Irvine City Council Newsletter 
June 2019
Join Me at the Irish Fair and Music Festival June 15th and 16th at the Great Park! 

The Irish Fair has become a landmark event for Irish and Irish American culture and family entertainment.

Céad míle fáilte!

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

In March 2018, I was named an  Irish Honoree by the City of Los Angeles . The award came as a result of my help in bringing the  Annual Irish Fair and Music Festival to the Great Park in Irvine.

Now, the  Irish Fair and Music Festival will be back at the Great Park in Irvine for a second year!

This year, the Irish Fair and Music Festival will be held on Father's Day weekend, June 15 and 16, 2019. 

It is dedicated to preserving and promoting Irish and Irish-American culture in the Southern California area by presenting Irish music, dance, theater, language, sports and all other aspects of the Irish heritage.

The Irish Fair has become a landmark event 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 at the Great Park this year are  The Feniansthe Young DublinersCraic in the Stone , Sligo RagsThe PloughboysMary's LaneKillian's AngelsThe Whooligans, and  Michael Mullen's Trio of One.

The Irish Fair also features Irish Step Dancing, Irish, Scottish and British import shops and arts & craft vendors.

The entrance for the Irish Fair and Music Fest is 6950 Marine Way, Irvine, California 92618.

Slán go fóill
See you there!

Here's a preview of some of the musical artists:

Final Jam: Irish Fair at Orange County Great Park. June 10, 2018.
Final Jam: Irish Fair at Orange County Great Park. June 10, 2018.

Craic in the Stone - LIVE 2019
Craic in the Stone - Live 2019

Sligo Rags performs
Sligo Rags performs "Whiskey Never Lies"

Orange Coast Magazine Web Exclusive: The Fenians
Orange Coast Magazine Web Exclusive: The Fenians

Young Dubliners - Foggy Dew
Young Dubliners - Foggy Dew

The City of Irvine park system has been ranked 6th in the nation by the Trust for Public Land Annual Park Score Index, making Irvine the top-ranked city in California.

The City of Irvine park system has been ranked 6th in the nation by the Trust for Public Land Annual Park Score Index, making Irvine the top-ranked city in California.

The Trust for Public Land's Park Score rankings assess the nation's 100 largest cities on factors such as park access, acreage, investment, and amenities. 

Significantly, with new parks, open space, and amenities added over the past year, the City rose from last year's ranking of 10th in the nation, climbing up four places.

Among the factors considered in the evaluation is the fact that  80 percent of Irvine's residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park(compared to a national average of 54 percent) and that 27 percent of Irvine's city land is used for parks and recreation (compared to a national average of 15 percent).

Of special note, the Park Score Index  did not find any significant difference regarding closeness to parks in Irvine based on the race, nationality, age, or income level of Irvine residents.

The Park Score Index includes parks, facilities, and amenities managed by the City, either through ownership or joint-use agreements.

The full Park Score Index is available at www., including score details and demographic information for each city.

Learn more about Irvine parks at .

The Trust for Public Land works to protect the places people care about and to create close-to-home parks -- particularly in and near cities, where 80 percent of Americans live. It's goal is to "ensure that every child has easy access to a safe place to play in nature. We also conserve working farms, ranches, and forests; lands of historical and cultural importance; rivers, streams, coasts, and watersheds; and other special places where people can experience nature close at hand."

Congratulations to my City Council colleagues, our City Manager and City staff, and our Community Services Commissioners, especially our Irvine Community Services Commission Chair Lauren Johnson-Norris, on this outstanding achievement!

Maruchan Company presents check for $100,000 toward our efforts with Orange County Fire Authority to prevent drownings!

I am proud that Irvine has declared May 27 to September 9, 2019, as  "Drowning Prevention Awareness Water Safety Summer." 

I was also thrilled to be able to present a check for $100,000 toward our efforts with OCFA to prevent drowning from the very generous  Maruchan  Company!

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury and death in children under the age of five and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14.

More than 80 percent of these drownings occur in residential backyard pools or spas, but drownings can occur anywhere there is water.

Drowning can happen quickly, without warning, without a splash and without a cry for help.

"Most drowning deaths are preventable," said Orange County Fire Authority Captain Public Information Officer Larry Kurtz. "When you look at all of the different drowning calls -- from small children to the elderly, the circumstances for each one is a little different. What they all have in common though are a series of small events or omissions that occur that add up to become a crisis or a tragedy."

