April 12, 2015
Greetings all and happy Spring! We are pursuing new avenues and hopeful that maybe we will see some progress on the dog beach pilot program in Santa Monica.
Kevin McKeown, who has been a Santa Monica City Councilman for over ten years was our first supporter and promoter for the dog beach when we had our first rally and actions in 2004. Today he is Mayor of the Santa Monica! And he hasn't forgotten our platform.
Besides Kevin, we seem to have an animal friendly City Council this year. Of course, that hasn't been the stumbling block in the past. The major obstacle has been getting he approval of the Director of State Parks to agree.
But it helps to have new people who are also pet guardians on the Council. Additionally, Commissioner Phil Brock, who was on the Recreation Commission for years and last time we presented in front of that commission, was adamantly against the dog beach, has changed his mind. He also wants to help move this forward.
We have also been in touch with the offices of Assemblyman Richard Bloom from Santa Monica. His Chief of Staff has indicated that the office may be able to help influence state parks parties regarding the dog beach. And our new Senator Ben Allen, has been briefed by our hero outgoing Senator Ted Lieu on the work we have been doing on this issue. His chief of staff who is his "animal" person asked to be told how they could help.
The position of State Parks director is now open. After a brief conference Unleash the Beach had with Mayor McKeown, he proceeded to take a direct action, and he has sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown.
In the letter, he reminded Gov. Brown of Santa Monica's interest in starting a pilot dog beach project and how the City Council has voted favorably for it three times. Speaking of the open position of Director of State Parks, Mayor wrote, "We hope that your new appointment may be open to working with the City to establish a pilot dog beach so that we might meet this desired community need."
We'll keep you posted on what happens going forward. We will soon have a letter writing campaign depending on Gov. Brown's appointment or lack thereof, as well as rallying all of our legislative allies.
STAY POSTED!! We are not giving up on our much deserved dog beach. If you can recruit some of your dog guardian friends to join Unleash the Beach, we will be in the strongest position to push a new campaign.