Arnold, in your editorial “The Politics of Hysteria” you argue the community should be permitted to have its own oversight in relation to the Malibu school contamination issue. I not only agree, but believe this is the single most important thing we can achieve right now as a community to insure the remediation is handled thoroughly and with transparency.
However, I take umbrage with your use of the word “hysteria” to label the behavior of members of the community. Democracy works, but the secret to its success is that it takes effort. Sometimes, in order to elicit change, you have to expose the underbelly of a situation to help people see truth. That can be difficult.
Political change happens when citizens take a collective stand against wrongdoings and injustice. Historically, some of the most significant, successful political moments have been motivated by indignation.
Your neighbors aren’t hysterical; they’re rightfully angry that the district, BB committee members, and members of the current City Council made decisions that were not in their best interest. It’s inspiring that parents, teachers and community members are now involved and working together diligently to achieve the same result. Your involvement and support, as with any other member of the community, can be the tipping point necessary to accomplish true independent oversight of the district’s clean-up. This is democracy working at its best.
The consequences of us not getting this right far outweigh the consequences of any other issue facing this community. If it takes people getting upset to get involved, so be it.