So, my mom is a journalista extroardinaire turned community organizer, who has lately undertaken the project of protecting the city I grew up in (Malibu, CA) from greedy developers and the even greedier politicians who cater to them. With her ancient computer and her trusty steed (also known as an electric bicycle), my mom has spent the past few months battling corruption in every corridor of City Hall. I couldn’t be prouder of her (and my ever-supportive, equally badass dad), and I couldn’t agree more with her cause.
I remember standing on PCH with her as a little kid, holding up signs imploring the people sitting in traffic to honk if they thought Malibu should separate from LA and become its own city. The idea at the time was that everything from our classroms to our coastline would be better served by a local government than it was by the massive machine of city bureaucracy. Turns out, local government can be just as bad as the big guys. Time and time again, I’ve watched while local officials chip away at the incredible beauty and independent spirit of Malibu (cheesy, I know, but totally true). So, when my mom told me about their latest political ploy — building an environmentally and geographically unsound dog park/recreation facility in the hills above the neighorhood I grew up in — I was anxious to help inform my local elected officials that I did not approve of their plan. Being a web nerd, I sent out a facebook message to all the people I grew up with, asking that my fellow Malibu High School alums step in and join me in sending messages to the City Council’s swing vote, asking him to vote against the plan. Turns out someone forwarded him that message, and he was not pleased with the whole writing-your-elected-officials thing.
Mr. Sibert Himself
Of course, anyone who watched their Schoolhouse Rock knows that communication between a constituency and its councilpeople is one of the cornerstones of local democracy, especially since there’s that whole issue of elected officials being accountable to the folks who elect them. But hey, maybe Mr. Sibert forgot that part of his second grade education. Either way, he was apparently pissed enough to email my mom about it. For your reading pleasure, I have posted his email below. Please to enjoy. . .(Oh, and by the way, I may have accidentally included his email address in this post. But hey, I’m not asking you to email him or anything)…
From: John Sibert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Continued misunderstanding of the process and my vote
To: “Cindy Vandor” <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 11:04 AM
Someone forwarded a copy of this to me. I was aware that there was a concerted effort to try to influence my vote with a raft of emails on both sides (I saved them all). Some included implied and overt threats, which is completely inappropriate! I also understand creating an email campaign on an issue that one feels strongly about. However, that does not influence my vote! I was elected to listen to the issues and use my best judgment in voting, not to take a straw poll on every issue and decide based on the squeakiest wheels.
You should also understand that my vote on one more public workshop was driven not by the rancorous comments, but by the fact that the park was being modified in ways that I am more comfortable with – reduced grading, decreasing the dog park and kids playground, and keeping as much of the landform as reasonable (the “debate” about ridge, vs. knoll, vs. hill is a red herring at best). It was also clear that the opponents were going to try to use the “secret” meeting (another red herring) as an argument against the park. This workshop on Thursday is to allow everyone to get their suggestions into the staff to try to get the best project we can for them to bring back to the Council on May 26.. The council will not be sitting or voting.
Also please understand that the Council has already approved a park and will be looking for ways to make it more acceptable to the majority of the residents (both of Malibu West and the rest of the citizens). It will never satisfy everyone, but then nothing ever will.
Please Read — Important Message for MHS/Malibu Kids
Between Dave Bresler, Melissa Dissette, Larry Heath, Tina Reddington, Brett Smith, You, Spencer Silna, Spencer Culbert, Liora Ziv, Kaitlin Cullum, Dakota Martinez, Brett Cohen, Jacob Daniel, Issam Elie Knickerbocker, Olivia Damavandi, Michael Goldman, Joey Marin, Alexis Bolter and Mollie Vandor
April 12 at 4:39pm
I know that most of us former MHS-ers have long since graduated, and moved on, but I Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that there’s something going on in Malibu that’s worthy of a few minutes of all of our time.
The City Council is going to bulldoze a big chunk of Trancas Canyon , in order to build a dog park, amongst other things. Sounds innocent enough, but it’s actually not.
The bulldozing will destroy environmentally sensitive habitat, the runoff from the park (including everything the dogs leave behind) will go into Trancas Creek and the ocean, the park’s a fire hazard, and it could cause landslides into Malibu West.
So, what can we do? Send a short email to City Councilman John Sibert (he’s the swing vote on the council). The address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and your email can be as short and sweet as: I’m a kid who grew up in Malibu , and I am against the Trancas Park Plan.
There’s a City Council vote at 6:30 tomorrow night (4/13), so the plan is for everyone who can to inundate this guy with emails. If you want more info, email my mom (Cindy) at email@example.com om, and please pass this on to every Malibuite you know.