How Can the City of Malibu Step Up to Address Our Homeless Crisis?

SOS Response to City of Malibu

In life, the only thing that matters are people – those you hurt, and those you help.

I was sad to hear about an alleged request from Malibu City Council members that a local church stop feeding homeless, and that crime relating to homeless has gone up. The City of Malibu will be addressing homeless issues on Monday, November 13, 2017. The Malibu City report can be viewed here: Malibu City Agenda Report

I respectfully urge the Malibu Mayor and City Council City to step up in the following ways:

1) Contract with The People Concern to deliver services that will insure homeless are given help to get off the streets. MTFH entered into letter of commitment with The People Concern that runs through 2018. I believe it is the responsibility of City, not volunteers to insure this is done correctly. Indeed, I believe it is just as important as paying for Sheriff services, and the homeless efforts done by City need to have transparency and accountability – these are things that volunteers simply can not provide.

2) Expand the duties of the Emergency Services Department to oversee, to coordinate local entities who provide homeless services and to report back to Council and public efforts to address both homeless and community safety concerns. I commend the City of Malibu for addressing this issue in public today, but hope it will hold another Town Hall meeting on homeless. I also believe a roundtable with stakeholders from non-profits, sheriff and concerned citizens could be coordinated and hosted at Malibu City Hall at least once a month.

3) Provide a permanent location for food distribution and services. The City of Malibu is well equipped to coordinate with LA County to open up the old Court House to give local churches and non-profits a safe place to serve food and to have a place to meet with clients to provide services. Shuttle bus times to shelters can be coordinated with food distribution. Please note, City of Malibu has already used Library set-aside Funds to hire a public safety officer at the library. Please understand, this is not a permanent solutions, but it is a good short term solution, until another safe location can be identified.

4) Create merchandising program to help fund efforts to address homeless and other city priorities (e.g. public safety and the arts). Under the Malibu Lumber Lease, the City is entitled to pop shop which has never been opened for various reasons (no staff, merchandise). I respectfully request City of Malibu again consider working with Artifact Tree and/or Arts Commission to raise additional funds to support City priorities through merchandising.

My experience with Malibu Homeless began in October 2015. As I was dropping my kids off at a school bus stop next to Point Dume elementary school playground, I noticed a van with out of state plates and drawn curtains. My Momma bear instinct kicked in, and I took a picture of license plate with another concerned mom, just in case a child was abducted from the playing ground later that day. The homeless woman who was sleeping in the van woke up. Our hearts melt when we heard her story – from Colt’s cheerleader to homeless with mental health issues and a simple dream to live in California.

A short time later, local heroes and community activists Carol Moss and Sandy Liddell began meeting at Malibu Methodist to discuss homeless issues and CART (Community Assistance and Resource Team) was born. CART first looked at hiring professionals to help on the street, but also had many other goals like delivering food, and providing services such has eye clinics.

The Malibu Task Force on Homelessness (MTFH) was formed in January 2016 with volunteers who had one goal – to raise money and to enter into contract with professionals who could help Malibu’s homeless. Thanks to support from community, the Hilton Foundation, and the City of Malibu, MTFH raised money to hire 2 full time workers which has grown to team includes doctors to address needs of community and to provide housing and wrap around services for homeless.

I am grateful to see that so many in our community care and whole heartedly believe we can find a path forward together.

Down and Kicked Out in Malibu?

Malibu Church Must Stop Feeding Homeless

CBS reports that a Malibu church must stop feeding the homeless after Thanksgiving?

Is this true?

On Monday, November 13, 2017 the City of Malibu will receive an update on “efforts to address issues related to homeless individuals” from Malibu Public Safety Manager Duenas according to item 6A of the Malibu City Council agenda. See: https://www.malibucity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/2965?fileID=3663

Do you want to learn more about what the City of Malibu is doing? Go to City Hall this Monday call (310)456-CITY to confirm time.

Do you want to know what you can do to help? Visit www.malibucart.org; or www.malibutaskforce.org or www.thepeopleconcern.org.

Do you want to connect a Malibu homeless person with professional outreach and help? Share the Malibu Outreach Team phone number (310)460-2638 or email malibuoutreach@opcc.net.

