Gus Ayer was a force to be reckoned with. (Aeolus was his tag name here)
He was a mentor to so many. He made us laugh. He put us to work.
I met him online. He hated that I always said that. But we met when he saw my post on Daily Kos when I ran for city council unsuccessfully in 2006. He immediately sent me a generous campaign donation and gave me lots of great guidance and advice. Our friendship was sealed during that campaign and in the many others to come.
He sacrificed his own re-election campaign in Fountain Valley to try and elect Debbie Cook to Congress. He was the mayor and a city council member in Fountain Valley.
I could always count on Gus to make me laugh and to cut through the bullshit and tell it to me straight. He was my mentor and in my innermost circle of friends.
I walked many many miles with Gus at Mile Square Park near his home in Fountain Valley. We strategized laughed and made many plans during those walks.
There is a great void in my heart right now.
This is a significant loss for progressives and environmentalists in Orange County.
Just to let you know what Gus worked on in the 2012 campaign cycle:
Sandy Genis elected to the Costa Mesa City Council
Jill Hardy elected to the Huntington Beach City Council
Diana Carey elected to the Westminster City Council
Helped to defeat Measure Z in Huntington Beach
Worked on the anti-Charter initiative in Costa Mesa
Worked on saving Coyote Hills in Fullerton and won at the ballot even though outspent 10-1.
Worked on defeating an anti-open space initiative in Orange and won!
Gus's last project was defeating the Poseidon desalination project in Huntington Beach and we will be carrying on that fight now with a vengeance and in Gus' memory.
I loved him and I am devastated.
He leaves behind a beautiful family—his wife Verna and his sons Eliot and Ethan and their wives. My love and thoughts are with them now that they can recover from this tremendous loss.