July 15, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Beyond the Index: Ideological Diversity and Community Conversations

By Zoë Muntaner

 

“When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending,” – Brené Brown.

 

Data is messy. It tells different stories depending on the analysis and frame. In his September 22, 2017, Op-Ed blog, Santa Monica City Manager, Rick Cole, addressed the frightening atmosphere of rising crime in Santa Monica: “Government’s number one job is the safety and security of residents – and with trust in government eroded across the board, our fragile sense of security is fraying as well.” He claims that in general the overall level of crime, particularly violent crime, is near historic lows that we have not seen since the ‘50s. However last week’s stabbing in the middle of the day in Downtown Santa Monica compounded with a shooting homicide the following day raised the temperature of Residocracy Founder, Armen Melkonians.

In an open letter to the Mayor, City Councilmembers and City Manager, Melkonians demanded the situation to be fixed or “get ready to be fired”.

Cole and Melkonians’ common ground is that safety and security are the number one priority of government. However, their approaches are distinctly different. Where Cole convenes a series of community conversations about crime, community policing, homelessness and the selection of our next police chief, Melkonians’ strategy aims at immediate leadership accountability by offering an ultimatum.

Earlier this year, Van Jones persuasive argument for political and ideological diversity on college campuses brings to mind the polarization in our city.

Jones analysized the ideological self-segregation of “safe spaces” discussing the good and bad of the proposal.

“Being physically safe on campus, not being subjected to sexual harassment and physical abuse,” was presented as a positive by Jones, while the counterview, “is now ascendant; it’s a horrible view, which is that ‘I need to be safe ideologically, I need to be safe emotionally, I just need to feel good all the time. And if someone else says something that I don’t like, that is a problem for everyone else, including the administration.”

Recent failed attempts of civility at community meetings in Santa Monica including incidents at the Democratic Club, the Committee for Racial Justice, and Familias Latinas Unidas, reflect the growing intolerance that insulates people and reveals fractures in our community.

In an attempt to mend some of these divides, and paradoxical to some chains of thought, Santa Monica City has organized a series of Community Conversations,

beginning last night at Allison Miller’s home on Pearl Street. The meetings are hosted by select community representatives.

“We look forward to talking with residents about the issues most important to them and how we can work together to tackle the challenges before us,” stated Santa Monica City Public Information Officer Constance Farrell.

While these community meetings are meant to foster inclusion, “There are two residents who have opted to keep their events private,” Farrell confirmed.

Those open to the public include Compassionate Santa Monica’s event at SPACES Co-Working in Santa Monica on November 13, Jennifer Kaplan will host on November 15, Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels on November 20, Zina Josephs November 30, and Shawn Bieber on December 4.

Related Posts

Summer at Annenberg:Swim Daily and Watch the Sunset

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

By Susan Payne A unique, inclusive community destination along the Pacific Coast Highway of Santa Monica is inviting you to...

(Video) Two Different Angles of a Firecracker Being Tossed Into a Garage in Brentwood

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

A series of incidents where teens threw firecrackers have been happening in Brentwood since April. In this case, the firework...

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s Daughter Advocates for Long Covid Awareness and Safety Measures

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Brentwood Resident Speaks Out Opposing Mask Bans, Calling for Covid Protections in County Facilities Violet Affleck, daughter of actors Ben...

Enjoy Weekly Concerts Every Thursday Evening Until August 29 at The Culver Steps

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Culver City Free Summer Music Series Returns for the Summer The City of Culver City will host a free summer...

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Have Formally Listed Their $68 Million Beverly Hills Mansion For Sale

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Amid Rumors, the Actors Have Placed Their Family Home on the Market Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have officially put...

Kroger and Albertsons Reveal List of Stores to be Divested in $25 Billion Merger

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Eleven Stores in West Los Angeles Among Locations to be Sold  The Kroger Company and Albertsons Companies Inc. have announced...

(Video) Renowned Soprano Singer to Make L.A. Homecoming at Broad Stage

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Golda is scheduled to perform on July 13 at 8 p.m. @culvercitywlanews This Saprano singer is set to take the...

UCLA Student Housing Break-In Leads to Sexual Assault Charges

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Suspect Faces Up to 25 Years to Life in Prison if Convicted Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced...

Culver City Police Arrest Two Suspects in Late Night Armed ATM Robbery

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Suspects Identified and Apprehended Following Investigation Two suspects have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery that occurred on...

Dine LA Restaurant Week Returns to Celebrate Culinary Diversity With Amazing Deals

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Special Menus at Hundreds of Local Restaurants from July 12 to July 26 Dine LA Restaurant Week will be returning...

Viral Tweet Spurs Screening of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice at the Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Independent Theater to Showcase 2006 Film on July 13 Following Online Debate By Dolores Quintana Following an unexpected turn of...

LAPD and LASD Collaborate to Nab Group Responsible for Over 30 Residential Burglaries

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

“Reflector Vest Crew” Burglary Suspects Arrested in Los Angeles In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes...

Santa Monica Artist Dave Quick’s “Return from the Burn” Exhibition to Open at Bergamot’s Lois Lambert Gallery

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Pre-Burning Man Showcase Features Kinetic Art and Sculptures Coated with Playa Dust, Opens July 13 With upwards of 80,000 attendees,...

(Video) Newly Rebranded Santa Monica Hotel Shines a New Light on the Neighborhood

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

The Revitalized Business is Also Available For Events @culvercitywlanews The newly rebranded Santa Monica Hotel casts a new light on...

Award-Winning Soprano Makes Broad Stage Debut

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

Golda Zahra to Perform in LA July 13 By Susan Payne Renowned Soprano Golda Zahra is making her homecoming back...