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Removal of Smog Panelist

June 24, 1986

Ayala's drive to oust Sabrina Schiller from her AQMD seat because she angered local politicians by going to their communities and criticizing their votes on air pollution is absurd.

Isn't it not only appropriate but also an obligation of a member of the AQMD to let the public know which elected officials support clean-air measures and those who do not? Schiller should be applauded, not criticized, for her efforts. Since when does angering politicians by criticizing their votes become grounds for removal of a member of AQMD?

Really, Sen. Ayala, have the pea pods invaded Chino and snatched your mind and body overnight? Your position defies logic.

A state senator who represents one of the smoggiest state senatorial districts should be on the side of supporting an outspoken clean-air advocate, not her removal. The senator's position is distressing indeed, and should be especially so to the voters in his district.

Schiller's appearance in local communities in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties to inform the public of votes harmful to clean air by their local elected officials is exactly the kind of enthusiasm and dedication that an AQMD member should have. Such information is important to voters in making an informed decision on election day. Usually, these votes are never publicized beyond the confines of local chambers and halls of city council meetings. Often, these votes come late at night when nobody is listening.

To quote Ayala: "We don't need anyone coming into our area and agitating the troops, and that is exactly what this lady does," makes it apparent that Ayala would prefer an AQMD member who "kind of blends in with the carpeting and wallpaper." His problem is that his taste in color and political fabric seems to fit the status quo: smoggy gray and synthetic, rather than sky blue and genuine.

Schiller, who helped found the Santa Monica-based Coalition for Clean Air, has made her credentials clear and deserves the public's support. Her activism in efforts to promote a blue sky should be rewarded with more appointments to the board of her caliber.


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