Irvine City Council Newsletter 
March 2018
Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox Celebrates Lunar New Year with Irvine Residents

Councilmember Fox attends events in Irvine and Orange County to bring in the Year of the Dog

This month, I had the pleasure of attending numerous events celebrating the Lunar New Year (Year of the Dog).  

Among the events I attended were the New Year's Festival at the Irvine Chinese School, the  Pavilion Park Lunar New Year Festival, the Pacific Symphony New Year's concert, and the Lantern Festival. 

2018 Orange County Lantern Festival.

It was fantastic hearing the musicians of the South Coast Chinese Orchestra playing traditional Chinese instruments under the expert guidance of conductor Bin He at the New Year's Festival at the Irvine Chinese School, watching the talented  Ane Thanh Lion Dancers at Pavillion Park, listening to the magnificent Pacific Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Carl St. Clair playing both Chinese and Western classics, and watching and listening to the wonderful dance and music at the Lantern Festival

You can see a brief NTDTV newscast from in Chinese about the Lantern Festival here.

We are truly blessed to have such talent in our community!

Charles Zhang and Councilmember Melissa Fox.

I want to give a special thank you to my friend Charles Zhang, the wonderful benefactor of Irvine's   OC Music & Dance School and the  Pacific Symphony. Your enormous generosity is deeply appreciated!


Happy New Year!


Councilmember Melissa Fox with Ane Thanhn Lion Dancers at Pavilion Park in Irvine.

Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox Named 
"2018 Irish Honoree" by City of Los Angeles

Councilmember Fox honored for her help in bringing Irish Fair and Music Fest to the Great Park in Irvine.

Irvine, CA -- Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox was named a "2018 Irish Honoree by the City of Los Angeles. The award came as a result of Councilmember Fox's help in bringing the annual Irish Fair and Music Fest to the Great Park in Irvine.  

"I am tremendously honored to be named an Irish Honoree," Fox said.  "Irish Americans have contributed enormously to our nation, and I am proud to help share and celebrate Irish culture in our Great Park."

The Irish Fair and Music Fest  is dedicated to preserving and promoting Irish and  Irish-American culture in the Southern California area.

Its primary goal is to "present and preserve Irish culture by sponsoring events that will promote Irish dance, music, theatre, language, sports and all other aspects of our heritage."

It will be held on June 9 and 10, 2018, at the Great Park in Irvine.  

Now in its 43rd year - the Irish Fair has become a landmark for Irish and Irish American culture and family entertainment. Over 30,000 people attend the event annually. It has been described as the happiest and most fun filled event in all of Southern California.

Among the many artists appearing at the Festival are The FeniansThe Humble Hooligans,   Craic in the Stone,  Sligo Rags Cillian's Bridge,  Rory Makem, and  Donal Clancy.

You can find more information, and tickets, at BIG Irish Fair and Music Festival.

Councilmember Melissa Fox Goes to Sacramento to Advocate for OC Cities and Affordable Housing

Fox attends Association of California Cities -- Orange County's annual Local Government Advocacy Trip to Sacramento, the Housing California Conference, and presses state legislators for help with affordable housing.

Sacramento, CA -- Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox recently joined other Orange County elected officials on the annual Local Government Advocacy Trip to Sacramento with the Association of California Cities -- Orange County (ACC-OC), meeting with state elected officials, department directors, and executive staff to advocate for positions on bills, discuss  Orange County's regional priorities, and represent the voice of Orange County cities.

Among the issues discussed were building more affordable housing, increased regulation and better supervision of sober living homes, solutions for homelessness, and reforms of the sales tax.

California State Controller Betty T. Yee and Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox in Sacramento.

Among the state officials and legislators that Fox met with were California State Controller Betty T. Yee, Senator Jim Beall, Senator John Moorlach, Senator Steve Glazier, and Senator Scott Weiner, 

Following the ACC-OC trip, Councilmember Fox remained in Sacramento to attend the Housing California Annual Conference and to meet with legislators on behalf of the Irvine Community Land Trust, of which Fox is the Vice Chair.  

