Principles of unity between members of the Santa Monicans for Renters Rights Coalition
Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR)
This is a campaign statement and program adopted by Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR), the coalition formed from the Santa Monica Democratic Club, the local chapter of the Campaign for Economic Democracy and the Santa Monica Fair Housing Alliance in 1978. They succeeded with rent control in 1979, and were joined for the 1981 election by the Ocean Park Electoral Network in a (successful) attempt to win control of the Santa Monica city council. Their purpose was to broaden the constituency from the initial focus on rent control, to a broader program encompassing housing in general, and a comprehensive set of city issues. They had set up issue papers on such topics as crime, economic development, government structure, social services, the elderly, women, energy conservation reflecting the ideas percolating through their constituent organizations. The "Principles of Unity" served not only to announce a set of goals for electoral campaigning purposes, but also to bring together the main factions "progressive" who opposed the landlord and developer-friendly policies of the previous majority on the council. Under the initial leadership of Ruth Goldway, SMRR was to hold the dominant position in city government for several decades despite the gutting of rent control -- its initial main identifier -- by the state legislature and courts over the next few years. In a city with a large majority of renters, SMRR continued to hold their loyalty despite the declining scope and force of the rent control ordinance itself.