Santa Monica Next is a community organization and news website focused on the future of Santa Monica. We are involved in a range of issues including transportation, land use governance, planning, open space, sustainability and well being.

Our Vote Local Campaign encourages young adults in Santa Monica to register with their local address, get informed on local issues, and vote down the ballot.


Damien NewtonAs executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative, Damien Newton is publisher of Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog California, Streetsblog San Francisco and LongBeachize. Damien can be reached at damien@streetsblog.org.


Abby ArnoldAbby works as a consultant to nonprofit social service agencies and local government, and has served on a wide variety of boards of directors, including the California Board of Registered Nursing, the Coalition for Clean Air, and as President of the Santa Monica PONY Baseball League. A longtime resident of Santa Monica, Abby is currently the chairperson of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation, and serves on the board of the California Physicians Alliance.

Frank Gruber – Frank is the publisher of the Healthy City Local, a partner blog with Santa Monica Next. Frank is an author and writer on urban affairs who has been a resident of Santa Monica since 1983. He has served on the city’s Planning and Housing Commissions, and the Civic Center Task Force, and he chaired the Minimum Wage Working Group that fine-tuned Santa Monica’s 2016 living wage ordinance. He wrote a weekly column about Santa Monica for the Santa Monica Lookout News for 11 years. He twice ran unsuccessfully for City Council.

Juan Matute – Juan is the deputy director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies. At the institute, he researches innovation in public transit, parking, and mobility services in response to climate change, congestion, and urban market dynamics. He led UCLA’s work on two strategic transit plans for the State of California and long-range climate action plans for Southern California communities.

Jason Mastbaum Jason Mastbaum is a research programmer at RAND. He specializes in applying data analysis and visualization, technology forecasting, and modeling and simulation to defense and homeland security research questions. Mastbaum received a B.A. in physics from Bard College and an M.S. in applied physics from the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Sirinya Matute – Sirinya is a full-time working mother who writes about parenting and car-lite living on her personal blog, Raising Wilshire. She began her writing career as an editorial intern at LA Parent magazine well before mommy blogging was a thing. In her limited free time, Sirinya serves on the board of the Westside Urban Forum and chases after her toddler son.

Homa Mojtabai – Homa is a Los Angeles based writer. She previously worked for the City of Santa Monica and was an agency shop officer (labor leader) during her tenure on the city staff. Homa is committed to developing equitable, innovative public policy from both in- and outside government. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School and has a background in management consulting. She currently works in (public) higher ed. You can read more of her work at www.homagod.com or follow her low-key twitter account: @homamojtabai

Carter RubinCarter Rubin lives and works in Santa Monica with his wife and dog. An urban planner by training, Carter is out there working every day to create a more inclusive, thriving and sustainable community. He works for an environmental non-profit organization by day and is a volunteer commissioner by night, but his views here are his alone.

Santa Monica Next Alumni

Tyler Hakomori

Gary Kavanagh

Eric Bailey

Santa Monica Next Steering Committee:

  • Abby Arnold
  • Jason Islas
  • Juan Matute
  • Damien Newton
  • Carter Rubin

In Memoriam:

Lindsey Miller


Lindsey Miller wrote for Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next intermittently from 2012 until her passing in May of 2014.

Miller held an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and has been published on news and information websites throughout the Internet. She covered meetings and events in Santa Monica, providing the “hard news” coverage that helped ground Santa Monica Next in its early coverage.

You can find Lindsey’s pieces for Santa Monica Next and Streetsblog Los Angeles at the embedded links.

Lindsey’s family has asked that those interested consider giving to the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.

Guest Writers:

Santa Monica Next welcomes guest writers and submissions. To make the experience as pleasant as possible for everyone, we recommend reaching out to Jason (jason@santamonicanext.org) or Damien (damien@streetsblog.org) or both of us before you start writing or planning. Even if a story seems as though it is a perfect fit, we might already be working on a similar (or the same) story. We promise not to steal your story ideas.

Santa Monica Next does not pay for submitted stories.


Santa Monica Next is always looking for new interns. If you’re interested, write to Jason (jason@santamonicanext.org) or Damien (damien@streetsblog.org). We’ll typically get back to you within two business days.

You can mail SCSI or Santa Monica Next at:

Southern California Streets Initiative
c/o Damien Newton
11539 National Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064

SCSI Board of Directors:

Juan Matute (President)

Jon Weiss (Vice-President)

Abby Arnold

Baktaash Sorkhabi