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  • Writer's picturePaul Grisanti

Karen Farrer lauded, Mikke Pierson sworn in, and a pause on the stampede to “By District” elections.

Last week’s Malibu Times had an excellent article by Jimi Tallal about a tentatively successful appeal in the litigation over whether Santa Monica would be required to move to “By District” elections. That appeal was subsequently confirmed on Thursday July 9th. Santa Monica had appealed a Superior Court order mandating voting “By District” in Santa Monica. The Superior court decision was an attempt to increase the chances of electing Latino candidates. Santa Monica was also ordered to pay the plaintiffs over $22,000,000 in Plaintiff’s attorney fees. The Appeals Court overturned the decision saying the plaintiffs had failed to prove that the Santa Monica had ever discriminated against Latino voters or acted to reduce their power. The main problems the plaintiff had were that Latinos were too small a percentage (14%) of the electorate and they were spread throughout Santa Monica in a fashion that made it impossible to create a voting district with more than 30% Latinos.

Malibu has a much smaller percentage (probably less than 9%) of Latinos distributed very evenly throughout the City. If the Appellate decision stands, the winning streak of attorneys Grimes and Shenkman may be over. The Court seems to be instructing them to concentrate their efforts on municipalities with a history of discrimination and a large enough population of disenfranchised voters located within a reasonable proximity to create a district.

Those opposed to “By District” elections want all Council Members to do what is best for the City as a whole rather than what they think is best for their neighborhood only.

It is essential that all residents of Malibu participate in the Census so that Malibu and our State and Federal partners will have a clear picture of the population of Malibu and our ethnic makeup. You can participate in the census online at

On Monday the 13thMayor Karen Farrer will finish her term as Mayor and Mikke Pierson will be installed as the Mayor for the next 9 ½ months. Karen Farrer has done a terrific job as Mayor, spending countless hours talking to constituents and all the various representative and governmental agencies at the County and State level that influence our quality of life here in Malibu. She and Mikke hit the ground running hard a year and a half ago when they were sworn in. It was the immediate aftermath of Woolsey and they took on a much more complex situation then they could have anticipated when they ran for office. COVID has further complicated the situation, but they both have been present and industrious in representing the citizens of Malibu. The voters of Malibu chose well in 2018.

I have been advised that Bank of America is still open in the Ralphs center so Malibu currently has 3 functional banks in Malibu. I regret the error.

The COVID-19 Roller Coaster has been on a steep climb since last week with the national 7 day moving average number of new cases rising from just over 40,000 cases to about 59,000 in the last 7 days. One day last week was around 71,000 cases. The 7 day moving average number of national deaths, which was around 500 Sunday July the 5this over 750 as I write this.

On Saturday the 11tha 30 year old in Texas died after attending a Coronavirus party. He believed COVID was a hoax. On his deathbed he acknowledged his mistake. Please wear a mask and encourage others to do the same. Stay Healthy.

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