Many have asked how I got involved with the homeless issue in Malibu. It started on my birthday back in 2014. Here is my story:

The Homeless – no one wants to see it, or talk about it. Most of us simply feel guilty. We think, but for the grace of God, there goes I.

I am the daughter of a man who grew up in an orphanage in New York.

My family is no stranger to being poor. My father was one of 13 children and was sent to live in an orphanage in New York after his father died. When I look into the eyes of a homeless person I search for a piece of my own family. I try not to judge, but to help when I can.

I am also the mother of two children.

If I see a possible threat to my children or my community, my protective instincts kick in, and I go “Mama Bear”. This is what happened early on the morning of October 28, 2014. It was 7:07 a.m. on a crisp fall day, and I had just walked my junior high school kids to the school bus at the corner of Grayfox and Fernhill adjacent to the Point Dume Elementary School playground.

After the kids got on the bus, I noticed a white beat up Van with curtains drawn closed and an out-of-state license plate parked adjacent to the playground. Something in me felt uneasy. Another mother who had dropped of her son walked over to look at the out of place vehicle too. We started a conversation and both agreed that it would be a good idea to stay vigilant just in case a child gets abducted from the school. I took out my cell phone and took a picture of the van and the license plate – - – just in case.

We started to walk away from the van when I heard the door open. All of the sudden a young woman about 30 or so years old burst out and screeched “My name is Nicole. I am not a child abductor, I am just homeless looking for a safe place to sleep. This is why I slept here next to the elementary school in my van.” Her hair was red and unkempt. Her eyes were blue and filled with pain.

Our mother hearts melted, and we walked over and to ask how we could help. We managed to help her get a shower and some gas money, and the other mother did an amazing job of helping her with clothes and even helped her get a job as a waitress and mental health services over the course of the next several months.

We thought we could help. We thought Nicole would do great. She got on meds, she got the job and she seemed to be on her way.

About a month or so after this incident, I got a call from Carol Moss who was meeting with Sandy Liddel at Malibu Methodist church to discuss homeless issues. I went to the meeting and we formed the Community Assistance and Resource Team (CART) to help people like Nicole.

During the CART meetings we met with Pacific Palisades Task Force members and other organizations like PATH. We wanted to learn more about how we could stem the growing homeless crisis. Many homeless neighbors joined CART and we got a better understanding of many of the issues they faced: from lack of warm showers to no affordable housing to losing everything after one horrific auto accident.

CART collaborated with the City of Malibu, LA County, and numerous other homeless providers to do our first “Homeless Connect Day” in the fall of 2015. The Connect Day took place at the old LA County Court House building next to the Library. In essence, it was a a one-stop-shop where homeless could meet various providers – from DMV ID issued cards, to mental health providers, to job training programs, to free hair cuts and foot massages. The event gave homeless opportunity to get help, and gave our community the opportunity to see lives transformed from the event.

One year later on the exact same day, October 28, 2015, as fate would have it, I saw Nicole again at the Homeless Connect Day in Malibu. She had lost her job, had gone off the medicine for the mental health issue and was again disheveled and distraught, and nearly in tears.

I asked how I could help. I tried to introduce her to some of the service providers, but what she really wanted was a ride to the local pot dispensary. She explained the marijuana simply helped her function.

I gave her a ride, but it broke my heart to see this young woman suffering. At that moment, I realized I was not equipped to give her the help she desperately needed, and any money I gave might be enabling her to simply tread water instead of getting out of the deep end.

In January 2016, I helped start the The Malibu Task Force on Homeless with other concerned locals. We focussed on one task – raising the funds to hire professionals social workers in Malibu whose helping people like Nicole on a full-time basis. The outreach team approach is novel, but has been shown to be effective in the Pacific Palisades.

On February 23, 2017, a coalition of concerned citizens including the Malibu Democratic Club, Community Assistance and Resource Team, and the Malibu Task Force on Homeless hosted a community forum on Measure H, the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative that was on the the March 7, 2017 ballot. Measure H is a quarter-cent sales tax increase in Los Angeles County to fund anti-homelessness for 10 years.