The Irvine Community Land Trust (ICTL) was created by the City of Irvine to provide secure, high-quality affordable housing through the operation of a non-profit community land trust, securing and retaining title to land on which permanently affordable rental, ownership and special needs housing will be constructed and maintained for the benefit of income-eligible families.

The vision of the ICLT is that by the year 2025, the ICLT will have created approximately 5,000 units of permanently affordable housing in the City of Irvine, contributing more than 50 percent of the City's 2025 goal of 9,700 affordable units. In addition, the ICLT will conduct a monitoring program and provide stewardship for these units, insuring high-quality construction, design, sustainability, maintenance and permanent affordability. ICLT will achieve self-sufficiency by ensuring that fees and other earned income are sufficient to support the organization's ongoing operating costs.

Fox meet with Senator Janet Nguyen, Senator Ricardo Lara, Senator John Moorlach, Senator Jim Beall, Senator Bob Hertzberg, Assembly Member Steven Choi, Assembly Member Matt Harper, and Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva and staff about legislation to make it easier to build more affordable housing.

Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva with Irvine City Councilmembers Chiristina Shea and Melissa Fox in Sacramento.

"I believe we are making significant progress in creating a more supportive legislative environment for building affordable housing,"  Fox said.  

"Everyone I spoke to in Sacramento -- on both sides of the aisle -- is keenly aware of California's severe housing shortage and our state's growing housing insecurity and homelessness crisis, " Fox added.  "I was happy to work with my colleagues in both the ACC-OC and the Irvine Community Land Trust to advocate for legislative reforms that will make it easier to build affordable housing in California, and specifically in Orange County."

Irvine Police Department Adds E-Commerce Exchange Zone 

New E-Commerce Exchange Zone is located in the parking lot adjacent to the Police Department.

Irvine, CA -- The Irvine Police Department (IPD) has added an E-Commerce Exchange Zone in an effort to provide a more secure location for those conducting e-commerce transactions.

The E-Commerce Exchange Zone is located in the parking lot adjacent to the Police Department at  1 Civic Center Plaza .

The area is clearly marked and is equipped with high-definition cameras that record activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The video feed from the cameras can be seen in IPD's Communications Center.

Increasingly, residents are choosing to buy and sell items online.  The Irvine Police Department offers the E-Commerce Exchange Zone as a public service to community members looking for a more secure location to exchange items in these types of transactions.  No reservation is necessary, and there is no fee to use the E-Commerce Exchange Zone.

If you have questions, call the IPD front desk at 949-724-7000.
Thanks to our professional and caring law enforcement team, Irvine is consistently named the safest city in the nation among cities with populations of over 100,000.

To learn more about Irvine Police Department programs and services, visit or follow IPD on  FacebookTwitter and  Instagram.

City of Irvine Wins Awards in Financial Reporting, Budget Reporting and Operational Budget

Irvine leads nation in financial reporting and transparency.

Congratulations to the City of Irvine's Administrative Services Department, which this week received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the  Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA ).

This is the nation's highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

Irvine also received two other prestigious awards: The GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award representing the City's commitment in meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting, and the  California Society of Municipal Finance Officers Award for Excellence in Operational Budget .

In January, Irvine was rated the  #1 city in the nation in regard to fiscal health, according to a recent report by Truth in Accounting, an organization that promotes clarity in public financial records.

I'm extremely proud of Irvine's number one financial rating in the nation and its national recognition for its financial reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association.

I am also proud to have received the  Orange County Taxpayers Watchdog Award for "demonstrating dedication to the protection of taxpayer funds and for the advocacy of government transparency and fiscal responsibility."

I ran for City Council on a platform of using my skills as a business attorney to safeguard every public dollar, and I intend to keep that promise by making sure that Irvine is financially transparent and doesn't spend more than it can afford.

These awards reflect the firm commitment that my colleagues on the Irvine City Council, our Finance Commission, our professional City staff, and I have to the taxpayers and residents of Irvine, and to the principles of government transparency and fiscal responsibility.


