Outgoing PPCC’s President Zar’s Message

Maryam Zar finished her term as the Community Council President at the end of June.

By MARYAM ZAR, PPCC President Emeritus

The last couple of weeks have been exciting for me, as I’ve prepared to step away from my role as PPCC (Pacific Palisades Community Council) President, a position I’ve held twice in the last decade since joining PPCC. As I leave my position, I’ve had the chance to once again look at and appreciate a community board comprised of committed and thoughtful volunteers.

Now more than ever it seems people know about our work and are vested in our efforts. A review of our digital delivery of newsletters shows impressive engagement and interest in the content we share. We have taken on important issues in the last two years and have had measurable impact. Much of our work continues and will be carried on by the leadership of new officers and the advocacy of a new board as terms are renewed and elections are held.

We exist as a Community Council in a sea of 99 Neighborhood Councils that are empowered by the City, and limited by the same hand that created them.

The City charter that established the Neighborhood Council (NC) system limits them to addressing only city agencies. By contrast, while we stand as a model for the NC system, we have created a mold that allows us to be flexible and able to address elected officials and legislative agencies across all levels of government. Our bylaws remain nimble enough to change yet our process is rooted in our history and our conduct is bound by the Roberts Rules of Order, which ensure seriousness.

Palisadians have texted, emailed called, or stopped me on the sidewalk to give me their good wishes and congratulate the leadership they see on this important civic organization. Now more than ever our role is meaningful and our credibility matters. Engagement in our work is crucial as we preserve a significant historic footprint, protect a pivotal present, and chart a course for the promise of an even more impactful future.

This summer PPCC will hold elections for our elected positions representing the eight “Areas” of Pacific Palisades as well as the overarching At-large Representative. Those terms will begin in September while our rotating appointed positions will begin their term in October. Community engagement in these processes and in our work strengthens our collective voice as we continue to advocate for the Palisades. I’m heartened as I hear feedback from residents and colleagues and believe that the effort each of us invests in community makes a difference.

As I look back, I’m sure PPCC is at least as strong as it was when I was voted into the Presidency two years ago and has the footing to continue gaining strength and engagement.

As I look ahead and ask, as many do, what the next chapter will bring, I can’t say for certain, but I believe it will involve community. I look forward to working alongside the many great leaders and community visionaries I’ve come to know and respect through the years, and I thank you all for your trust, twice in one lifetime.




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4 Responses to Outgoing PPCC’s President Zar’s Message

  1. Arlene K. Weber says:

    Looking forward to your next big position, MaryAnn Zar because you are s true Leader!

  2. Maryam Zar says:

    Thank you, Sue.

  3. Nina Kidd says:

    Maryam, Thank you, thank you for your friendship and advocacy for our community. You have set a strong example of caring for our families and our American values.
    Many of us take the quality of life in Pac Pal for granted. We should appreciate the amount of concerted effort and persistence needed to get the attention and services we pay for.
    The challenges keep coming. Maryam, I hope you will be around in an advisory capacity for the Council going forward.

  4. Adam Wolman says:

    They say people who live in the Palisades are lucky…. We can feel even luckier to have had someone as devoted to our community as Maryam leading the council. Former chair of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on the Homeless, founder of Womenfound (addressing the plight of oppressed women), journalist, podcaster…. Don’t know how the hell she juggles it all, but I’m grateful that she does.

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