Mahatma Gandhi once wrote, “Leadership means getting along with people.” If that is true ... then Jane Egly was born to be a leader.
She has proven herself to be a leader during eight years on our city council, including two terms as Mayor, where she has successfully brought disparate sides of issues together to find consensus, a sorely needed quality in today’s political climate.
This, of course, means compromise ... something that used to be seen as the essence of governing in a democratic country, but has now come to be seen as something bad. It’s ironic that our entire system of government was built on compromise ... from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself, to all of the early decisions that created our successful country such as the Treasury and the Supreme Court ... all of it was a compromise.
Throughout our history, we have distinguished ourselves, even from other advanced democracies, because of our built-in necessity for compromise. Our three branches of government, our tradition of states rights vs federal power, all intentionally put a check on the power of any one branch or any one party or any one person to rule without compromise.
And yet today, the pressure from the extremes in both parties paints compromise as weakness or selling out. Unfortunately, this type of extremism, embodied by the TEA party and Grover Norquidst on the right, seems to have infiltrated our local Democratic club, which has refused to endorse Jane Egly for re-election based on her willingness to compromise.
As former presidents of the club, we strongly object to this decision, taken not by the membership, but by the few who now control the LBDC Board.
They have “accused” her of “cavorting with Republicans” (Is Jane leaping about with Republicans?) and have even reported that some of her re-election campaign contributions have come from Republicans! Scandal! She has support from the enemy!
Jane spent 26 years as a practicing attorney, during which she was a forceful advocate for families and children, and she played a pivotal role in the state of California mandating legal representation for children in custody cases.
She has spent the last 12 years as a Professor of Law at the University of La Verne, until her retirement just this past June.
She is also a board member of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Jane is an environmentalist and former board member of Laguna Greenbelt, served on the city's Parks and Recreation committee, worked on "Save the Canyon" and on the Open Space Initiative, and was a facilitator on Vision Laguna 2030 (our city’s long-term planning process).
First elected to the City Council in 2004, Jane is dedicated to improving Laguna's City government. She knows how to promote much-needed collaboration and civility among Council members. She knows how to listen carefully to the public, treat them fairly and respectfully, and address their needs.
She has led the council during difficult economic times, and while other cities struggle financially, we have a balanced budget which includes a 10 percent reserve and $4 million dollars set aside for emergencies.
She is a strong advocate of environmental sustainability with particular focus on reduction of water use. In the last few years, the city has reduced its water use by nearly 35 percent. Over the eight years that she has served, the city has added three new parks to our open space.
She did not do these things alone, but in cooperative collaboration with her fellow council members.
Please join us in keeping this smart, strong, capable woman on our city council. Vote for the qualities that allow our democracy, and our city, to get things done in a fair and responsible way, and move forward.
Jane Egly is a leader who deserves our support.
— Anne Cox, Maziar Mafi and Dave Schaar
(The signers are all former long-term presidents of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club.)