Category Archives: Buy Local Santa Monica

Action Alert: Support Pedestrian Pilot on Main Street

June 8th Council Meeting 

This Tuesday, Santa Monica City Council is expected to vote on final approval of the pilot program for temporary weekend street closures for vehicular traffic for a few weekends this summer on Main Street. In other cities programs like this have proven to reduce car use, support local businesses, and increase walking and biking. Santa Monica City Council needs to hear from you – share your support for a more sustainable, walkable, and vibrant Santa Monica! We want Santa Monica to be a great place for residents, workers, students and visitors of all ages to safely walk, bike, and scoot. As we emerge out of the pandemic, finding creative ways like this to support healthy active mobility and our local businesses by providing more outdoor experiences is critical for our community wellbeing and our economic recovery. 

We know you may have previously sent an email or submitted a survey but we need you to help demonstrate support to Council this evening with a short note to ensure that Item 7-A is approved. Click and customize the template below.

Santa Monica Spoke enthusiastically supports the Main Street Buisness Improvement District and the Ocean Park Neighborhood Association pilot. Other cities in the US and around the world have long been discovering the economic and safety benefits of slow and shared streets for safer, more equitable and sustainable mobility, for people walking, biking, scooting and driving. We have the data, we know that prioritizing people over cars makes streets safer for everyone, improves gridlock, is better for the environment, and indeed improves the experience of mobility regardless of mode. By providing safer and healthier options that encourage more people to leave their cars behind and explore the city, we improve safety, climate impacts, economic and environmental resilience, and vitality for our future. 

This item will be heard tomorrow at the Tuesday, June 8th council meeting.
Please send a quick note of support on Item 7-A, pilot program for weekend closures on Main Street, to the members of City Council* — template and email addresses listed below.
*preferably by noon on Tuesday June 8th

Example from Santa Barbara 

Template: Please personalize as you like


Dear Mayor and Santa Monica City Council,

As a Santa Monica resident, I support the pilot to pedestrianize Main Street for a few weekends this summer and hope you will consider making it permanent. Pedestrianized streets are more vibrant and encourage people to visit by foot, bicycle or scooter and leave their car at home. Pedestrian streets improve the visitor experience, encourage people to stay and bring in more customers to shops and restaurants. Streets that are pedestrianized are much more relaxing and enjoyable to visit and eat outdoors than a street with the noise and pollution of car traffic.

I very much support this program and ask that you vote to approve of the pilot on Main Street!

May is Bike Month

We are getting ready and gathering Bike Month Promotions and Virtual Activities to share for
Bike Month Santa Monica 2021!
#BikeThere #BikeMonthSM #GoSaMo #BikeLocalSM



May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the  League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.



It’s a celebration of bikes; a reminder to get rolling again; a gateway to riding more often; a time to evangelize the beauty of bikes; and much, much more.

Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. The momentum is building: With growing cultural awareness around health and wellness, sustainability and economic savings, bicycling is being seen by new and broader audiences as a simple solution to many complex problems, from reducing obesity rates to increasing mobility options. This year, we want to hear from you. What’s your “why?” With so many reasons to ride, what’s yours? Use the hashtags #WhyIRide and #BikeLocalSM #BikeMonthSM on social media and also tag @SMSpoke @BikeLeague!

Each year the number and diversity of Bike Month celebrations continues to grow, accelerating the momentum around bicycling nationwide.

Council Meeting May 26, Recommended Restoration of City Services?

The Staff Report released Friday, May 22nd, provides an Update on City Restructuring and Council Authorization to Restore Priority Programs in the areas below as directed by Council on May 5th, all of which we supported and many of which we specifically requested.

On the agenda for the May 5th, Santa Monica City Council meeting, devastating cuts in response to the catastrophic budget shortfalls created by the Covid-19 crisis were proposed and later approved. As we shared in previous communications, we felt (and still feel) strongly that without active and engaged Council direction these cuts will surely unwind decades of progress and community hard work toward a city where everyone can move safely, with or without a car, and where we protect our most vulnerable citizens. These are, without a doubt, unprecedented and difficult times. Difficult decisions and devastating cuts will need to be made. We must continue to demand our leaders be creative in finding solutions that maintain our city values and as many essential programs as possible as we rebuild our economy, and our community from the Covid-19 crisis. 