On March 7, 2017, over 2/3 of Voters in LA County approved Measure H. “Measure H is expected to generate an estimated $355 million annually for services to combat homelessness. After months of planning, Measure H funding recommendations were developed for the Board of Supervisors to consider for implementation. On June 13, 2017, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a spending package to deploy more than $1 billion in Measure H funds into local communities over the next three years—a key milestone in the county’s ambitious commitment to combating homelessness.” See http://homeless.lacounty.gov/

The Malibu Task Force on Homeless was able to raise funds from the community and the City of Malibu to hire two professional outreach workers under an agreement with The People Concern (a 501C3 non-profit devoted to homeless issues). The Malibu City Council approved $76,000 to fund the 2 positions at The People Concern on June 26, 2017.

The 2 person team is dedicated to helping get homeless off the street and getting them connected with housing and wrap around services. To date, team has helped many homeless Malibu residents move into permanent housing. According to the MTFH website, as of May, 2017, 51 homeless Malibu residents have now “enrolled” as clients (meaning they have consented to services, are involved in ongoing case management, and have completed a goal plan). A total of 63 individuals are now considered “engaged” with the Outreach Team.)

Nevertheless, the Outreach Team was unable to help Nicole – became pregnant and lived in a tent next to Pepperdine University.

On Mother’s Day, Sunday May 14, 2017, after going to Mass and Ollo’s for breakfast with my children, I thought it might be nice to wish Nicole a happy Mother’s day and to surprise her with some nice pan cakes and fruit.

As we turned into the path leading up to the area next to Pepperdine where she was camping we saw Nicole. She was pushing an empty shopping cart. Her red hair was unkempt , her skin was dirty, her clothes were ripped and he belly was bulging. I waved to her and said, “Hi Nicole. We brought you some breakfast. Happy Mother’s day!” Before I reached her, she looked down and shouted – “No. Go away.” She couldn’t look me in the eyes. My kids appeared to be afraid.

I got back in our car and drove away. My son pleaded that I stay away because she looked like she could harm someone or even herself, and he feared for my safety. I couldn’t help but feel sad, for both Nicole and her unborn baby. I wanted to try to help, but deep down I knew Nicole was the only one who could help both herself and the baby. I knew then, that without a miracle, Nicole and her baby could end up dead in the near future.

On Thursday June 29, 2017, I stopped by another Malibu Connect day at the Library to again see if I could be of service. I ran into Nancy Rosenquist, a long-time Malibu resident, who was now happily housed in Marina Del Rey, and Carol Moss the beloved founder of CART and the Reverend Paul Elder who was still washing the feet of many homeless.

Just as the Connect event came to a close, one additional woman came to the foot washing station. I could tell that Reverend Paul Elder was exhausted from working and serving all day so I asked if I could help wash the feet of this final client. Reverend Paul Elder smiled and said – yes.

As the homeless client took off her shoes, I saw about 50 or so red boils on her feet that appeared to be red and oozing. I put on some protective gloves and covered her feet with soap and water. I asked her if her feet hurt and she said just a little and that they were much better than before. I was next to Linda Gibbs a local Point Dume mom who had been working for hours washing and massaging feet and asked her if she had any type of medicine to help. She jumped to her feet and took out tea tree oil and began to help.

Reverend Paul Elder suggested I try to speak to the doctor to see if we could get some medicine for her condition. I was able to catch the Doctor as he was walking out to the parking lot and asked if he could come take a look. The kind Doctor came back and examined her feet. He then reached in his oversized back pack some anti-fungal medicine which I helped put on. Luckily, there were lots of new clean socks so she was able to put her new socks on over her medicine.

As I was cleaning up the station and speaking with Reverend Elder I asked if had heard what happened to Nicole and her baby.

I was in shock to learn that on June 4, 2017, Nicole’s water broke as she was walking along PCH near the Animal Hospital. Someone called 911 and Firestation 88 answered the call. According to first hand accounts, Nicole originally resisted getting any help and asked to be left alone – asserting her rights under the Constitution to be free.

Veteran Firefighter Gene Rink got on his knees, and looked Nicole in the eyes and explained – with all due respect this isn’t about you – it’s about doing what’s best for the baby now. By some miracle, Nicole listened to Gene and got in the ambulance. As it turned out, her baby was breached and both Nicole and her baby could have died but for the valiant efforts of Malibu Station 88 Firefighter Gene Rink. I went to directly to Firestation 88 to thank Gene in person.

