Santa Monica Lookout
|Co-Author of LUVE Initiative Among Potential Candidates Vying for City Council||
By Niki Cervantes
July 19, 2016 – Armen Melkonians, who co-authored a slow-growth measure on the November ballot, was one of ten individuals who pulled papers for City Council on Monday, the first day applications were made available by the City Clerk.
The nomination papers must be signed by 100 registered voters and returned to City Hall by August 12, a deadline that would be extended to August 17 if an incumbent doesn't file.
Melkonians, a civil and environmental engineer who lives with his wife and children in the Wilmont neighborhood, said he will run as the “LUVE candidate.”
“I’m proud of LUVE,” said Melkonians, referring to the Land Use Voter Empowerment (LUVE) initiative he co-authored. “It’s time someone represented the residents, not just special interests. It’s time we put people first.”
Melkonians ran for council in 2012, garnering just 3,958 votes, or 3.32 percent of the total in a crowded field of 15 candidates running for four open seats.
Council Members Ted Winterer, Terry O’Day, Gleam Davis and Tony Vazquez (now mayor) won the election and all have said they are running again this November. All the incumbents except Winterer pulled papers on Monday.
Melkonians’ public profile has increased considerably since the last election.
His group, Residocracy, led the rebellion against the Bergamot Transit Village project in 2012 that prompted the Council to rescind approval of the 765,000-square-foot development office rather than see it go to a public vote.
Melkonians also is spearheading the campaign for LUVE, which requires a public vote on developments taller than 32 feet and is an effort to stem large developments proponents of the measure blame for increased congestion.
The current City Council openly opposes LUVE, as do other members of the city’s political establishment. Its core of support comes from neighborhood groups, activists and others who helped provide the more than 10,000 signatures on petitions to put LUVE on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy, who made an unsuccessful bid for Council two years ago, also pulled nomination papers on Monday.
Other potential candidates who pulled papers for City Council on Monday were Linda Armstrong, Whitney Scott Bain, Zoe Muntaner, Mende Smith and Kevin Wray.
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