News

Santa Monica Vice Mayor Warns of Misinformation Ahead of November Election

Santa Monica Vice Mayor Warns of Misinformation Ahead of November Election

Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif., on Jan. 19, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

6/6/2024

Updated: 6/10/2024

0

Santa Monica’s vice mayor says misinformation campaigns by politically driven unions have become a problem in the city, and she wasn’t afraid to call out a recent example.
Lana Negrete was elected to the City Council in 2022 despite tens of thousands of dollars spent by her opponents. According to Ms. Negrete, a longtime renter and registered Democrat, she was falsely accused of being a criminal, a right-wing sympathizer, and even being anti-rent control despite living in a rent-controlled unit for decades, all in a failed attempt to defeat her.
“This misinformation campaign is what worries me the most about the city because we have an upcoming election,” she said during an hourlong interview with California Insider.
Lana Negrete, Santa Monica's vice mayor, says she's worried about misinformation. (California Insider)

Lana Negrete, Santa Monica's vice mayor, says she's worried about misinformation. (California Insider)

Unite Here Local 11—a hospitality workers union that represents over 32,000 employees—spent thousands during the 2022 election to defeat her, according to Ms. Negrete, who first joined the council in 2021 after filling the seat of retired Kevin McKeown.
She said Unite Here officials were upset after she voted for a proposed amendment to support the Shore Hotel, a nonunion hotel walking distance from the Santa Monica pier, which was just rated America’s top hotel by TripAdvisor.
The amendment would have allowed the hotel to expand its lobby restaurant during the pandemic, when business was slow, and serve customers who were not hotel guests. She said she saw nothing wrong with the amendment, and neither did the city’s planning department. It passed in December 2021.
But because of her actions, she said, Unite Here sent out campaign mailers with misinformation about her. This tactic, she said, prevents fair elections and keeps voters from making informed decisions.
“If we continue down this path of letting small groups and organizations lead campaigns with misinformation, negative tactics, [we] will be so distracted by that and we’ll step farther and farther away from the real issues that we need to be focused on,” she said.
As a longtime resident, businessowner, and community advocate, she said she’s noticed that people have become lazier in how they consume news. Whether it’s glimpsing at tabloid headlines or using social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to stay up to date, misinformation exists everywhere and it’s a problem.
“People are so misinformed. I cannot tell you how many people I talk to about issues that they’re upset about, but yet they voted for the very people who are supporting the issues that they don’t support or vice versa,” she said.
The owner of a music shop in mid-city, the vice mayor said she’s invited residents to meet her there for coffee and to chat over local issues.
She said after the election, some residents she met with had false impressions after receiving some of the deceitful campaign mailers, but learned who the real Lana Negrete was after a simple chat.
“I have met with many residents who thought they knew what I was about, thought they knew my politics, spent an hour with me and said oh my God, I had you all wrong.”
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.