Letter: Women and seniors in Malibu are grossly underrepresented

Dear Editor,

It is scheduled for this Monday that council member Mikke Pierson will be replacing Georgia Goldfarb, who is currently on the Parks & Recreation Commission, with a younger male. This would make the amount of women on commissions a staggeringly low 6 out of 25 placements or 24 percent. That would also mean that now both Mikke and Paul Grisanti would have no women as appointees.

The women and seniors in Malibu are grossly underrepresented by these commissions, which affect all our community. This is perhaps why a full-time senior center is still not established anywhere in Malibu, although needed and long requested by residents. Over half of Malibu is populated by women, and over 25 percent of residents are seniors.

We residents demand an explanation on why Georgia is being replaced, coincidentally right after she spoke in support of Bruce Silverstein at the February 14 city council meeting. This appears to be some kind of retaliation that is penalizing not only Georgia for opposing Mikke’s vote but ALL the residents of Malibu with this lack of gender and age diversity on the commissions, in particular, Parks & Recreation, which greatly affects both families and seniors and which Georgia has been an excellent contributor. She also has a wealth of knowledge with regards to homelessness solutions that has yet to be tapped into by our City.

How could three city council members (one being the ONLY woman) support a second consecutive Mayorship for a council member who did not ever appoint one female to his commissions over one who has appointed at least 2 women to commissions out of 5? The majority council is promoting a leadership of misogyny in our community. Removing Georgia, a mother and grandmother, for a younger male also promotes ageism of seniors. This is far more serious than any investigated allegations against Bruce Silverstein. There is already a long-running “boys club” among the Planning and Public Works Commissions, and I hope this will be changing sooner than later.

This also happened last year when Mikke, Paul, and Karen voted to remove long-time resident and conservationist Patt Healy, as Malibu’s representative on the SMMC Advisory Board and replaced her with Lloyd Ahern.

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As a woman of color, I dream that one day the council will have a more diverse representation among themselves and their commission appointees.

We hope this can be properly addressed and corrected at City Hall. Actions speak louder than words. These willful offensive acts cannot be cured by any ‘therapy session” for the council members to try and simply get along—they are the root of the problems.

Jyoti (Jo) Drummond, Malibu

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