We are grateful that on May 5th Council directed staff to consider the following areas as priorities for continuing services, funds permitting:  

  • Food security for our most vulnerable community members through restoring funding to Meals on Wheels and the Westside Food Bank
  • Keeping people in their homes through increased support for the Preserving Our Diversity senior housing subsidy program and restoring funding to the Legal Aid Foundation 
  • Funding for youth-related programs, such as after-school programs and mental health support services
  • Resources for outdoor health, such as playgrounds and fields, including the Playground Partnership program with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District  (SMMUSD)
  • Mobility programs with an emphasis on providing safe, sustainable, affordable and accessible transportation choices
  • Sustainability with an emphasis on community resilience

We need Council to stay engaged directing the priority of creative solutions. We must insist our leaders continue to be strategic and thoughtful with “restructuring” that reduces costs and bureaucracy while retaining essential capacity to build confidently on the foundation and programs that define what we love about Santa Monica — including safe bike lanes, sustainability efforts to address climate change, after school programs, community gardens, libraries, and social services for those most in need. We are pleased to see some of these essential programs have been recommended for at least partial reinstatements. Programs like these are needed to keep neighborhood streets safe and calm, and provide ways for kids, seniors, low-income families, and car-light/carless households to keep moving.

Congestion management is only possible with these programs; when stay-at-home orders are lifted the congestion will be back in weeks, with additional drivers who used to ride transit.

Even in the most difficult of times we must retain our values and prioritize these programs or we slide backward decades, putting essential outcomes out of reach:

  • Safer Streets 
  • Climate Action & Adaptation Plan air quality and emission reduction
  • LUCE congestion mitigation and neighborhood traffic calming
  • Vehicle trip reduction necessary for new housing capacity
  • Bike Action Plan health and active trips targets
  • Pedestrian Action Plan injury and fatality reductions

This Community has worked hard to build a brighter future – a vision for an economically, environmentally, equitably and socially sustainable community.

Please join us in supporting solutions outlined in the Staff Report and ask Council to keep prioritizing creative solutions to retain more essential services and staff:  HERE

#TransportationMatters #SafeStreets

May is STILL Bike Month!

Official: Bike to Work Week 2020 will take place September 21-27, 2020.
Bike to Work Day is Tuesday, September 22!

This May National Bike Month will necessarily be different. With a focus on well-being and connection, lets highlight how #BikesUnite and benefit physical and mental health. For the 31 days in May, #BikesUnite us. Whether you’re riding for fun, fitness or with family, or taking essential trips to work or shop, you are part of our movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet, and happier people. 

Stay tuned
Super Excited to Announce Our Virtual Bike Month Event

We can’t promise going for a bike ride will solve every concern, but we do know that bicycling can help all of us maintain our physical and mental health. Even short rides have massive benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, and improving happiness, mental focus, and sleep. Whether you are an essential worker biking to get to work, looking for a fun activity with the family, or just need some exercise or some time alone, here’s some are some ideas to help you get started.

May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.

Coronavirus Update: New Customer Service Center 📞

New Hotline and Coronavirus Customer Service Experience
March 17th the City of Santa Monica launched a new customer service experience for the Santa Monica community to get questions answered on the local response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.

The new hotline number to call us at is 310-458-8400. They will also continue to respond by email at Connecting between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Community Resources
Essential Services Business Map
New COVID Hotline: 310-458-8400
Sign up for SMAlerts!

City of Santa Monica will continue to respond through social media. Please remember that new information is available daily at

Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick or Spreading the Virus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting. Smokers who already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity could be at increased risk of serious illness
  • Following guidance from public health officials.

Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Santa Monica Farmers Markets are Open

The Farmers Markets will be an option for shoppers to continue to have access to fresh produce in an open setting to maximize social distancing. All markets will continue offering CalFresh/EBT for low income shoppers to access healthy produce. The market’s continuation of service will also minimize economic impacts to participating small Farmers, so they remain able to serve the market community in the months and years to come.

