SANTA MONICA—During the Santa Monica City Council’s meeting on Tuesday, January 22, the Council chose Ana Maria Jara to fill the vacant council seat by former Councilmember Tony Vazquez who resigned on January 8 after being elected to the State Board of Equalization.

According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica website, Jara will serve on the city council for the remainder of Vazquez’s term, which expires in November 2020.

Councilmember Jara has lived in the same rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica for close to 35 years and has worked at Santa Monica College for over 25 years.

“She is a strategic and tireless advocate and has worked on smart and inclusive solutions on a wide range of issues including being involved in the City’s Cradle to Career initiative since its inception,” states the release.

Before her appointment to the Santa Monica City Council, Jara was the Chair and Vice Chair for Santa Monica’s Social Services Commission. She served on the Commission for the Status of Women from 2007 to 2010.

Jara states in her application:

”My past experiences in this area have taught me that public safety is in large part a public health issue. We learned that youth violence was not simply about safety, but ultimately about the health of our young people, our families, and our community. Residents currently have concerns and there is a need to reduce crime and utilize prevention and intervention methods. The true challenge of public safety is to balance the potential need for complete crisis resources with the amount of daily calls. We need to look at crime trends in each neighborhood and address them accordingly.

What may be impacting some neighborhoods may not be impacting others and just the same a solution that works for one may not work for others.  The police department is set up in precincts and with neighborhood police teams.  We should be using precinct data and maximizing these resources in a more effective way. We should not be afraid to add additional team members if there is indeed a gap.”

To obtain more information and to review Councilmember Jara’s full application to serve on city council, visit here.