"If we can educate people to take out one domino in the series - we can hopefully prevent that tragedy from occurring," Kurtz said. "Like being a ' Water Watcher' or someone teaching their child how to swim. Learning CPR or not combining drugs and alcohol with swimming or water. Drowning crosses age and socioeconomic lines and it does not discriminate.  It is up to people to take responsibility for themselves, family and people they care about to prevent drowning."

Swimming is fun and healthy, and we're blessed here in Irvine with terrific weather for swimming much of the year.  Now let's do everything we can to protect our children and enjoy our swimming pools safely.

Taking a few simple steps will save lives.

Here are the  ABCs of Water Safety:

Active adult supervision: make sure to actively watch children in water. Adults should also make sure that someone is watching them or swimming with them. Regardless of your age or swimming ability -- never swim alone!

Barriers: make sure pools have a tall-enough fence to keep children from wandering in.

Classes: learn to swim and learn first aid and CPR.  Everyone should know how to swim!
In addition, following these simple rules for pool safety will help prevent drownings:

  • Swim with a buddy in a supervised area. Regardless of your age or swimming ability, never swim alone.
  • Avoid entrapment: suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer under water.
  • Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.
  • Do not let children sit or play on pool drains.
  • Keep toys away from the pool, when not in use, to prevent young children from falling in after a toy.
  • Keep a telephone outside the pool area. Post the 9-1-1 emergency number on the telephone. 

Just recently, a six year-old in Irvine was found not breathing and without a pulse at a community pool. A resident successfully performed CPR and the child regained her pulse and began breathing. Irvine Police Officers and Orange County Fire Authority arrived on scene and the child was transported to CHOC for observation. Thankfully, she is expected to make a full recovery, but these incidents can be prevented and we must do everything we can to ensure safety in the water for both children and adults.

Let's make Irvine America's Safe Swimming Capitol! 

Be a part of history as we celebrate the opening of The Bosque nature trail at the Orange County Great Park!

Be a part of history as the City of Irvine celebrates the opening of the Great Park Trails in the Upper Bee and Bosque area at the Orange County Great Park!

Join us, and help set a world record high-five chain

Meet at the intersection of Great Park Boulevard and Bosque at 7 a.m. to join the line. High-fives will start promptly at 8 a.m., followed by a ceremony to honor the trails' opening. 

This free event will include music, coffee, drinks, donuts, and door prizes. 

See you there!

Kick off summer in the pool with the Irvine Super Swim Lesson on Friday, June 21, at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center!

Adults and children of all swimming abilities are invited to participate on Friday, June 21, in the Super Swim Lesson, a worldwide effort to raise awareness for drowning prevention.

Arrive at 5:30 p.m. to sign up for the one-time lesson to be held at 6 p.m., then stay for the free recreation swim that includes a water slide, giant inflatable, and diving boards. 

At dusk, the movie Trolls plays on the big screen. Lifeguards will be on duty. 

For recreation swim, children 6 and younger must be accompanied by an adult one-on-one in the water. 

For more information, call 949-724-6717. 

The 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (2/11) has been officially "adopted" by the City of Irvine.

Please join me on Saturday, June 22, 2018, for the Annual Car Wash fundraiser in support of Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee to directly benefit the 2/11 Marines.

The car wash will take place from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at Lakeview Senior Center in Mike Ward Community Park in Woodbridge.

Irvine is proud of its military heritage, especially its close connection to the United States Marine Corps.

From 1943 to 1999, Irvine was the home of Marine Air Station El Toro, which was once the largest Marine air station on the West Coast. Thousands of Marines served here, and thousands more flew from here to battles in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Many never returned. 

On September 15, 2007, the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (2/11) from Camp Pendleton, was officially "adopted" by the City of Irvine.  The City of Irvine and the 2/11 Marines made a pledge to encourage mutually beneficial interactions between the community and the battalion.

The 1st Marine Division is the oldest, largest and most decorated division in the United States Marine Corps. The 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines (2/11) is a 155mm howitzer battalion based at Camp Pendleton, California. Its primary mission is to provide artillery support to the 5th Marine Regiment in time of conflict. At any time, the command has roughly 750 Marines and Sailors assigned to it.

The battalion's exemplary service ranges from France in World War I to the Battles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa in the Pacific in World War II to Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War (where my cousin USMC Pvt. Irwin Handler was killed in action), to Hue and Phu Bai in Vietnam to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Gulf War to Operation Enduring Freedom in Kuwait to the more recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The  Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee , a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides charitable and educational activities and support for the benefit and welfare of the United States Marines and their families assigned to Camp Pendleton, with special emphasis on the Marines and families of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines ("2/11 Marines"). 

