At its meeting last night, Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Kristin McCowan to the Council. McCowan fills the position vacated by Greg Morena in June and is Santa Monica’s first Black woman to serve as a Councilmember. She was selected from 109 eligible candidates who submitted their interest for the appointment through the 2020 election.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my hometown during this critical time,” said Councilmember Kristin McCowan. “I look forward to bringing together our many voices as we work to recover and heal as one community.”
Kristin McCowan is a second-generation Santa Monican who was born and raised in the Pico neighborhood and attended Santa Monica schools and Santa Monica College. She recently returned to Santa Monica after her career took her to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the Obama Administration as a Presidential Appointee in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Executive Office of the President. Upon returning to California, she worked as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Chief of Protocol and Director of International Relations and is now the Executive Director for Getty House Foundation. She is on the Santa Monica Pier Board and is raising two young children with her husband, Albert.
McCowan has longstanding ties to community organizations, including St. Monica Catholic Community, Santa Monica YMCA, and St. Joseph’s Center – organizations she has volunteered with since her youth.
McCowan is deeply committed to issues of racial justice, equity and inclusion, and has taken a leadership role in setting a Black Agenda for Santa Monica. In her application for the Council seat, McCowan wrote, “Aside from continuing to support the progressive foundation of the City – more affordable housing, a more sustainable future, forward-thinking policies that have made it a model around the world—my goals include:
- Representing my generation on the Council and nurturing a new generation of leadership/community involvement in the City. I know – when we don’t see our face in government it feels alienating to lend our voice. With half the electorate in Santa Monica 45 and under, young adults, and especially young families, need an advocate representing their unique concerns;
- Economic recovery and economic justice – so that future generations will be able to work here AND live here, so that diversity is not just a catchphrase but a reality;
- Restoring community support and confidence through reimagined public safety that protects EVERYONE in their homes and out in the community; and
- Increased opportunities for historically disenfranchised and vulnerable communities.”
“Tonight, for the first time in history, Santa Monica has a female-majority City Council,” said Mayor Kevin McKeown. ”And for the first time in decades, our Black community has a member on the dais. Diversity and equity have long been our policies, and it’s gratifying to see those values represented at the highest level of City government.”
Councilmember McCowan will have to run in the election this November to continue to serve in the partial term seat through November 2022 when Councilmember Morena’s term would have expired. The election nomination period opened this week. For more information on Santa Monica’s 2020 election, visit smvote.org.
To learn more about Councilmember McCowan’s background, read her Council application.