Spring Symposium


8th Annual Spring Symposium

There Goes the Neighborhood, Part II

How might policy approaches prevent displacement in neighborhoods affected by gentrification?

May 4 – 9, 2019
All events are free and open to the public.

There Goes the Neighborhood, Part II

Pico Wellbeing Project – Pico Boulevard “Walkshop”

A walk along Pico to talk about how zoning shapes this important boulevard.

Saturday, May 4 | 10 a.m. | Free | Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica
More information on the Pico Wellbeing Project on Facebook.

Academic Perspectives on Displacement

Continuing our discussion from PPI’s 2018 Fall Arts & Cultural Affairs Forum, “Gentrification in the Context of LatinX, Queer Spaces, and Social Justice,” esteemed SMC faculty members will present various perspectives on the history of gentrification and its effects on neighborhoods.

Tuesday, May 7 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165), SMC Main Campus
More information on the Academic Perspectives on Displacement on Facebook.

Lunch & Learn with Westside Family Health Center

Join WFHC, Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM), Alzheimer’s Association, and others to discuss “Women & Alzheimer’s”, including the issues facing older residents who may be experiencing displacement, adding to health challenges.

Wednesday, May 8 | Noon – 2 p.m. | Free | Virginia Avenue Park (Thelma Terry Community Room), 2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica
More information on the Lunch & Learn with Westside Family Health Center on Facebook.

City Rising Poster 


“City Rising”: Gentrification and Displacement

This KCET documentary explores the history of discriminatory housing laws in California that created segregated communities which are now fighting the gentrification that threatens their cultures and risks increasing housing insecurity and homelessness. Panel discussion and Q&A following, featuring Rick Cole, Santa Monica City Manager, Irma Carranza, Community Leader, and D’Artagnan Scorza, Member, Inglewood USD Board of Education, to discuss the issue in the context of local communities.

Wednesday, May 8 | 6:30 p.m. | Free | Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica
More information on "City Rising" on Facebook.

Preserving Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood

A walking discussion to explore the history, culture, and diversity of the Pico Neighborhood led by community experts and followed by lunch in Virginia Avenue Park featuring local specialties. Walks and discussions led by community leaders Jaime Cruz (SMC and CSUN Professor), Robbie Jones, Irma Carranza, and Santa Monica City Councilmember Ana Jara.

Thursday, May 9 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Free | Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood
Meet at the North Fountain in the Quad, SMC Main Campus at 11 a.m.
More information on Preserving Santa Monica's Pico Neighborhood on Facebook.

Where Goes the Road to Solving California’s Housing Crisis? A Keynote Discussion with Legislative Leaders

Join us for a compelling discussion of policies that can lead to effective solutions and examines how legislators can navigate balancing all the competing interests in tackling California’s housing crisis. Featuring California state legislators Senator Ben Allen (SD26 – Santa Monica) and Senator Scott Weiner (SD11 – San Francisco), author of SB 50 which proposes bold approaches to California’s housing issues, and Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis, a former Co-Chair of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and leading advocate for Santa Monica’s innovative policy solutions and funding for affordable housing.

State Senator Scott Wiener

State Senator Ben Allen

Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis

Thursday, May 9 | Reception: 5:30 p.m. | Keynote: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Free
The Broad Stage at SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica
More information on Where Goes the Road to Solving California's Housing Crisis? on Facebook.

Download the Spring Symposium Postcard

Parking & Accommodations

Public parking is limited during the day at SMC. Please allow extra time when attending events.

See SMC Transportation Options for parking options.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability to participate in any of these events, please contact Stephanie Schlatter at or 310-434-4313, at least 5 business days in advance.

About the Public Policy Institute

The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute provides nonpartisan community programs exploring key economic, social, and political issues. The Institute—which presents informative discussions on the policy issues that affect our daily lives—proudly offers an Associate in Arts degree and a Certificate of Achievement in Public Policy.

Students can choose to specialize in one of five policy areas: arts and cultural affairs, education, environment and sustainability, public health, and urban/socioeconomic affairs. Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Co-Director, and Founding Associate Director; Shari Davis, MPP, Co-Director.

To view past events, visit PPI Past Events.