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Issue # 20                                                                                           October 15, 2021

Correction! New link to sign up for our team for the Friendship Walk!

You are receiving our newsletter again, as we had a faulty link for the MB United Team donation page for the Friendship Walk. We hope that since the Friendship Walk is such a great community event and cause, you might forgive the re-send.

Please accept our apologies! And please join our efforts and be a part of Team MB United! Here is the correct link.

This Week's Highlights

  • Skechers Friendship Walk: Join the MB United Team
  • Editorial: We Are Not Alone!
  • City Council Meeting 
  • MBUSD: Preparing for the Equity Audit Workshop 
  • Hispanic Heritage Month: Honoring Champions
  • Local Events: So Many!

For up to the minute updates, check out our social media!

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Skechers Friendship Walk: Join Our Team!

Come walk with us! MB United has formed a team for the Skechers Friendship Walk taking place on Sunday, October 24th.  This annual event is a 3.5 mile walk along the Strand, from MB Pier to Hermosa Pier and back, starting at 9 am. We would love for you to join us or support us! Click here to go to the MB United Team Page- (this link has been fixed).


Since 2009, the event has raised more than $13 million to support public education and the Friendship Foundation.  The Friendship Foundation assists children with special needs and their families through one-on-one peer mentoring and social recreational activities.

Editorial: We Are Not Alone!

In all of MB United's communications, we strive to reflect our values of advocacy, community, diversity, integrity and leadership.  Part of this means we report on verifiable facts with truth, integrity and brevity.  Our hope is to inform and advise where advocacy is needed with our calls to action.  Occasionally, we editorialize because we have an opinion about events and issues that arise in our community.  Recently, MB United has been reporting on the MBUSD Board meetings, calling out the individual or individuals hiding behind anonymous emails and public comments.  To date, we know of at least six of these anonymous fringe groups, which, actually, could all be from the same few individuals, as they all use the same verbiage and espouse the same views and intentional lies (disinformation).  We believe their disinformation does not reflect the views held by the majority of our community.  This week, we know that we are not alone in our beliefs!  The Easy Reader published an article by Mark McDermott entitled "Critical Race Theory fears lead to attack on Manhattan Beach School Board."  (NOTE: in the printed edition of the Easy Reader, it is titled "An (Un) Civil War: The Manhattan Beach Unified School District under siege"). It is a detailed piece which provides an extensive chronology and further debunks the lies propagated by the various anonymous groups.  We strongly urge you to read this fact-based reporting of recent events.  We thank Mark McDermott for his excellent journalism.

City Council Meeting Oct 19

City Council will meet next Tuesday at 6pm.  Topics include:
  1. Agenda item L13Potential Actions that Increase Energy Efficiency of New Buildings. City Council will address reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ideas include requiring all new construction to shift away from fossil fuel appliances to advanced alternatives that run on clean electricity. 
  2. Agenda item L15:  Cultural Arts Commission is seeking approval from the City Council on their Work Plan, including the proposed Rainbow Crosswalk in support of our LGBTQ+ community and visitors.  
  3. As part of Mayor Stern's Kindness Initiative, she will be recognizing Kelly Stroman, outgoing Executive Director of the MB Chamber of Commerce, for spearheading the Chamber's Inclusion Committee. This recognition underscores our community's commitment to listening to the stories and experiences of Persons of Color (POC). 
If you would like to support these or other agenda items, please email City Council or submit an eComment before the Oct 19 meeting (see detail below). 
Mayor Stern's Kindness Initiative
 
Mayor Stern introduced the Kindness Initiative as a focus for her Mayoral term. In an interview with the Beach Reporter, she commented that she "believes in the healing power of kindness." Not only did she successfully advocate for a permanent Peace Pole in Veteran's Parkway, she also plans to recognize residents, local businesses, city employees, city partners and others who have gone above and beyond to extend themselves to others. Watch this space for a way to nominate someone for their act of kindness. Pay it forward!

City Council General Info

  • Regular City Council meetings are routinely held at 6:00 pm on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month 
  • The public has two chances to speak at a City Council meeting: one during "public comments" at the beginning of the meeting, the other in public comments during the specific item
  • You can email all five Councilmembers: citycouncil@manhattanbeach.gov
  • The agendas are posted on the Wednesday prior to each meeting here

MBUSD: Oct 20 Equity Audit Workshop

The CLEAR team was contracted to assess current practices and to support MBUSD in growing equitable practices that foster a climate of care, equity, diversity, social justice, and inclusion (EDSJI) in all MBUSD schools. The District received this report and will review the recommendations with community input before any action is taken.  The MBUSD School Board and the EDSJI Committee are seeking MB community input on both the Equity Audit report's findings and recommendations, as well as how to meaningfully implement EDSJI initiatives as part of the District's goals for Excellence in Education.  The upcoming Oct 20 workshop will be the first of of several opportunities for the public to provide input.  
  • What: MBUSD EDSJI Equity Audit Workshop
    • MBUSD Staff and the EDSJI Committee will present the different sections of the Equity Audit Report
    • The Workshop will follow a format similar to the EDSJI Workshop held on Sep 30, 2020
    • Workshop agenda will be posted 72 hours in advance
  • When: Wednesday, Oct 20 @ 5pm
  • Where: Zoom webinar (see Dr. Bowes' Superintendent Newsletter on Oct 15 for details)
     