High School Art Exhibition Showcases Student Work Art Work

Visit the City of Irvine's annual High School Art Exhibition March 23-April 14 at the Irvine Fine Arts Center

Irvine, CA -- The City of Irvine's annual High School Art Exhibition is March 23-April 14 at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. and a poetry slam 6-8 p.m. on Friday, March 23.

The multimedia show features original artwork - including drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, digital media, sculpture and ceramics - produced by students from Irvine high schools. Two additional schools will be represented in the exhibition this year: Arnold O. Beckman High School located in Irvine, and the new Portola High School.

Faculty from local high schools submitted students' artwork to Irvine Fine Arts Center staff, who selected the final pieces to display. The show is juried by Torrey Cook, who has organized and produced exhibitions and art events in California for more than a decade. In 2010, Torrey founded her first brick-and-mortar gallery, Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow. She has since curated more than 100 exhibitions in her galleries in Laguna Beach and Anaheim, and developed several public art projects throughout Southern California.

Admission and parking are free. The Irvine Fine Arts Center is located inside Heritage Community Park at 14321 Yale Ave. For more information, visit or call 949-724-6880.

Councilmember Melissa Fox Supports Persian LGBTQ Event "I-ran Out of the Closet"

Councilmember Fox proudly co-sponsors Persian LGBTQ panel in Irvine with RAHA

Irvine, CA -- Councilmember Melissa Fox was proud to co-sponsor " I-ran Out of the Closet" -- an important discussion in Irvine on Wednesday, February 21, on Iranian LGBTQ identity. 

Attendees were able to hear the personal stories of LGBTQ Iranians and their families.The goal of the conversation was to create awareness of and increase exposure to LGBTQ Iranians, among fellow Iranians and the larger community.

Panelists at the event included; Mastaneh Moghadam (LCSW Executive Director CCE and Moderator),Ashkan Yekrangi, Esq. (Lawyer/Activist), Kathy Tavakoli(Mother/Activist),Shervin Khorramian (Executive Director of Raha, Activist), Ali Vassigh (Activist and MC), Jessica Laed (MFTi), and Hedyeh Rezaei (Master of Social Work Candidate/Activist).  Joining Melissa Fox as host was Irvine Community Services Commissioner Lauren Johnson-Norris.

RAHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a safe space where the Persian LGBTQ community and its allies come together to embrace their shared experiences.  RAHA's mission is to positively impact its members' lives by connecting Persian LGBTQs through their cultural identity. 

You can learn more about RAHA on Facebook  here and follow RAHA on Instagram @rahaintl. 

The City of Irvine Launches a New Online Class Registration Program

Set up your new class registration account today! 

Irvine, CA -- The City of Irvine launched a new online class registration website for the community to use when signing up for City programs and activities. New accounts are needed to ensure that all user information is up-to-date, and that visitors can easily sign up for upcoming classes and events. 

Visit the new site,, to set up your account and register for your favorite Irvine class, activities and programs today. 

Upcoming Events

What's up in Irvine!

  • 3/17 St. Patricks Day

  • 3/21 Persian New Year (Nowruz) 2018

  • 3/23 - 3/24 Segerstrom Concert Hall at 8:00p.m. -- Pink Martini

Melissa Fox
Irvine City Council
Staff and Commissioners

Allison Binder, Lead Council Executive Assistant

Daniel Robertson, Council Executive Assistant

Eliana Liss, Council Executive Assistant

Lauren Johnson Norris, Community Services Commissioner

Dustin Nirschl,  Planning Commissioner (Vice Chair)

Roger Sievers,  Finance Commissioner

Kenneth Montgomery, Transportation Commissioner 

Zhihai Li, Children, Youth and Families Committee
Dawn Antis,  Childcare Committee

Juneu Kim,  Senior Council

Krishna Hammond,  Green Ribbon Environmental Committee (Vice Chair)

Fred Judd, Investment Advisory Committee (Chair)