August 3, 2023

A group of residents is forming an organization to stop our City Council from selling or engaging in a long term lease for the Civic. Below is their update.


Dear Friends,

I am one of a group of Santa Monica residents who are organizing to save our historic Civic Auditorium as a performing arts and cultural center.

As you may know, our City Council recently engaged in closed-door meetings to discuss selling, or committing to a long-term lease for this treasured landmark.

After an outpouring of resident protest, the Council rejected one suitor. They will vote in September on whether to move forward with the other, the Santa Monica/Malibu School District, which apparently intends to use the space for a gym.

We think selling off publicly owned spaces, without public input, is undemocratic, short-sighted and unacceptable. A progressive city should not shut its residents out of discussions deciding the fate of public land, especially an important, beloved, historic landmark like our Civic Auditorium.

What’s next:
• Santa Monica and Westside residents are putting together a Steering Committee to,

a) stop the City Council from liquidating something that belongs to ALL OF US, and

b) look for an entity with whom the City can partner to restore The Civic to its intended purpose as a venue for the performing arts, music, and other community events.

• The school district is preparing a study to determine the feasibility of its buying or leasing the Civic. This study will be made public August 11. We will analyze it, report back to you, and give you opportunities to volunteer to help the Steering Committee.

Fifty years ago, another beloved icon – the Santa Monica Pier -- was saved by residents who stopped their city council from making a tragic mistake, after that council had voted to demolish it.

We hope you’ll join us in stopping our current council from making an equally irreparable blunder.

Together we can find a path forward that will benefit all Santa Monicans for generations to come.

Please forward this email to persons and organizations who share our belief that the future of the Civic must be true to its history and Council deliberations must be open to the public.