Jim Shaw, Mission Viejo

Dear Mr. Ed Sachs, I’m a 25-year homeowner in Mission Viejo. I’m writing you to help correct your understanding and public misstatements about the South Orange County public eruption opposing the 241 extension through existing neighborhoods and habitat.

You dismissed the public efforts of citizens in San Clemente and other communities as the result of “professional organizers” and you used your political position to disparage the organic opposition to extending the 241 to I-5.

Mr. Sachs, I invite you to visit with me and others who have begun and executed the grassroots efforts that are the door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor opposition you disparaged and mischaracterized. I can assure you, there are only working parents, homeowners, small-business owners, students and the like who have started and driven any opposition you are seeing. There are no professional organizers and there is no budget to elevate the discussion… only moms and dads and young people who are informed and passionate about their environment and community, and about the empirical measurement of negative impacts TCA’s proposed toll road routes would impose on environment and community… and on people and families.

I challenge you to correct your disparaging public misstatements or to produce evidence of your claim, made from your position of political standing. Who are the “professional organizers” you claim in your official comments? Prove your claim.

I can make that challenge because I know and work with the moms and dads and students who you have dismissed and disparaged.

I can make that challenge because I can list the doors and businesses and children’s community organizations and teachers and students who are slowly becoming aware of your organization’s project. As for the “organizers” you reference, to call them “professional organizers” is simply demonstrably false. Prove your claim, made as a trusted empowered official, or retract it.

Professionally, I spent 20 years as a marketing director for a Fortune 200 company, focused on organizational environmental sustainability and public engagement for product development. As a leader, you and I both know that there are always principled arguments made in good will on both sides of big issues. Disparaging those of good will on opposite sides, as you have done, is destructive and seems counter to your recent statements about the importance of “dialogue.”

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