announcement can be found at the bottom of this release.

In the announcement, Hall recounts his experience joining the army as a teenager while the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was still in effect. When the policy was rescinded, Hall became one of the first openly gay helicopter pilots and an advocate inside the military for LGBTQ+ military health care, pushed for access to anti-HIV drugs, and promoted mental health services for his soldiers

Hall doesn’t just provide a laundry list of positions and beliefs, but also a history of activism on those issues. 

For example, when he talks about economic development, he can point to his work with businesses as a member of the Pier Board. When he talks about equality, he can recount not just his work in the military but also organizing people to speak out in support of the gender neutral bathroom ordinance passed by the city last year. And when he talks about supporting high wages for all those in Santa Monica, he points to his work organizing the Dem. Club’s response to the labor strikes that happened in Santa Monica last summer.

Hall’s campaign also launches with a laundry list of supporters that includes current and past City Councilmembers, members of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education, Rent Control Board members, community leaders and Assembly Member Rick Chavez Zbur.

“Dan is exactly the kind of leader I want to partner with as we tackle tough regional issues like homelessness, environmental justice, growing anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, racism, antisemitism, and all forms of hate,” said Zbur, in the announcement release.

While none of the incumbent Councilmembers has made a formal announcement it is expected that Mayor Phil Brock, Councilmember Christine Parra and Councilmember Oscar de la Torre, the three members of the “Change Slate” that were elected for the first time in 2020 will run again. Councilmember Gleam Davis has not publicly signaled whether she plans to run again.

It is widely expected that Natalya Zernitskaya and Ellis Raskin, both of whom ran strong campaigns in 2022 will also announce campaigns in the coming weeks.

“I’m running for City Council because I believe that we can build a brighter future: one that’s safe and inclusive for all, no matter which neighborhood they’re from, where they work, the color of their skin, or who they love,” Hall concluded. “Our beautiful beachside city deserves a government that serves and protects everyone: renters, workers, home and business owners, and visitors.”

A full copy of Hall’s announcement release can be found below : 

Dan Hall Announces Campaign For Santa Monica City Council 

Renter, Army Veteran, Santa Monica Pier Board Member, and Former Democratic Club Vice President Launches Campaign Focusing on Restoring Progressive Values to City Hall. 

Santa Monica, CA – Today, Army veteran, Santa Monica Pier Board Member, and former Democratic Club Vice President Dan Hall announced his campaign for Santa Monica City Council. Motivated by the housing affordability, evictions, and street safety crises causing an increase in homelessness and bicyclist and pedestrian deaths, issues of racial and environmental justice, as well as failures at the City leading to the ‘Builder’s Remedy,’ violence against local workers, and overspending resident tax dollars on travel junkets, Dan will bring generational change and accountability to City Hall. 

“As one of the Army’s first out LGBTQ+ pilots, I am no stranger to tough fights and standing up for what I believe,” said Dan in his launch announcement. “West Point taught me the values of duty, inclusivity, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage. These values have guided my professional career as an Army Officer, community organizer, and public servant. 

My record of leadership in Santa Monica reflects these values: 

● Organizing against the City Council’s attempts to threaten our Rent Control law, 

● Door-knocking for Measure GS to bring millions of dollars to our schools and affordable housing programs, 

● Bringing economic opportunity to the City through my work at the Pier Board, 

● Flipping opposition to safe and inclusive restrooms designed for LGBTQ+ people, women, and children, 

● Supporting striking workers in their fight for better wages, protections, and benefits. 

“I’m running for City Council because I believe that we can build a brighter future: one that’s safe and inclusive for all, no matter which neighborhood they’re from, where they work, the color of their skin, or who they love. Our beautiful beachside city deserves a government that serves and protects everyone: renters, workers, home and business owners, and visitors.” 

Dan is launching his campaign with significant support from local leaders including: Current and Former Elected Officials 

● Rick Chavez Zbur, State Assemblymember and Democratic Caucus Chair 

● Sheila Kuehl, former Los Angeles County Supervisor 

● Gleam Davis, Santa Monica City Councilmember and former Mayor 

● Ted Winterer, former Santa Monica Mayor, Co-Chair, Community for Excellent Public Schools 

● Judy Abdo, former Santa Monica Mayor 

● Caroline Torosis, Santa Monica City Councilmember 

● Jesse Zwick, Santa Monica City Councilmember 

● Mike Bonin, former Los Angeles City Councilmember 

● Margaret Quiñones-Perez, Chair, Santa Monica College Board 

● Sion Roy, Santa Monica College Board Trustee 

● Tom Peters, Santa Monica College Board Trustee 

● Jennifer Smith, President, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education 

