California Democratic Party Resolution Honoring the Memory of Gus Ayer,
Orange County’s Progressive Mentor and Committed Environmentalist
WHEREAS, Gus Ayer, former city council member from 2002-2007 and mayor of Fountain Valley 2006-2007, and considered probably Orange County’s top progressive political strategist and activist, also a well-known and respected environmental activist, born in Sunflower, Kansas on Christmas Day 1949 – relatives called his birthday “Gus-mas” – and who moved to Orange County in 1980, passed away suddenly at age 63 on February 13, 2013; and
WHEREAS, Gus Ayer was politically active with both the Orange County and the California Democratic Party, serving on the latter’s Executive Board from 2009 to 2012, and that for more than a decade, Ayer was a consultant and mentor to many Democrats and progressives running for local offices throughout most cities in Orange County, including sacrificing his own re-election campaign for mayor to help coordinate Debbie Cook’s close race for Congress against Republican Dana Rohrbacher; helping Joe Shaw gain election to the Huntington Beach City Council, its first openly gay member; in 2010, helping Fullerton residents save Coyote Hills and Huntington Beach voters defeat Measure Z, working on the anti-charter campaign in Costa Mesa, the defeat of an anti-open space initiative in Orange, and numerous campaigns for the councils of the cities of Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Westminster; and
WHEREAS, when Ayer wasn’t campaigning to help elect others to their city council, he turned to his other passion – environmental activism – and was instrumental in protecting the Bolsa Chica Wetlands; at the time of his passing, he was about to unveil a major grassroots campaign to inform County water ratepayers and their elected officials that the $1 billion ocean desalination plant proposed for construction in Huntington Beach was unnecessary and would cost $5 billion extra over the next 30 years; and proud of a new website he launched, “No Deal With Poseidon,” a campaign still ongoing.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party proudly honors Gus Ayer for his tireless work as a leader, guide and mentor to so many progressive candidates in local, state and federal election campaigns, and for his passionate state and local environmental activism.