I don’t know what will happen with that baby girl or Nicole, but I do know that every day I notice more and more homeless in Malibu. Indeed, the LA County Homeless count shows there is a 25% increase in LA County.

Nancy Rosenquist is an example of how we are criminalizing and failing to offer help to homeless individuals in my humble opinion. I had known Nancy when she was a writer for Surfside News and ran into her at a CART meeting at Malibu Methodist.

In 2015, Nancy was arrested for sleeping in a rental car and was originally charged with 3 felony counts and served time in jail. The charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. Nancy was released from jail after being incarcerated for many weeks and came back to Malibu with no place to stay. Many people tried to help her in many ways, but she kept falling through the cracks.

On January 16, 2016, on my way home from my child’s soccer game, I saw Nancy sitting at the bus stop on PCH near Kanan in the rain. I stopped to see if she needed a ride. Nancy said yes and that she was going to Malibu Methodist. After I gave her a ride there, I saw Kay Gabbard and she let Nancy in. I gave her my leftovers from dinner and Nancy was able to eat dinner there. (Thank you Malibu Methodist!) I called the LAHSA Crisis number to try to get her help and a place to stay and eventually got help and a new home.

On October 25, 2017, I was privileged and honored to witness our homeless brothers and sisters succeed in living a life full of meaning at the Westside Coalition celebration event. I was in awe listening to stories of how many homeless overcame the most difficult days and were able to find the courage to keep going. I also learned that many homeless hunger not just for food, but for a purpose just like all of us. Nancy Rosenquist was honored at this event. She has been able to who overcome many hurdles and still keeping love and light in her life. Nancy is now finding her way of life off the streets and seems happy. To learn more about Nancy visit: http://www.malibutimes.com/malibu_life/article_0167a2bc-14bd-11e7-b56f-3f85792986fe.html

I don’t have the answers, but I do believe we are all connected. I hope and pray that maybe our collective little acts of kindness and tolerance balanced with safety, can make Malibu and our community better for all.

Trump – Tragedy to Victory

What New Faces? Click here to view.

What a difference 1 year makes.

I wrote this to my daughter last year and today the elections have shown that people are waking up:

“Yesterday was 11/9 – which is possibly the worst day since 9/11, but today is 11/10. It is your day. It is a day that lifts me because I know our planet’s future, although it may appear to be bleak now, will be bright because you will not allow others to be bullied. You will stand up for racial, economic and social equality. You will be the light that inspires us all to be the best we can be. I have faith in your heart, in your soul and in your kindness. You are the epitome of intelligence, toughness, strength, calm, but most importantly, you are a blessing to all you meet.”

9/11 shook me to my core and changed my life. I shifted from pursuing a legal career to simply being of service.

Today, when I see the faces of those elected last night, I see kindred souls.

Instead of 9/11, the tragedy that inspired many to change is Trump.

Thank you to all who dared to run. You have made our souls and this planet blossom. May your terms in office and next chapter be exciting adventures filled with joy, kindness and love!

God bless you and the USA!

The Hood – A Mommy War Memoir (Coming soon)

The Hood – Preview
1999. It was the end of the century. While people partied to the artist formerly known as Prince’s song “1999”, I was busy with my career. Not only was I a lawyer, I was the Hollywood Resident Counsel at the Screen Actors Guild and the litigation supervisor. I was helping the “working class” actor get overtime or even proper meals. I was also in denial about being pregnant. I didn’t even think about being a mother until I was hospitalized with a kidney infection and was told by my doctor that I could “loose the baby” in my 8th month of pregnancy.

While I was in the hospital, I started to want to become a mother, and started writing a book to my daughter instead of working on legal briefs. After my baby girl was born, I spent four wonderful months bonding with her. After my Family and Medical Leave Act time was up, I went back to work full-time and full throttle. I agreed Hilary Clinton’s Mom philosophy – - – instead of staying at home and baking cookies, I continued to work as a lawyer. I was a member of the triple G – “Go-Girls-Gang”. The triple G girls are moms with careers who work full-time away from their children.

