Conley Ulich wants to bring community together

Pamela Conley Ulich

First-time council candidate says she wants to end Malibu’s “either you’re with us or against us attitude.” She refuses to say how she voted in November’s Measure M election.

By Jonathan Friedman/Staff Writer

City Council candidate Pamela Conley Ulich has never been on any citywide commission or committee, nor has she ever been involved in any previous local campaign. When Conley Ulich pulled papers in December, The Malibu Times could not find a single political insider who knew anything more about her other than that she existed. However, Conley Ulich said she is not an inexperienced candidate.

Conley Ulich said she has a history of community involvement, including serving as co-vice president of the Malibu Riviera II Property Owners Association in 2001, attending story time sessions with her young children at the Malibu Library, being active with her children’s preschool and supporting Childhelp USA, an anti-child abuse organization.

Conley Ulich said when she pulled papers, she did not necessarily intend to run for council. She said she made her decision to go through with it when Councilmember Joan House chose not to seek a fourth term, thus creating an open seat in the election.

Calling herself an independent candidate, Conley Ulich said she is not held to any one group or person. Some have speculated that is not true, and that she has aligned herself

with supporters of the current council. Among her campaign contributors are Mayor Ken Kearsley, Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Barovsky and their supporters, Lloyd Ahern and Georgianna McBurney. Barovsky and Kearsley said their contributions were not an endorsement, rather they felt she needed the money. Conley Ulich said her relationship with Barovsky is not as close as others have suggested.

“I’ve interviewed her,” Conley Ulich said. “She will be the next mayor. If I am elected, I want to have a good working relationship with her … I have not taken advice from her on several issues.”

Conley Ulich said she would welcome Barovsky’s endorsement, but she said she would also accept an endorsement from Malibu Community Action Network leaders Steve Uhring and Ozzie Silna as individuals

“I would be happy to seek the support of any Malibu citizen because I hope to be a consensus candidate,” Conley Ulich said.

Conley Ulich said she would like to rid Malibu of its “either you’re with us or against us” attitude and bring the community together. She said she is coming into the council race from a neutral perspective. Conley Ulich has been able to avoid being labeled on at least one issue by refusing to admit how she voted in last November’s Measure M election.

“I think how I voted is irrelevant,” Conley Ulich said. “I was not involved in the process or the drafting of Measure M. I do not think it is relevant to this election.”

Conley Ulich said the city should let Malibu Bay approach it about further deals rather than the reverse. Although, she said, the council should generally encourage all the major Malibu property owners to donate some of their land to the city for parks and ball fields.

As for the Local Coastal Program, Conley Ulich said she favors approaching the California Coastal Commission with amendments to the LCP it drafted for Malibu. She said that does not mean the city should drop its lawsuits because they are leverage.

Conley Ulich does not support all litigation. She said city money has been wasted by Taxpayers for Livable Communities, a group formerly headed by council candidate Jay Liebig that has sued the city four times. Conley Ulich said the fact that TLC has been defeated in all its suits against Malibu other than the one it joined with the Coastal Commission is evidence of their quality. She said the money spent by the city defending them could have been better used on various projects.

Conley Ulich has several projects in mind for the city if elected to the council. They include the building of a teen center, constructing a permanent facility for senior citizens and upgrading the library so it has more computers for children. Conley Ulich said the city should create overlay districts that require a certain percentage of the commercial development be art-oriented. In addition, she said she wants to start a Cultural Arts Commission.

Conley Ulich grew up in North Kansas City, Mo. She attended UC San Diego as an undergraduate. “That’s where I learned to surf,” she said. After college, she worked for a year in Washington, D.C. for the State Department’s U.S. Information Agency. Conley Ulich then attended law school in Maryland.

After graduation, she returned to California to work at a small law firm in the Valley as a labor attorney. Conley Ulich later became a lawyer for the Director’s Guild of America and then the Screen Actor’s Guild. In 2002, she started a private practice as an entertainment lawyer out of her Malibu home. Conley Ulich is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine Law School, where she teaches a course in entertainment labor law.

Conley Ulich and her husband, David, were married in 1997. They have two children. In her spare time, Conley Ulich enjoys surfing, running, going to the opera and watching movies. Conley Ulich has also written a book called “The Hood,” in which she compares motherhood to being in a gang. She

is shopping it around for publishers.