I grew up in a small town much like Malibu and although I have no children of my own, I am happy that I enjoy good relationships with the children of my adult friends in town. It is for that reason I attended the Malibu High School Athletic Booster Club fund-raiser on Saturday.
What I saw there exemplified a problem common to many communities throughout our country. There were hundreds of Malibu parents with their children of all ages, having a great time on a sunny Saturday. In the town where I grew up, that kind of community event would have drawn every civic leader and elected official. They recognized the importance of talking with parents and their kids, sharing their concerns and just having a good time with neighbors and constituents. Not so with Malibu. I didn’t see a single council member or Mayor Keller.
That’s a shame. The mayor and council members not only missed out on a great time, they missed an opportunity to break out of their insular, tight-knit political and social circles to mingle with the real Malibu residents.
I’m glad I didn’t miss that opportunity. Former Councilman Jeff Jennings and his wife were there. I saw Marissa Coughlin, president of Kiwanis and a tot-lot advocate, and John Mills, who spearheaded the successful effort to secure a skateboard park for kids. I saw that the Malibu Bay Company reserved a table and I’m sure other businesses reserved tables, too. I saw Kristin Reynolds, president of PARCS and Paul Major from the Community Center. Their presences was the kind of show of support our schools and the kids who attend them need.
When the decision makers choose to separate themselves from the parents and children of their town, how can their policies and decisions reflect the needs of Malibu’s future? We are all struggling to create communities that live in harmony instead of engendering the disconnection that contributed to the horrible situation in Littleton. I call on Malibu’s city leaders to change their ways and start setting an example of inclusion and involvement instead of disinterest and isolation.