I continued to work as a lawyer up until the day I delivered my second baby – a beautiful boy in July 2001. On 9-11, while I was at home on maternity leave and nursing, I watched twin towers fall like a stack of lego building blocks. The devastating images are forever etched in my mind. Witnessing that day, even only on television, shook me to my core. I, like most everyone else in America, was forever changed.

When I returned to work in November, I had to fly to New York to investigate the Screen Actors Guild rerun election. I was stopped by security at the airport and targeted as a potential terrorist. Why? Because my breast pump and the wires attached to it were cleverly hidden in the big brief case I put on the conveyor belt. The TSA thought the Breast Pump was a bomb.

As a member of the Go Girls gang, I had little time for my babies. I felt like a mouse on the wheel of never ending work. In 2002, I finally made a decision. I would try to emulate a friend who was a part-time Los Angeles City Attorney who had managed to straddle her feet on two floating barrels the working barrel and the mommy barrel of life. She was a member of the “Parti-Girl” gang. Parti-Girls work part-time, or should I say, woman are paid half their salary and do twice as much by working at a job and working at home to raise their children.

I submitted a proposal outlining the pros and cons of letting allowing a part-time job and scheduled a meeting to ask the Executive Director of the Screen Actors Guild, Bob, if I could go part-time with a 50% pay cut. I was ready to join the PG gang.

Bob looked at me, paused for about one second and said: “No. Working part-time as a lawyer sets a dangerous precedent. If you go part-time, then everyone would want to go part-time.”

He looked down. There was no room for discussion or debate. The decision was not “personal”, it was just the reality of working in the Union and he had the final say.

I had to make a choice – my career or my kids, I chose the dangerous path which I swore only 10 years earlier I would never go down – the path of a house wife and stay-at-home mom. I left the Go Girls Gang and joined the Home Girls gang which is kind of liking going from the Crips to the Bloods.

In 2010, I had to fill out our Census questionnaire. It asked about my occupation. I couldn’t believe what I did next. I marked “Housewife”. Am I a failure? Was Betty Friedan right? Did I make the “Feminine Mistake” and give up my identity?

We Are All Connected

Just Doing My Job - Saving Nicole and her unborn Baby Girl

Part 2

The 2 person Malibu Homeless Outreach Team are the first responders when it comes to Malibu homeless. The 2 person team is dedicated to helping get homeless off the street and getting them connected with housing and wrap around services. The Team has been funded by many generous community members and most recently by the Malibu City Council who approved $76,000 to fund the 2 positions at The People Concern on June 26, 2017.

To date, team has helped 5 homeless Malibu residents move into permanent housing, 8 have moved into interim housing and 1 is receiving inpatient substance abuse treatment. According to the MTFH website, as of May, 51 homeless Malibu residents have now “enrolled” as clients (meaning they have consented to services, are involved in ongoing case management, and have completed a goal plan). A total of 63 individuals are now considered “engaged” with the Outreach Team.)

Nevertheless, the Outreach Team was unable to help Nicole – who was now pregnant and still living in a tent next to Pepperdine University.

On Mother’s Day, Sunday May 14, 2017, after going to Mass and Ollo’s for breakfast with my children, I thought it might be nice to wish Nicole a happy Mother’s day and to surprise her with some nice pan cakes and fruit.

As we turned into the path leading up to the area next to Pepperdine where she was camping in a tent we saw Nicole. She was pushing an empty shopping cart. Her red hair was unkempt , her skin was dirty, her clothes were ripped and he belly was bulging. I waved to her and said, “Hi Nicole. We brought you some breakfast. Happy Mother’s day!” Before I reached her, she looked down and shouted – “No. Go away.” She couldn’t look me in the eyes. My kids appeared to be afraid.

I got back in our car and drove away. My son pleaded that I stay away from her because she looked like she could harm someone or even herself, and he feared for my safety. I couldn’t help but feel sad, for both Nicole and her unborn baby. I wanted to try to help, but deep down I knew Nicole was the only one who could help both herself and the baby. I knew then, that without a miracle, Nicole and her baby could end up dead in the near future.

