Name: Laura Zahn Rosenthal
Birth date: Dec. 31, 1954
How long have you lived in Malibu? 21 years
What is your education and employment history?
Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from USC; clinical psychologist for 27 years with a Malibu private practice; owner, managing director of the Brentwood Center for Eating Disorders; owner and manager of Zuma Granola, a locally owned small business.
Why are you running for City Council?
I am deeply committed to this community. I believe that we need strong, experienced and independent leadership now as we make important decisions about protecting our environment, ensuring public safety and ensuring that all residents have the services they need and deserve. My experiences with many local groups and organizations have given me the perspective and understanding to guide and to lead. Our leaders must be able to work collaboratively with outside agencies.
What makes you qualified to be on City Council?
I have served as: a Public Works commissioner working on water storage and conservation, road repairs, traffic and environmental concerns; Parks and Recreation commissioner lobbying the Coastal Commission to help secure Bluffs Park, create Las Flores Park; Economic Advisory Committee member studying Malibu’s economic and business issues; PTA president and Shark Fund director, managing public budgets in excess of $2 million; Business Roundtable member and Bond Advisory Committee member, planning, budgeting and fighting for Malibu’s fair share of a $268-million bond.
What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?
Water: Clean up Malibu Lagoon with a facility in civic center that will enable wastewater to be recycled for landscaping. Increase conservation efforts and pass a grey water ordinance.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Malibu Parks Plan: The current plan is a public safety nightmare. Unsupervised campsites so close to residential neighborhoods it puts everyone at heightened risk for fire.
View Ordinance: Pass an ordinance that is balanced and restores and preserves views, understands privacy concerns and promotes neighbors to find agreeable solutions without excessive and expensive personal or city government involvement.
Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?
PTA Board member and PTA president for 13 years; Malibu Little League Board member for eight years; Malibu High School Shark Fund Board, four years; SMMUSD Bond Advisory Committee, three years; PTA Council for SMMUSD, four years; Malibu Foundation for Youth & Families Youth Summit coordinator; Parks and Rec Commissioner, two years; Public Works commissioner, three years; Business Roundtable member, six years; Malibu Economic Advisory Committee member, two years.
What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? With legislation?
As a business owner for over 25 years, and a managing director and CFO, I have dealt with a variety of budgets. As a public servant, I have managed many budgets and been responsible for deciding allocations to various stakeholder groups. My experience with public entities has positioned me to be effective in the oversight of our city’s budget. I have participated in crafting legislation for both our city and school district.
How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.
My immediate family consists of my husband Walter Rosenthal and our sons Joe, 18, and Will, 15, and four adult children. My father, Len Zahn, lives in Malibu and rounds out our multigenerational family. We also have Rosie, our nine-year-old golden retriever.