  • How to prepare: 
  • Our takeaway: MB United notes that the report contains obvious recommendations, like ensuring that the curriculum is up to Educational Code standards and investing in literature that better represents the diversity of the MBUSD student population. However, the report also has some gaps where it refrains from making specific recommendations;  i.e., the report notes that students with disabilities may feel singled-out or isolated (p.34), but does not provide specific recommendations to address this.  It seems the report is giving space for the School District to decide how best to address these gaps, with MB community input.  
     
  • Share your feedback: If you have issues or questions which you would like addressed during the Oct 20th workshop, submit them to the School Board using this form: https://forms.gle/sTi7oZyPi6aMau219

Hispanic Heritage Month ends this week

As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, we highlight Hispanic American champions who have made tremendous contributions and continue to inspire others.  Photos and information provided by World Wide Reach Employee Resource Group
Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic and Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice, appointed by President Barack Obama.  She has written impassioned opinions on issues of race, ethic identity and gender.  She also writes inspirational children's books.  Her 2019 book "Just Ask!  Be Different, Be Brave, Be You" is about children with "life challenges" who work together to create a garden of different plants and flowers.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and playwright, best known for creating and starring in the Tony Award-winning play, Hamilton, as well as In the Heights.  A recipient of a number of Theatrical Honors, Miranda is also actively involved in giving back to his community and coaching and mentoring young Hispanic actors.
Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta is one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century.  She is a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement and originator of the famous phrase "Si se puede."  She has led voter registration drives and fought for economic improvements for Hispanics.  She and Cesar Chavez founded the NFWA, the predecessor to the United Farm Workers.
Guillermo del Toro is an Academy Award-winning director, known for his films Pan's Labyrinth and The Shape of Water (which won both Best Director and Best Picture).  He has worked on numerous other films as producer and/or writer.  
Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic American woman to go to space on a nine-day mission in 1993, and later became the first Hispanic American Director of the Johnson Space Center in 2013, the second-ever woman to take the helm.  A second-generation American, Ochoa's family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico.  She holds Masters and Doctorate degrees from Stanford University.
Juan Gabriel was a Mexican singer, songwriter and actor who broke barriers within the Latin music market.  He has been widely considered one of the best and most prolific Mexican composers and singers of all time and has sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide and wrote about 1,800 songs.

Many Upcoming Local Events!

For the first time in almost two years, LIVE THEATRE is returning to Mira Costa High School.  This production is being held outdoors and we commend the herculean task undertaken by the technical team to make this happen.  This production is very meaningful to the students who have been able to rehearse together without masks (thanks to COVID vaccination rates and testing).  Please support students and the arts at MCHS.  Purchase tickets here.
Celebrate the very best people, businesses, and philanthropic efforts in the City of Manhattan Beach. This year, the event returns to the stunning Westdrift Manhattan Beach Autograph Collection Hotel on Thursday, October 21, from 5:00 - 9:00 PM. In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce, Chamber founded a very special Hall of Fame Award which will be presented at the October 21 celebration. 
Tickets are going fast!
Buy Yours Here!

READY, SET, GO! Get your pumpkin racers to the 30th Annual Pumpkin Race on Sunday, October 24th! Race your pumpkin down Manhattan Beach Boulevard and cheer for your favorites in Pumpkin Race Land, where the Halloween spirit is otherworldly! Races begin at 2:00 PM sharp. For more information and to sign up for a Turbo Pass, visit the City of Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race Information page.

Stay tuned for these additional events coming NEXT WEEKEND

On Saturday, November 6, TEDxManhattanBeach will present, “The Future Re-imagined,” from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm at Mira Costa High School.  This year’s event includes a speaker presenting creative solutions for homelessness, as well as an MCHS Senior who is a member of the MBUSD EDSJI Committee and who formed a local MCHS chapter of the national organization, “Diversify Our Narrative.” These are just two of the many exciting speakers.  To buy tickets and get more information, visit the TEDx website.

Sunday, November 7, 12:00 - 4:00
EL CAMP
2150 Park Place, Unit 100
El Segundo, CA
Proceeds benefit Sew Swag and League of Women Voters.  
Purchase tickets here
  • If you would like us to consider showcasing your event, send us an email at mbunited90266@gmail.com.
  • Interested in getting more involved with MB United?  Send us an email at mbunited90266@gmail.com and let us know what interests you.
  • If you were sent this newsletter by a friend, you can subscribe here
  • For previous issues and resources, click here

MB United is Denise Berger, Kim Brant-Lucich, Andy Caine, Jen Dohner, Taylor Gamble, Isla Garraway, Amy Howorth, Mike Jenkins, Laura Kainsinger, Anthony A. Lee, Amanda Park, Lana Rizika, Diana Skaar, Donna Thomas, and April Wayland.
 
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