On Thursday June 29, 2017, I stopped by Malibu Connect day to again see if I could be of service. I ran into Nancy Rosenquist, a long-time Malibu resident, who was now happily housed in Marina Del Rey, and Carol Moss the beloved founder of CART and the Reverend Paul Elder who was still washing the feet of many homeless.

Just as the Connect event came to a close, one additional woman came to the foot washing station. I could tell that Reverend Paul Elder was exhausted from working and serving all day so I asked if I could help wash the feet of this final client. Reverend Paul Elder smiled and said – yes.

As he homeless client took off her shoes, I saw about 50 or so red boils on her feet that appeared to be red and oozing. I put on some protective gloves and covered her feet with soap and water. I asked her if her feet hurt and she said just a little and that they were much better than before. I was next to Linda Gibbs a local Point Dume mom who had been working for hours washing and massaging feet and asked her if she had any type of medicine to help. She jumped to her feet and took out tea tree oil and began to help.

Reverend Paul Elder suggested I try to speak to the doctor to see if we could get some medicine for her condition. I was able to catch the doctor as he was walking out to the parking lot and asked if he could come take a look. The kind Doctor came back and examined her feet. He then reached in his oversized back pack some anti-fungal medicine which I helped put on. Luckily, there were lots of new clean socks so she was able to put her new socks on over her medicine.

As I was cleaning up the station and speaking with Reverend Elder I asked if had heard what happened to Nicole and her baby.

I was in shock to learn that on June 4, 2017, Nicole’s water broke as she was walking along PCH near the Animal Hospital. Someone called 911 and Firestation 88 answered the call. According to first hand accounts, Nicole originally resisted getting any help and asked to be left alone – asserting her rights under the Constitution to be free.

Veteran Firefighter Gene Rink got on his knees, and looked Nicole in the eyes and explained – with all due respect this isn’t about you – it’s about doing what’s best for the baby now. By some miracle, Nicole listened to Gene and got in the ambulance. As it turned out, her baby was breached and both Nicole and her baby could have died but for the valiant efforts of Malibu Station 88 Firefighter Gene Rink. I went to directly to Firestation 88 to thank Gene in person.

I don’t know what will happen with that baby girl or Nicole, but I do know that every day I notice more and more homeless in Malibu. Indeed, the LA County Homeless count shows there is a 25% increase in LA County.

I don’t have the answers, but I do believe we are all connected.

If you want to learn what you can do, visit www.malibucart.org. You can also give homeless the Outreach Team phone number (310)460-2638 or they can email malibuoutreach@opcc.net.

Another Mother Day Manifesto

A Mom’s Manifesto to Occupy Malibu NOW

This Mother’s Day don’t just send a card.  Why not create a Manifesto and do something your mother would be proud of?

I dare you to show your Mom and the world what you are made of.

Malibu is an incredible place – just ask Miley Cyrus who recently released her newest video about living in Malibu (Malibu and Miley).

Malibu is sacred and filled with the wonders of nature.  We have thousands of acres of parkland abutting Malibu – Busch and Bonsal trails and the National Park Service, Malibu Creek State Park, Charmlee Park.  Indeed, Since the 1978 act of Congress created the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Malibu is only of the only communities located entirely within the national park according to Surfside News reporter Suzanne Gouldiman.

Malibu is also a community that helps each other.  During the fires, we check on each other.  At the farmer’s market on Sunday mornings we say hi.  When we walk our dogs in our neighborhood or along Zuma Beach we know which dogs will bark and which ones just walk on by. When our kids join AYSO soccer or Little League, or enter the Tiny Tot Olympics our learn about community, team work, showing up, playing your heart out and winning and losing with grace and dignity.

Last week, the Malibu City Council our Malibu City Council voted 3-2 to shut the door on soccer fields, baseball fields, a skate park and/or any other type of field that could be used to bring our community closer together.

All our kids and community have is YOU.

2017 is the year of Occupy Malibu.  A local socio-political movement whose primary goal is to advocate community based facilities in Malibu that will serve the people’s wants and needs to be connected.

The first Occupy Malibu Manifesto will demand that the City Council reconsider it’s 3-2 decision to not consider putting playing fields and a skate park for our community at either Bluffs Park and/or recently purchased Trancas Fields.

