2018 Election Roundup

Faith Donaldson, DeAnne Joy, Dick Joy and Shirley D'Haenens assist voters during Election Day in 2014.

Malibu voters are gearing up to head to the polls for the November elections next week on Tuesday, Nov. 6, leaving just a few days left to make final decisions ahead of this year’s midterm election. 

Nuts and Bolts

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Vote By Mail ballots may also be dropped off within those hours, at a drop box in Malibu City Hall or at any polling location. All Malibu polling locations are ADA accessible.

To find your polling location, visit lavote.net/locator. 

If you need help preparing to vote, check out a sample ballot on the city’s website (or go to bit.ly/2018SampleBallot). 

Photo IDs are not required for most voters in California—but first-time voters and voters who have recently changed their registration should be prepared to show a valid identification. 

In the past, lines have formed at some polling stations in the early morning and late evening, as well as sometimes around lunchtime—but the popularity of Vote By Mail ballots helps diminish this issue in Malibu.

Anyone who is in line to vote by 8 p.m. will be permitted to cast a ballot. If for any reason your name does not appear on the voting list at your polling location, you may request to cast a provisional ballot. This became an issue during the June primaries in Los Angeles County, where nearly 120,000 names did not appear. Anyone registered to vote who casts a provisional ballot will have his or her vote counted. 

City Council 

This year, five council candidates are running for two open seats, with Malibu Council Members Lou La Monte and Laura Rosenthal termed out after each serving eight years on council. Vying for those two seats are:

Olivia Damavandi, a Malibu High School graduate who grew up in Malibu, spent years as an assistant editor and staff writer who covered politics at The Malibu Times before earning a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York. Damavandi then worked as the City of Malibu media information officer and is now raising children who attend Malibu public schools. During an interview with The Malibu Times, Damavandi said the theme of her campaign was, “We need a city that solely represents the needs of Malibu residents and that we need to protect our residents from outside agencies that want to control how we use our land, how we educate our kids and whether or not we can make PCH significantly safer.”

Karen Farrer, a longtime volunteer-turned-activist, was a co-founder of AMPS (Advocates for Malibu Public Schools) and PTSA president before turning her sights on the council race. Farrer, who has been a resident of Malibu for 40 years and whose children attended Malibu schools, also is a member of Safe Access Malibu—a community group organized to defend neighborhoods against the MRCA. According to Farrer, the theme of her campaign is “Three issues: protection and preservation of our environment and lifestyle, increased public safety resources, and local control.”

Jim Palmer, a 50-year resident, business owner and accountant, said he hopes to use his experience in business to take a closer look at Malibu’s budget—in order to allocate more funding toward public safety resources. Palmer is currently the chairman of the city’s public works commission, having been appointed by current mayor Rick Mullen. When asked, Palmer said he agrees with the politics of the mayor and could see himself voting along with him on various issues, were he to be elected. As for the theme of his campaign, Palmer said it was “to provide experience and expertise in management.” 

Mikke Pierson has been a member of Malibu’s planning commission for the past six-and-a-half years, having served on the city’s public works commission previous to that. Pierson is a business coach and a lifelong Malibu resident, who said his experience “being in the trenches for years” with the city is what sets him apart. According to Pierson, the theme of his campaign is, “my years of service with the city and my experience. I know the players. I know what works. I know what doesn’t work. And I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

Lance Simmens, current vice president of the Malibu Democratic Club, also spent 10 months at the helm as president of the Malibu Adamson House Foundation. He has been a resident for three years, and before coming to Malibu, Simmens built a career working in politics on the local, state and national levels. Simmens held high-profile positions including working for sustainability under then-Vice President Al Gore in the 1990s. The lessons learned there are some Simmens said he hopes to bring to Malibu. The theme of Simmens’ campaign is, in his words, “embodied in its slogan, which is ‘principles over politics.’”

Local Ballot Initiatives

Measure G would reverse the city’s ban on the sale of recreational marijuana, which was enacted by council in response to the passage of Prop 64 in 2016. The proposition legalized the sale of recreational cannabis in California, but allowed municipalities to limit sales, which Malibu chose to do the following year. 

“If Measure G passes, we will be the first city to overthrow a ban since prop 64 took effect,” Yvonne DeLaRosa Green, one of the measure’s authors, described in an email to The Malibu Times

Measure M is a $195 million Malibu-only school bond—Malibu’s first-ever solo bond, not tied to Santa Monica—that would go toward facilities improvements at Malibu’s public schools. Residents should expect to pay three cents per $100 of assessed residential value if the bond is passed.

Measure W is an LA County initiative to improve and protect water quality. The measure would prepare for future droughts as well as protect “public health and marine life by reducing pollution, trash, toxins/plastics entering Los Angeles County waterways/bays/beaches.” This measure also includes a stormwater tax, a 2.5 cent parcel tax on each square foot of “impermeable area”—hard surfaces such as concrete. 

For more information, find the complete Malibu Times’ Voter’s Guide here.