Election: Feinstein and Katz for City Council
That both Katz and Feinstein have shown themselves to be independent-minded and conscientious during their city council incumbencies is beside the point. They are the only candidates, besides Bobby Shriver, with a reasonable chance of winning against the divisive and elitist politics of Richard Bloom and Ken Genzer.
Shriver, with heavy spending and a brand name, is a shoo-in, even though no one has a clue what he will do in office.
The remaining seats will be occupied by three of the four incumbents. If we are going to begin to develop a new politics in this town, Bloom or Genzer must go (that will still leave Bloom or Genzer, plus Pam O'Connor and Kevin McKeown to represent SMRR's interests on the council).
The only way a new majority can emerge is if Feinstein and Katz are returned. Shriver has run on the promise of bringing a new civility to the council, and O'Connor, Katz, Feinstein and Bob Holbrook, despite very different political values, have a demonstrated ability to work together in a spirit of compromise. With five of seven members bent of solving the city's problems without rancor, as John Edwards might put it, hope would be on the way.
It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest reelecting incumbents as a way of assuring change, but unless Katz and Feinstein are sitting with Shriver on the new council, then the Bloom/Genzer-dominated majority that has presided over so much resentment and unhappiness in our town will still be in place. It will be business as usual in Santa Monica.
You get to pick four. Don't. Bullet vote for Katz and Feinstein. It's the surest way, indeed, the only way, to set Santa Monica on a new direction.