Will you join this Mom’s Manifesto, or will we just send cards and flowers again and call it just another Mother’s Day?

If you join us:

1) Contact Malibu City Council:

Skylar Peak – Mayor Phone: 310-924-9881 or email SPeak@malibucity.org

Rick Mullin – Mayor Pro Tem Phone: 310-457-7502 RMullen@malibucity.org

Zuma Jay – Council Member Phone: 310-456-8044 or email JWagner@malibucity.org
2) Sign the Petition - https://www.change.org/p/malibu-city-council-we-need-to-explore-soccer-and-ball-fields-and-community-needs-at-bluffs-and-trancas-park?recruiter=6624630&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-google-no_msg

3) Spread the word to make Malibu more community friendly for all.  Occupy Malibu will be meeting soon to organize next steps. If you are interested please join our Facebook page for updates.

Thanks for sharing, caring, and doing what you can when you can to make Malibu better tomorrow than it is today.  

Love,

Mom

 

The Day After – A Birthday Note to my Dear Daughter

November 10, 2016

Happy 17th Birthday my darling daughter!

When you were born, I saw your divine soul shine through those almond shaped deep blue green eyes, and I thanked God for the gift of you.  You are my personal hero  – who teaches me daily the meaning of love, devotion and dedication.

Thank you for the 17 sensational years we have shared.  The many laughs, thrills, slippy slides, aces, loses, wins, falls, the gold medal moments, burning the candle at both ends, relaxing with a smoothie, hazardous hair days and the success and failures along the way have, like a beautiful work of art made you – - – the girl we all love.

I will never forget the summer after your first year of pre-school when the coach asked what nick name they wanted for their team, after some of the boys suggested, “Monster Truck”, “Hot Lava Lizards”, “Dinosaur Snakes” you looked at the boys, held up your chin up high and said, “Butterfly!”

As you elegantly dare to dream and to fly with the grace of a butterfly, beautiful, elegant and peaceful.  I pray that you will follow your heart and listen to that little voice which, like a compass, will always steer you true north.

As you follow your road of life, you may encounter some Doubting Toms and Debbie Downers who may tell you your not good enough, or not whatever enough.  I hope you will first pray, then have the courage to check in with YOUR voice, heart and passion and fight to stay the course and follow the best path for you.

Yesterday was 11/9 – which is possibly the worst day since 9/11, but today is 11/10.  It is your day.  It is a day that lifts me because I know our planet’s future, although it may appear to be bleak now, will be bright because you will not allow others to be bullied.  You will stand up for racial, economic and social equality.  You will be the light that inspires us all to be the best we can be.  I have faith in your heart, in your soul and in your kindness.   You are the epitome of intelligence, toughness, strength, calm, but most importantly, you are a blessing to all you meet.

Thank you – - – for making our souls and this planet blossom.  I love you to the moon, and back infinity much and may your next year and chapter be an exciting adventure filled with joy, laughter and love – plus you’ll get to officially vote!

Happy Birthday sweet heart – - – celebrate and remember what Albert Einstein said – - “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”  The best is yet to be!

Why Wait to Fill Out Page 8?

Watching the first, second and third Presidential debates made me really sad.

Thank God for Saturday Night Live skits of the debates – they made me laugh instead of cry about what is happening in the Presidential election.

Before my brain goes further into the abyss, I try to refocus and think about our local Malibu City Council elections.

My official mail in ballot is now red white and blank all over – like a work of art just waiting for me to start filling in those ovals with dark blue or black ink only.

Although I have known for some time who I will vote for in the National and Statewide elections, I am still undecided as to how I will vote in our local election – where 3 seats are up.

I have met and/or am familiar with all of the candidates.  I attended the Malibu Times and Democratic Club debates. I was thoroughly impressed with all of the candidates and even contributed to three of the six campaigns.    Overall, all seem to be nice people with good manners and are kind souls, but I am reluctant to cast my ballot just at this moment in time.  Why?

I want to vote for role models who will be independent and inclusive, not bullies.  My vote, like a grade in school, must be earned through hard work, dedication and actions that will make Malibu better for all over the course of the next four years.

