Creating community

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In your recent editorial [publisher Arnold York’s “Around the town”] you state there are two parties in Malibu, the “Sensible Old Party” and the “Change Party.” You described people who have spent their lives trying to protect and preserve Malibu as the “Change Party.” Your “Old Sensible Party” includes many people who appear to have never met a development they didn’t like.

I have attended Malibu Township Council meetings with the “Change Party” and found them to be the quintessential example of old and sensible, with little desire for change. This is a group of many of the people who founded our city and wrote the Mission Statement and General Plan—very “sensibly” I might add. They have defended our city from freeways, nuclear plants, sewers—apparently all in the name of change. Who knew?

I have also attended the round table discussions with the “Old Sensible Party,” where the general banter is, “How the new hotel coming along?” “Great!” “Are the sewers on track?” “Terrific.”

Preserve Malibu strives to protect our way of life here. Perhaps that does make them a “Change Party” —a change from the direction of past City Councils. Many of the “Old Sensible Party” have welcomed condos, mansions, sewers, new hotels and shopping centers, and done little to stop the bulldozing of the lagoon.

Going to the essence of your editorial presents a sadder situation. “Us” and “them.” Oversimplification is destroying communities around the world by driving conversation into argument, and lacking any resolution because of the need to win or lose, but never compromise.

Divide and conquer weakens community because community is a rich round table of ideas. A community is an idea and an ideal. It seeks itself through each of us, and defines itself through our shared concerns.

Malibu is something unique and beautiful and she deserves our trust. Working together is called ensemble, and that’s always the basis of any good performance. Let’s put on a better show than “us” and “them” and the politics of division. After all, we’re Malibu and we’re all in this together, whether we like it or not. Let’s grow “old” together, be “sensible” “change” our ways to work together and preserve and protect Malibu. That would be a “party” I would love to attend.

Carla McCloskey