I’ve always been very active in my community which has been a long history in my family since I can remember including my great, times five, grandfather Bishop Henry Whipple, the First Bishop of Minnesota, who worked with The Native Americans who trusted him so much they call him “Straight Tongue”.
Many of my ancestors were active citizens in their communities some even being invited to the White House dinners, finding those invitations in my parents’ things was just another proud moment for me. My grandparents and my parents were also very involved, my grandparents had a printing shop on Forest Avenue in the late 1920’s and both my parents volunteered at the Pageant and The Playhouse, so writing letters and volunteering has always been a responsibility we all honored and continue to do.
So when I wrote a letter to our councilmembers here in Laguna Beach I was shocked that councilmember Peter Blake would try to use my Nonverbal Autistic son to bully me so I won’t write letters or call in, and it worked because I won’t call in due to Blake’s bullying but I will continue to write letters. Blake tried to find out where my son lives and he won’t tell me why.
When a Laguna Beach councilmember bullies a citizen by using the citizen’s Special Needs Child there should be something the mayor can do. There should be something in place or does this council not care for Special Needs Individuals? It was my experience in the past that other mayors and councilmembers supported people living with Special Needs. In fact, I was asked by two past councilmembers to bring my son to the Chambers and speak about autism during public comments years ago. I did bring my son with me and was able to speak at the podium and it was well-received.
Those are the type of people we can be proud of and I hope in the future that the mayor and other councilmembers can figure out a way to stop citizens from being bullied when they want to do their civic duties. Thank you.
Liza Interlandi Stewart, Laguna Beach
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