Former Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich started an exploratory committee earlier this month on whether she should run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2014.
The inspiration came from 11-year-old Dylan Strickland, who lives down the street from Conley Ulich in Malibu.
"At the November election, we were at Point Dume Elementary School and it was interesting because [Dylan] was there with [his] mom. While voting, [Dylan] asked me if I felt sad because my name wasn't on the ballot and I wouldn't be on anymore ballots," Conley Ulich said.
She said she was happily termed out of her seat on the Malibu City Council, but Dylan pressed her and asked, "What could you run for?"
"Well, supervisor, because there is nothing else in the City of Malibu that we elect other than the school board," Conley Ulich recalled. "That was interesting, that concept of running again."
The advisory committee launched on Feb. 4 -- which also happens to be Dylan's birthday.
The Third District, which has been held by Zev Yaroslavsky since 1994, stretches from the San Fernando Valley to the Santa Monica Mountains to the Westside of Los Angeles. Yaroslavsky will be termed out in 2014.
Conley Ulich wrote on her blog Moms-Pod.com that she hopes to revolutionize politics. Here is what she wrote:
"With the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, over $1.5 million was spent for the 50th Assembly Seat this past year and over $6 billion was spent on presidential campaigns. I fear the pendulum has swung so far that people are starting to believe you need to spend more to win votes. It also seems like politics is filled with agenda’s pushed by campaign contributors and big money, instead of the people."
Sheila Kuehl, a former member of the state Assembly and Senate, announced in early January that she is running for the open seat.
Kuehl told SCPR.org that she expects to raise several million dollars to reach voters in the Third District. She told the website she plans to do early fundraising to “see if I can’t scare everybody else out of the race.”
It's exactly that kind of mentality that Conley Ulich, Dylan and her team hope to challenge.
"We're running a cent campaign, not a dollar campaign," Dylan explained.
While Conley Ulich will likely have to raise some funds to campaign, her main mission is not to ask for contributions, but "for you to contribute whatever is in your heart to make L.A. County better."
One day Dylan hopes to run for President of the United States, and Conley Ulich said she hopes politics are different in 2044.
Conley Ulich calls Dylan, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2, an inspiration to all, not just her possible campaign.
"I'm worried that special interests and money has become the primary factor in politics," Conley Ulich said. "... The whole impetus for this campaign is to take a stand and start a momentum where we put the love in and take the money out."
Team Love helped Conley Ulich, who describes herself as a "wife, mother, lawyer, activist, library lover, former Mayor, and soccer mom," win a seat on the Malibu City Council in 2004 and 2008.
Malibu Planning Commissioner Roohi Stack, who is also on Team Love, said she fully supports the exploratory committee. She said in a statement:
"Pamela worked with our community to stop not one, but two LNG facilities from being built off our coast, worked with LA County to renovate the Malibu Library, and opposed using Prop. 50 clean drinking water money for the experimental dredging of the Malibu Lagoon even though many environmental special interest groups warned her not to oppose them. Her common sense approach to tackling issues facing L.A. County's future will serve us well. Pamela puts people over special interests time and time again."
Former Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver is also expected to run.
Learn more about Team Love at http://teamlovela.com. Watch Dylan explain the concept behind Team Love in the video above.