The following is a statement from Thomas Small:
After much reflection and thought, I announce today that I will not seek a second term for City Council in Culver City. This has been an extremely difficult decision that my family and I have poured over for weeks, weighing the pros and cons against my personal and professional obligations, as I determine how best to serve Culver City in the near and long term.
This past fall, I became the CEO of a new organization called Culver City Forward (CCF). CCF is a nonprofit, non-partisan, public-private partnership that will engage the community, business, and government stakeholders to address the most urgent challenges of our time. These issues include mobility, affordable and workforce housing, environmental and sustainability challenges, and the effect of rapid urban growth on infrastructure and economic competitiveness.
Now we must add the impact of COVID-19 on Culver City and the resulting economic downturn to this list. By pooling financial resources across Culver City’s major corporate stakeholders, CCF is uniquely positioned to address these important issues and make impactful change.
We were making arrangements for a public launch of CCF when the pandemic hit. CCF was able to quickly pivot to support emergency programs at the beginning of the crisis with projects such as www.FeedCulver.org, Culver City Shares, Backpacks for Kids, and free Covid-19 testing for vulnerable populations and essential workers. We are now at a critical point with the organization.
Culver City Forward has become more crucial than ever as the crises continue and as our city and community look for a new path when we emerge out of the crises.
As the election approaches, it is time to weigh the importance of being on City Council against getting Culver City Forward off the ground. Three full-time projects at the same time is simply not feasible: leading the city as a Council Member through the current crises, launching Culver City Forward, and running for a 2nd term. I am committed to successfully completing my service on City Council, and to launching CCF as a major force to enhance our community and city, our excellent quality of life and our continuing economic vitality. My family has also sacrificed over these past years, and as my children prepare for High School, I am committed to being more available for them.
Completing my first term on Council does not mean I am ending my commitment to Culver City in November. My commitment to Culver City and the community is stronger than ever. Leaving Council empowers me to continue to serve our community in a different way. With Culver City Forward I hope to unite our vast array of stakeholders and bring even more resources to our city.
I am beyond proud of the work I’ve done here in Culver City. From our Transit Oriented District Visioning project in 2017, to spearheading our General Plan Update, to my year as Mayor, I hope that Culver City will view my legacy to Culver City as productive, innovative and thoughtful. I plan to continue this work through Culver City Forward, helping bring our community together as we face these tremendous challenges.
Thank you for supporting me through this extraordinary journey of being a member of the Culver City Council. I look forward to continuing to serve Culver City in this new way.