USE YOUR VOICE  COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. Does anyone else leave a city council or planning commission meeting and wonder, “Are they listening to the voice of the community?” Imagine a City Council meeting that can be a synergistic, constructive collaboration – not a combat zone. Here are two ideas to better engage our community and strengthen our community voice. First, change voting day. Voting day for Malibu City Council Elections is APRIL 8, when many of us are away on Spring Break. In this election, vote by Mail-in Ballot to ensure your participation.

Second, let’s consider engaging our community constructively in a unique forum, such as an online petition and referendum portal that make it easy to voice concerns in a democratic process and can channel the energies of the vocal and motivated into a positive force for self-determination. See Residocracy – The Residents Voice at City Hall for ideas. Let’s strengthen our community voice so that we, as residents and community members, are represented at city council and transform Malibu into a participatory democracy.

RAISING HEALTH, VIBRANT CHILDREN. It takes a village to raise a drug free teen. What I have learned as a mother of four is that our schools are the foundation of our community. Our children are our future, and the arts – which are the first things schools seem to cut – are the foundation of a truly vibrant community.

REPRESENT FAMILIES AT THE CITY LEVEL. With the non-disclosure of toxic chemicals at Malibu High School, some parents were disenfranchised and feel we need more transparency in our city. Yet, at the same time, we have a historic opportunity in our city to transition into our own school district. As a piece to the puzzle, as a mother of school-aged children, I will be an advocate for this smooth transition.

LOCAL CONTROL OF OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS. Our schools cannot innovate from a centralized structure. With the Santa Monica School District – Malibu is just an extra in their movie. I want to effectuate decision-making that has Malibu students’ best interests at heart. I support AMPs - Advocates for Malibu Public Schools, and a separate Malibu School District where local issues are decided locally. For example, we can change the pesticides use of rodenticide at Malibu High School. Also, when we govern locally we can better attract passionate teachers and principals who teach to their passions. As we build community, we find our common values (and Sea World is not one of them). As we find common values, we will go from a disenfranchised Malibu to a participatory democracy with locals constructively collaborating and innovating collectively! Our families will feel represented at a civic level and we can have a meaningful conversation about “educating locally.”