All vendors and customers are requested to avoid the market for non-essential visits, if ill, and if concerned of potential COVID-19 transmission. Additional options for hand washing and hand santitizer are available at each market in addition to plumbed restrooms. Any updates to market programming will be provided on both the City of Santa Monica & Santa Monica Farmers Market social media and website. (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @SMFMS)
If you’re coming to the Santa Monica Farmers Markets, please practice safe physical distancing, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water, and cover your cough. If you are sick, please stay home. 

Changing how the City works to protect Santa Monica 

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed every aspect of our lives – school closures, teleworking, sports seasons cut short, bars shuttered.  The City of Santa Monica has adjusted how they work in this local emergency.  Their goal is to focus all their energy, resources, and talent to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Safer at Home through May 15. Santa Monica Extends Local Emergency and Associated Orders through May 15. Learn more.
Farmers Market: Temporarily shifting farmers markets into two weekly Farmers Markets – Wednesday and Saturday market in Downtown Santa Monica, for the duration of the Stay at Home order. The market will be open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click Learn more 
The Do’s and Don’ts when wearing face coverings: Employees and Patrons at open businesses in Santa Monica must wear face coverings. Learn more.

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered
New Emergency Orders – March 18th

The City will continue to provide essential public services, but have changed how they do it to limit exposure for their workforce and for residents. Here’s what this means for their operations:

  • The City of Santa Monica is currently operating in a local emergency and this means staff – planners, administrative assistants, architects, and IT experts become Disaster Service Workers in order to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of property. 
  • Only essential staff will be coming into work while most of the workforce will telework and collaborate through teleconferencing.  
  • All non-essential City travel has been suspended and City staff will not attend in-person events or conferences that gathers people for a non-essential purpose.

Here’s what this means for you now through March 31: 

  • City Hall will be closed to the public and all non-essential staff. Reach out to them via phone, email or the City’s website
  • Santa Monica Public Library branches will also be closed. All items checked out will be renewed and late fees waived for the duration of the closure. No fines will be incurred and materials will be automatically renewed. The book drops will be closed; we encourage everyone to hang onto their materials until the library reopens. 
  • Facility closures, including Annenberg Community Beach House, Camera Obscura Art Lab, Clover Park office, Memorial Park buildings, Miles Memorial Playhouse, Reed Park tennis office, Swim Center, and the Virginia Avenue Park campus. 
  • Public counters like the Animal Shelter, Housing Division office, Rent Control, GoSaMo Center at Parking Structure 5, and Finance Office will be closed. The Public Safety counter will remain open.  
  • Youth and recreation programs have been cancelled for the duration, including CREST, PAL, adult sports leagues, tennis court permits, swim classes and the like.  
  • All Board and Commission meetings have been suspended. The March 24 Council meeting will proceed, but with a different format that is accessible to the public (they have more on that soon).

These changes are significant, and they are necessary.  The City has taken them to protect you and your neighbors from the profound health and economic impacts of this global pandemic. That’s why they have also issued an emergency proclamation placing a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by residential tenants impacted by COVID-19.They’ve also suspended water and sewer service shut-offs for non-payment and are waiving late fee penalties for water and sewer bills and the late fee penalties for parking tickets. 

Your City team is working around the clock to implement best practices. Please follow this advice to protect yourself and your neighbors: 

  • If you are over age 65, stay home and shelter in place. If you need nutritious food, there are resources available, including Meals on Wheels West  (310-394-5133, extension 1) and delivery services like Postmates and Instacart. Local grocery stores also offer similar services, including Bob’s MarketRalphsGelson’s, and Pavilions.  
  • Everyone else should limit activities outside your home and practice “social distancing” by putting six feet of distance between you and others.   
  • Avoid people who are sick or who may have been exposed to those who are sick. 
  • Wash your hands  often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
  • If soap and water are not readily available,  use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
  • Avoid touching  your eyes, nose, and mouth  with unwashed hands. 

Please continue to check for the latest daily updates and videos through this SaMoNews community newsletterFacebookTwitter, and Instagram. All information is accessible at  
You can subscribe to get City of Santa Monica updates yourself here!

The situation is changing daily, even hourly.  The City is adapting their operations, taking guidance from State and County public health officials. Santa Monica is a community with a heart and strong sense of family.  Take care of yourself and let’s work together to take care of others. 