Additionally, the Committee seeks to educate and inform the community regarding the 2/11's activities and responsibilities.  The Committee accomplishes its goal by soliciting private and public donations of cash, food, beverages, and new and used material goods to help underwrite the cost of sponsoring 2/11 Marines and their families.

The Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee welcomes the Irvine community to support our adopted battalion by participating and donating to a variety of activities. These activities include holiday and pre-deployment events, care packages, toy drives and more.

June is PTSD Awareness Month  

Summer Safety Tips!

Summer Safety 2015 - Comprehensive Message

Join me at the Irvine City Council meeting on June 11, 2019, to support my resolution to fly the Pride Flag from Irvine City Hall.

I join California Governor Gavin Newsom in celebrating June 2019 as "LGBTQ Pride Month" in the State of California.

As Governor Newsom beautifully stated in his proclamation:

"As we celebrate and declare June as Pride Month in California, we are reminded of what makes California great -- our remarkable capacity to live together and advance together across every conceivable difference. This June, we stand with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community of California as they declare their pride in who they are and who they love."

"Time and time again, this community has worked tirelessly for respect and equality. Their battles have been fought in the courts, from marriage equality to demanding equal protection under the law. Their fight continues to this day, as we combat discriminatory laws across the country. While there has been remarkable progress towards acceptance and equality in recent years, members of the LGBTQ community in the United States and around the world still face an unacceptable level of discrimination and violence. We must remain vigilant and push back against those who seek to roll back our progress, and continue to make the case that each of us as human beings share a fundamental thing in common - all of us want to be loved, and all of us want to love."

"In California, we celebrate and support our LGBTQ community's right to live their lives out loud -- during Pride month and every month. As we celebrate Pride across this state, we must continue to demand equal rights for all to create a California for all."

June holds historic significance for the LGBT community.  In 1969, the Stonewall Riots occurred in the New York City as a protest to the police department's unfair targeting of the LGBT community. The Stonewall Riots led to political organizing that is considered to be the beginning of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. The following year, the first LGBT Pride Parade was held in New York City on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Today, California has the largest LGBT population in the nation and is home to over forty LGBT Pride celebrations.

At the Irvine City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, I will be introducing a resolution to fly the Pride Flag from Irvine City Hall.  

In doing so, Irvine would join the State of California, as well many other states and cities, including Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, and Fullerton, and the Orange County Fairgrounds, in making it clear to all that our community is a place where LGBT people are visible, accepted, and welcome.

We would also be joining many of the largest corporations that do business in Irvine and Orange County, including Disney, Banana Republic, Starbucks, Verizon, Nordstrom, Budweiser, Bombas, Sephora, Chipotle, Reebok, Calvin Klein, Express, Kind, Nike, Adidas, Target, Ralph Lauren, Gap, Macy's, and T-Mobile, in recognizing that taking a stand for LGBT  equality is a positive sign to the business world that we are committed to ending prejudice against people based on who they love.

Community support is very important.  If you support this resolution, please attend the June 11, 2019, Irvine City Council Meeting and speak in favor. 

Your personal stories are our best argument and can make a very big difference.

I hope to see you there!

New legislation would reduce the cost of building affordable housing.

I am v ery happy to report that legislation that the Irvine Community Land Trust and I have been advocating supporting affordable housing has unanimously passed the California Senate and moved to the Assembly. 

The new legislation -- SB 196 -- would reduce the cost of building affordable housing, making it far more likely that more affordable will be built to ease California's growing housing crisis.

All Irvine Community Land Trust meetings are open to the public.

Join us at our next Irvine Community Land Trust meeting on June 17 at 930 Roosevelt Ave., Suite 106, Irvine CA 92620.

Contact the Irvine Community Land Trust at 949-565-3547 or

Melissa Fox
Irvine City Council
Staff and Commissioners

Allison Binder, Lead Council Executive Assistant

Daniel Robertson, Council Executive Assistant

Lauren Johnson Norris, Community Services Commissioner

Dustin Nirschl,  Planning Commissioner

Roger Sievers,  Finance Commissioner

Kenneth Montgomery, Transportation Commissioner 

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

Juneu Kim,  Senior Council

Richard Cody Prince,  Green Ribbon Environmental Committee 

Fred Judd, Investment Advisory Committee (Chair)