● Laurie Lieberman, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education Member 

● Danny Ivanov, Santa Monica Rent Control Board Commissioner 

● Lonnie Guinn, Santa Monica Rent Control Board Commissioner Community Leaders 

● Derek Devermont, Democratic National Committee Member, Chair, Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission, Vice President, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Susan Sheu, Los Angeles County Democratic Party Region 4 Vice Chair, Vice President, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Keith Coleman, Vice President, Santa Monica Democratic Club, former Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education Member 

● Sam Cozolino, Vice President, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Rana Kirkland, former Vice President, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Luis B. Castañón, Treasurer, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Dolly Sloan, Executive Board Member, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Lynn Cervini, Executive Board Member, Santa Monica Democratic Club 

● Cris Gutierrez, Co-Chair, Santa Monica Safe Streets Alliance, Co-Founder, Climate Action Santa Monica 

● Abby Arnold, former Co-Chair, Santa Monica Forward 

● Melissa Goodman, Community for Excellent Public Schools Steering Committee Member 

● Debbie Mulvaney, Community for Excellent Public Schools Steering Committee Member 

He has also earned the support of regional and national progressive organizations: 

● Western States Carpenters Union 

● VoteVets 

“Dan is exactly the kind of leader I want to partner with as we tackle tough regional issues like homelessness, environmental justice, growing anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, racism, antisemitism, and all forms of hate,” said Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, who represents Santa Monica in the state legislature. 

“As Santa Monica’s second-ever out LGBTQ+ Councilmember, he will bring needed representation to the City Council. I urge Santa Monica to elect an extraordinary public servant and vote for Dan Hall.” 

Dan was raised in a home that valued community and duty to others: his mother was a union teacher and his grandfathers were a soldier and a firefighter. Feeling the call to serve others himself, Dan enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point and joined the Army at age 18. His military career began under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which forced him to hide his identity while serving our country. When the policy was repealed, Dan became one of the Army’s first openly gay helicopter pilots, where he advocated for LGBTQ+ military health care, pushed for access to anti-HIV drugs, and promoted mental health services for his soldiers. 

Since exiting the military, Dan launched the world’s largest fleet of electric delivery vans, with an emphasis on reducing carbon emissions in low-income, polluted communities. This led to a transition into the diversity, equity, and inclusion field where he currently leads a team building programs supporting Black, Latino, Asian, women, and veteran leaders for a workforce of 1.3 million employees. 

In January 2022, Dan was appointed by the City Council to the Santa Monica Pier Corporation Board of Directors. While on the Pier Board, he leveraged his veteran status supporting the creation of the Direct Action Response Team (DART) to combat vendor violence, criminal behavior, and safety risks at the Pier. 

Dan chairs the Leasing Sub-Committee where he partners with the Pier’s small businesses and the City’s Economic Development Department to create a safe, welcoming, and economically sustainable business environment. From 2021-2023, Dan served on the Executive Board of the Santa Monica Democratic Club, first as Vice Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, then Treasurer, and finally as Vice President of Political Action, where he led the club’s organizing efforts supporting Labor’s strikes in 2023. 

Dan was elected as a Delegate for Assembly District 51 to the California Democratic Party, where he represents Santa Monica and currently serves on the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. Dan holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and will complete a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Local Government from the University of North Carolina School of Government this spring. He actively volunteers at Meals on Wheels West delivering meals to seniors throughout Santa Monica. Hearing their stories of housing and food insecurity, bad-actor landlords, and City Hall failing to properly enforce code requirements have further motivated him to launch this campaign. Dan is a member of the Mid-City Neighbors Association and attends church at the Unitarian Universalist Community of Santa Monica on Arizona and 18th. 

Councilmember Caroline Torosis and her partner Dan Bass along with co-hosts Santa Monica Democratic Club (SMDC) Treasurer Luis B. Castañón, Ed.D., SMDC Vice President Keith Coleman, Councilmember Gleam Davis, Rent Control Commissioner Anastasia Foster, Co-Chair of Santa Monica Safe Streets Alliance Cris Gutierrez, Rent Control Commissioner Danny Ivanov, Ethan Karetsky, SMDC President Jon Katz, Erick Matos, Debbie Mulvaney, Santa Monica College (SMC) Board Chair Dr. Margaret Quiñones-Perez, SMC Trustee Dr. Sion Roy, SMDC Vice President Susan Sheu, former Mayor Ted Winterer, and Councilmember Jesse Zwick will be hosting a launch fundraiser for Dan on Saturday, March 30th. 

RSVP at https://bit.ly/electdanhallmarch30. 

For more information, go to www.electdanhall.com and follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads at @electdanhall.

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