Stay informed.  Stay calm.  Stay healthy.

Facts About Price Gouging The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division advises business operators and the public that price gouging, or raising the cost of certain goods or services more than 10 percent during a State of Emergency, is against the law.  The ban on price-gouging applies to medical supplies, food, emergency supplies, transportation, temporary and permanent housing, and other essential goods and services. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency throughout the state on March 4, 2020, after California’s first death due to coronavirus. The ban is in effect in areas such as Santa Monica. The price-gouging law applies to both businesses and individuals. Prices can be increased by more than 10 percent only if the costs of providing the goods or services also increased. Both businesses and consumers should save receipts and records of prices.  If you think you’ve been subjected to price-gouging in Santa Monica, contact the Consumer Protection Division at 310-458-8336 at or

In Los Angeles County, contact the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at

City Temporarily Closes Santa Monica Businesses to the Public

March 16th, effective at noon, the City of Santa Monica issued a supplement to the local emergency proclamation that requires two week closure of the following businesses: 

  • All bars and nightclubs that do not serve food will be closed to the public. 
  • Any bars or nightclubs that serve food may remain open only for purposes of continuing to prepare and offer food to customers via delivery service or to be picked up. Dine-in food service is prohibited. 
  • All restaurants and retail food facilities are prohibited from serving food for consumption on premises. Restaurants and retail food facilities may continue to operate for purposes of preparing and offering food to customers via delivery service, to be picked up or for drive-thru. For those establishments offering food pick-up options, proprietors are directed to establish social distancing practices for those patrons in the queue for pick-up. 
  • The following are exempt from this Order: (i) cafeterias, commissaries, and restaurants located within hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities; (ii) grocery stores; (iii) pharmacies; and (iv) food banks. 
  • Trucks and other vehicles that deliver grocery items to grocery stores, when such items are to be made available for sale to the public, are exempt from having to comply with any City rules and regulations that limit the hours for such deliveries, including, without limitation, Section 9.28.080 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code. 
  • All movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades will be closed to the public. 
  • All gyms and fitness centers will be closed to the public. 
  • All businesses providing physical health and beauty services, including spas, hair salons, massage parlors, and nail salons, that do not provide medical care or services that supplement medical care as directed by medical professionals will be closed to the public.

The Order will go into effect at noon on March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

City Temporarily Closes the Santa Monica Pier

March 15th the City of Santa Monica issued an executive order to temporarily close the Santa Monica Pier to the public as part of its local emergency proclamation. This follows new guidance from  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calling for events and gatherings, whether planned or spontaneous, that include 50 or more people to be canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Beginning at 6 a.m. March 16, 2020, the Santa Monica Pier, parking deck, and Pier businesses will be closed to people and cars.

Temporary Moratorium on Evictions 

March 14th 2020 the City of Santa Monica issued a supplement to the local emergency proclamation that places a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by residential tenants impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

During the period of local emergency declared in response to COVID-19, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, including:being sick with COVID-19, or caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19;lay-off, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19;compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency;extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; orchild care needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19. A landlord also cannot pursue a no-fault eviction unless necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors, or the landlord.The order also suspends the discontinuation or shut off of water service for residents and businesses in the City for non-payment of water and sewer bills; the imposition of late payment penalties or fees for delinquent water and/or sewer bills; and the imposition of late payment penalties or fees for parking violations for the next 60 days.
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Coronavirus Update on Gatherings and Social Distancing

The City of Santa Monica places the highest value on your health and safety. We are taking aggressive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in cooperation with the LA County Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health. Today, March 12 we have:

  1. All gatherings are cancelled, including events, programs, and activities, both hosted by the City of Santa Monica and other groups. A full list of closures is available at
  2. City of Santa Monica Boards and Commission (except Planning Commission) meetings are suspended through March 31, 2020. City Council and Planning Commission details will be available soon.
  3. We encourage social distancing of at least six feet while in public spaces.
  4. City services will continue, but no public access to City Hall will be available Monday, March 16 – March 31. For information on how to access public counter services, call 310-458-8301, email, or visit

You can subscribe to get City of Santa Monica updates yourself here!