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Surfer, skater, and YouTube sensation Hamish Patterson has put on a collared shirt and put his name on the ballot for this spring's City Council race in Malibu, Calif.
The 42-year-old goofy-footer, who moved to the Southern California beach town in 1986, announced his candidacy last month via the online video-sharing platform, where he has created a comedic buzz over the past year under the pseudonym "The Illusion."
But where The Illusion's dude-drawl and Spicoli-stoke leave off, the true Patterson has stepped in, drawing a line in the sand between his beloved Malibu and the forces of development, he says, that threaten to turn its natural splendor into yet another concrete appendage of greater Los Angeles and Orange counties.
"I think Malibu is an awesome place to raise a family … to live, to experience nature," Patterson says in an online post detailing where he stands on community issues. "But there are certain entities in our community that just see it as low-hanging fruit, man, for them to develop and exploit at their whim. We as a community need to stand up and stop the destruction of Malibu."
Taking a stand against an extensive sewer system proposed for parts of the city -- which could ease the path of large-scale commercial development -- ranks high among Patterson's positions. He also wants increased safety along the notoriously dangerous Pacific Coast Highway and, of course, a public skatepark.
"But to think that my only issue is the skatepark is to miss who I am as a resident of this community," he adds.
A carpenter with a background in environmental chemistry, Patterson is one of seven candidates vying for three spaces on the five-member council. He is also encouraging voters to elect Skylar Peak, 27, a third-generation Malibu resident, and longtime resident Andy Lyon.
"This isn't about me trying to win," says Patterson, who has emphasized that he will not accept any financial donations of any kind during the race. "I am running … to be of service to my community … without any sort of agenda, without any sort of behind-the-scenes handshaking. What I advise you to do is go have a pizza with your friends and your family and discuss the situation here in Malibu … and use that pizza box to make a sign supporting me or whoever your preferred candidate is for City Council."
Election Day is April 10.