Arriving without a postmark, the letter was titled “Assemblyman Mike Miller, Unable to Represent! Imposed Slums to Communities,” and slipped in the mail slots of Glendale and Ridgewood residents.
Chris Kurre, executive secretary of the Glendale Property Owner’s Association, quickly noticed the similarities between the civic's name and the group claiming responsibility for the letter.
She immediately took to the online forums of several community groups to assert the GPOA was not involved.
“The board members are disturbed by this ‘propaganda’ and in no way condone or validate anything that was written allegedly on our behalf,” she wrote. “We strive to work closely with all of our elected officials for the greater of our community and its residents.”
The letters were dropped off to homes on several blocks in Glendale over a period of a few days, according to Kurre.
The letter aimed to discredit Miller’s qualifications on five issues — each described in length with opinions rather than solid facts — and pictures of graffiti, trash and other things intended to put the neighborhoods in a bad light.
Some claims include Miller supposedly supporting the “24/7 freight and garbage dump relay station and storage facility” that is said to hurt Glendale and Ridgewood, and that the neighborhoods are in the worst condition ever and include several slum areas.
The newsletter also alleged that Miller doesn’t hold a law degree and lives a “lavish extravagant jet style way of life” funded by taxpayers’ dollars.
On Thursday, March 7, Miller attended a meeting of the GPOA, where he defended himself against the allegations.
Since 2009 when Miller took office, there have been several slanderous mailings from the same group, he explained.
Having received a newsletter at his home one time, snapping pictures of the suspected men and later meeting them in his office, Miller says that it’s two brothers in their 60s that are responsible for the propaganda.
He noted the energy the individuals took to take pictures of garbage, write a newsletter, make copies and send them. “[Instead] you could have made a phone call to me and, in an hour, Dorie would have had sanitation there picking up the dumping,” Miller told civic members.
As far as the railroad, Miller explained that he has tried to put in bills to make it difficult for the railroad to operate, but that technically he can only address state issues. The Federal Railroad Administration is a federal entity, and he has no control over their operations.
Miller said he can't do much about the letters, as any action would appear spiteful. In the meantime, he defended the neighborhood and vowed to serve the community.
“They consider Glendale a slum, and I don't,” he said. “Glendale is a great place to live. We fight really hard — the council member, the senator and myself — to make this a great place to live, and I’m going to continue to do that.”