Over the course of the next few days, I will continue to notice the little things. Who is putting signs up illegally? Who is taking signs down? How are the people running the campaigns treating each other? Are all running healthy campaigns that my children can learn from and look up to?

I hope that everyone in Malibu will join me in watching.  Will the candidates and their campaigns be respectful and make Malibu better or not?

Will the Rio Olympics Restart Our Collective Hearts?

Our family’s preparation for our trip to the upcoming Rio Olympics are underway. We have made the trek to REI. We bought mosquito repellent hooded jackets and pants. We learned that we can wash regular clothes with chemicals filled with DEET to ward off blood thirsty insects.

As I begin to fill my washing machine with loads of clean clothes and DEET, my mind wonders and my mother instincts kick in. Should we even go to the Olympics? Will the Olympic’s bring the world together in sport and harmony for 15 days, or will it be a catastrophe as predicted by so many news outlets, most recently by a July 1st New York Times article?

Every time we open a newspaper or watch the news we hear about a world in ruin – the Zika virus, Military Coups, Britain exiting EU, Orlando, Pokemon Go accidents, Nice – - the list goes on.

The Olympics open in less than two weeks on August 5. What kind of experience awaits the world? Will the world continue to spiral in demise or will it rise?

Even if we don’t have political leaders or national events that inspire us, thank God for artists and athletes.

Katy Perry just released the official NBC song “Rise” and hopefully, like the paddles used to send an electric shock to help restore the heart’s rhythm, the song and the Rio Olympics will restart and reset our collective hearts.

“This is a song that’s been brewing inside me for years, that has finally come to the surface. I was inspired to finish it now, rather than save it for my next album, because now more than ever, there is a need for our world to unite,” Katy said in a statement. “I know that together we can rise above the fear – in our country, and around the world. I can’t think of a better example than the Olympic athletes, as they gather in Rio with their strength and fearlessness, to remind us how we ALL can come together, with the resolve to be the best we can be. I hope this song can inspire us to heal, unite, and rise together. I am honored that NBC Olympics has chosen to use it as an anthem before and during the Rio Games.”

I remain hopeful and I pray – - – Rio will reveal a world on the rise – filled with sportsmanship, courage, peace and love.

I look forward to bringing reports from Rio in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. . .

Katy Perry – Rise (NBC Olympics video)

 

Mom Up – Mother’s Day Manifestos not Cards

This Mother’s Day don’t send a card.

Why not create a Manifesto and do something your mother would be proud of.   Show your Mom and the world what you are made of.

Have you evaluated what’s really important in life, or are you too busy working, texting and/or worried about getting to your next task to think about it?  In 2001, the tragedy of 9-11 gave our nation an opportunity to reevaluate what’s important in life. 15 years later we now witness ISIS, the climate changing, Ebola and other crisis.

Working part-time should be a viable option for all men and women, but is it an option at your workplace? Affordable and day care should be in the same sentence, but are they? Really?

Instead of being rewarded for raising resilient loved children, many of us are demoted or driven out of the working world for putting our Nations’ most precious national treasure as our first priority – our children.

The vast majority of woman and men in America can’t afford to quit work and aren’t given the opportunity and to work part-time because they make “minimum” wage, but not a “living” wage.

Is it time to work with Employers and Congress to find ways we can forge a new path for the future, or are Employers and Congress a barrier to change? Perhaps it’s time for a Regime change?

Will our Nation ever put our children first? Our kids don’t have high paid lobbyist working to pass legislation protecting their interests in Washington DC, and our kids don’t have politicians who are “in their pocket” because they donate millions of dollars to a campaign.

All our kids have is YOU.  2015 is the year of the Mother’s Day Manifesto.

Will we do something to make our planet better for our children?

Will we heed to advice of Mother Theresea and, “Go home and love our families”?

While we are home (whether it be for a couple of hours a day or longer), will we work to  make our towns better for our children and all children?

Will you Mom-Up and take action to improve educational opportunities and libraries, clean our environment, and increase arts and culture in our own communities?

Why not create a company and be that Employer who offers fair wages and flexible work schedules?

Why not run for local office, state office or dare I say higher office and be a voice for our children?

What’s holding you back, what’s holding us back?  Time to Mom Up and get it done.