Local Government

Open Letter to Mayor Fred Jung from Councilmember Dr. Shana Charles

Dear Mayor Jung,

As you may have noticed, I left the room during the State of the City address last Wednesday. I am writing to make clear that I did not leave due to any other commitments or appointments. Rather, I was deeply disappointed in the treatment of Councilman Zahra in the speech. As Fullerton’s elected official chosen by a Council majority to represent our city and thereby give this speech, you had a responsibility to represent all of Fullerton. It was shocking and embarrassing to our city those personal vendettas were aired in this way.

The disrespect shown to Councilman Zahra not only insults his five years of public service, during which he has uplifted our most underserved communities, led the effort to clean up water PFAS contamination in District 5, and promoted economic growth in our Harbor corridor, but also was a direct rebuke to all those he represents. Councilman Zahra is not only the first representative to specifically serve District 5, he is also the first Muslim and the first LGBTQ+ person to serve on the Fullerton City Council. For his public service and his commitment to his constituents, he deserved to be shown the same respect shown to other members of the Council.

Fullerton is an inclusive, multicultural, forward-looking city that is united in our common goal of building the city of our future while respecting our historic past. Our Mayor must promote those values for the common good. If you wish to continue as Mayor of Fullerton, it is your responsibility in that position to represent our city well and to put aside your own interests when you are acting as our Mayor. I urge you to immediately and publicly apologize to Councilman Zahra.


Dr. Shana Charles, Council member, Fullerton, D3

(657) 767-6993


The event was live-streamed and is available on youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-lIEjgJI_8 (Mayor’s speech begins around 1:20)

10 replies »

  1. Funny, you say you want to bring the city together, Dr. Charles, but now your true colors are showing–similar to Joe Biden. You only want unity if it’s on your ideological terms and beliefs, not others. Sorry to tell you, this county wasn’t built that way, its not a ONE world order as you wish for.

  2. Dr. Dr. Charles,
    I am very confused that you as also an elected representative like Mayor Jung felt the need to write an open letter to the city newspaper about how disappointing you were about Mayor Jung’s speech towards Councilman Zahra. In your letter you state, “you had a responsibility to represent all of Fullerton. It was shocking and embarrassing to our city those personal vendettas were aired in this way.” This letter is also aired on the city’s newspaper, please explain the difference. This is also very shocking and I am sure it is embarrassing to your district to have a Councilwoman representing them and getting involve or making conflicts. Sounds very hypocritical.

    Mayor Jung has shown 100% leadership and commitment to the city of Fullerton and all residents. In the few years since becoming an elected representative, there has been A LOT of great progress within the city of Fullerton, which has not been done in prior years by councilman before him. That is great leadership! Like he has mentioned in his speech, Lets work together!

    • Please go on. Tell us all the great things Mayor Jung has done for the city that no council has done before him. I want to know.

      • Aren’t you supposed to be unbiased as a newspaper???? Fake news is a term that is toxic, but your comment Saskia really gives credence to fake news.

    • I couldn’t disagree more – Dr Charles did EXACTLY the right thing!

  3. Dear Dr. Charles, As one of your constituents in District 3, I must express my disappointment in your decision to leave. Your recent involvement in this conflict is not why I voted for you. I believe that as an elected representative, you owe it to your constituents to prioritize their interests and well-being versus picking sides. While I understand that there may be disagreements and differences of opinion between colleagues, I strongly urge you to refrain from getting involved in conflicts that has nothing to do with you.

    After watching the video, I was inspired by Mayor Jung’s vision for Fullerton. From the way I see it, he has demonstrated a remarkable level of thoughtfulness, knowledge, and care for our city and its residents and has shown a deep understanding of the challenges facing our community, and has consistently worked to address them in a thoughtful and pragmatic manner. Overall, I believe that our mayor has been an exceptional leader for our city, and I am grateful for his service, as I am of yours.

    This letter did not reflect bold leadership, but rather came across as a public display of bullying and harassment. As a member of this community, I feel that it is important for our leaders to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue, even when there are disagreements or concerns. I would urge you to consider the views and opinions of a wider range of community members. It is essential that our leaders avoid becoming trapped in an echo chamber. I want to emphasize that the tone and content of the letter do not reflect the views of the majority of our city’s residents.

    I believe that it is essential that we work together to find common ground and build a brighter future for all. I hope that you will reconsider your position and continue to work towards building a better community for all of us.

  4. *clap, clap* Hear, hear! Bravo, Dr. Charles. There is SOOO much more that he :NEEDS: to do, but that is a good start.