Irvine City Council Newsletter 
May 2019
Join Me as Irvine Honors our Fallen Heroes

Irvine will honor our fallen heroes in two ceremonies this Memorial Day Weekend.


Please join me on Memorial Day  weekend as Irvine honors the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and pays special tribute to our local service members and veterans. 

Irvine has a long and proud military tradition. From 1942 to 1999, Irvine was home to Marine Air Station El Toro, the largest Marine Corps Air Station on the West Coast. During World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War, thousands of United States Marines, as well as airmen, sailors and soldiers, departed for war from MCAS El Toro. 

Many never returned. 


As the daughter of a combat veteran, as the cousin of a Marine who was killed in action, and as an Irvine City Councilmember, I am proud of Irvine's commitment to honoring our veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Irvine will honor our fallen heroes in two ceremonies this Memorial Day weekend: 

Sunday, May 26, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. 

Candle Lighting Ceremony: Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial 

4531 Bryan Avenue, Irvine CA 92620 

The Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, dedicated in 2010, is the nation's first and only memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

The names of every service member who has died in Afghanistan and Iraq are engraved in granite in a permanent memorial, to assure that future generations of Americans will remember and honor them with gratitude as we do today. 

The ceremony will honor our fallen heroes from all generations, with special tribute to those fallen heroes of the recent and ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The candle lighting ceremony will include presentations from and honor Gold Star families. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.


Monday, May 27, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. 

Memorial Day Ceremony: Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park 

4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine CA 92606 

Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, located next to City Hall, is named in honor of Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Irvine resident Marine Corps Colonel William E. Barber (1919-2002). 

Attendees will have the opportunity to memorialize our troops' sacrifice by writing a brief Remembrance Card to be posted on a memory board. 

As I have done in past years, I will be filling out a memorial card for my cousin, PFC Irwin Handler, USMC, who was killed in Korea, and for the son of family friends, LCPL Donald J. Hogan, USMC, Navy Cross, who was killed in Afghanistan. 

Cards will be also available for well-wishers to send a message of appreciation and support to Irvine's adopted 211/Marine Battalion. 

As stated so beautifully and appropriately by the Veterans of Foreign Wars: 

"Pausing to remember and honor America's fallen service members is a practice dating back more than 100 years. Since the days of the Civil War, humble Americans have gathered together on Memorial Day to remember and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that other could live free. 

Again we gather this Memorial Day, as a nation solemnly united in remembrance of the fallen defenders of our great nation. Freedom is not free. It has come at great cost, paid for with the lives of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends and comrades. 


Every American owes a great debt to the courageous men and women who have selflessly given their all to defend and protect our way of life. And while giving back to the extent they deserve is impossible, celebrating their memory and honoring their most selfless deeds offers a start. 

This Memorial Day, pause to reflect on the absolute selflessness of the 1.3 million members of our nation's military who paid the price needed to ensure our way of life endures, and let us not forget the families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers." 

God Bless our fallen, their families, and our men and women in uniform all over the world. 


Thank you to all our dedicated first responders for continually training to keep us safe!


This week, as a board member of the  Orange County Fire Authority, I had the amazing opportunity to observe the 2019 Urban Search and Rescue Multi-Task Force Mobilization Exercise "Southern Wind" at the Del Valle Regional Training Center in Castaic, California, in which our first responders trained to deal with a "dirty bomb" terrorist attack.

The scenario was that a vehicle containing a "dirty bomb" had exploded, spreading radioactive contamination and toxic smoke across a wide area and demolishing a mall and a hospital, with many fatalities and injured victims, as well as many people trapped in the rubble.


The participating agencies included the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), Cal Trans, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Branch, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), California US&R Task Force 5 (CA-TF5) from OCFA, California US&R Task Force 6 (CA-TF6) from the Riverside Fire Department, California US&R Task Force 8 from the San Francisco Fire Department, and the HazMat Task Force from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The goal of the exercise was to demonstrate the ability of Southern California-based local, state, and federal US&R Task Forces to meet FEMA Operational Readiness Exercise Evaluation Program requirements, and demonstrate Multi-Task Force cooperation in response to an incident involving a Radiological Dispersal Device.

The overall Incident Commander, and most of the section commanders, were with the Orange County Fire Authority.



Among the actions taken were decontamination and securing of the area, searching for victims (including using search dogs), and extraction of victims from the rubble (including using cranes to lift debris and motor vehicles).

Due to the danger of exposure to radiation, the crews needed to rotate frequently.

My very helpful and patient "guide" during the exercise was OCFA US&R Coordinator Captain Richard Ventura.

Also taking time to keep me informed was OCFA Captain Wendy Norwood, whose normal duty station is OCFA Fire Station 27 in Portola Springs.


I was tremendously impressed by the smoothness and thoroughness of the operation, the coordination and cooperation among the different agencies, the amazing level of skills demonstrated, and the dedication of all the participants.

I was also extremely proud of the leadership role taken by our own Orange County Fire Authority.

Thank you to all our dedicated first responders for continually training to keep us safe!

Here are some more photos of the exercise: 















"Housing is truly the issue of our time in California, and helping to create more affordable and attainable housing, especially for seniors, young families, veterans, and people with disabilities, has been an important focus of my career as a public official," Councilmember Melissa Fox said.


Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox with Kelsey Brewer of Jamboree Housing Corporation at the 2019 Housing California Conference.


Sacramento, CA -- Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox was in Sacramento for next three days lobbying for housing and attending the  2019 Housing California Conference as  Chair of the Irvine Community Land Trust.

Housing California is the "voice in the state Capitol for children, seniors, families, people experiencing homelessness,and everyone who needs a safe, stable, affordable place to call home."

The vision of the Housing California is creating "a California in which no one is homeless and everyone can afford a safe, stable place to call home in a healthy and vibrant community."

The Housing California Annual Conference started in 1979 with a small gathering across the street from the State Capitol, and has since grown into the largest and most diverse affordable housing and homelessness conference in the country. 


The 2019 Housing California Conference focuses on the most crucial issues for housing in our state, including legislative, electoral, administrative, and budgetary policy strategy and solutions pertaining to affordable housing and homelessness; supportive housing, rapid re-housing, emergency responses, and bridge housing; affordable housing development including construction, design and entitlement, sustainable practices, and development innovations; affordable housing finance and asset management; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

"Housing is truly the issue of our time in California, and helping to create more affordable and attainable housing, especially for seniors, young families, veterans, and people with disabilities, has been an important focus of my career as a public official," Councilmember Melissa Fox said.

"In 2018, I was  elected to serve as Chair of the  Irvine Community Land Trust, guiding its mission of providing secure, high-quality affordable  housing for the benefit of income-eligible families," she added.  "I am excited to learn and share ideas, and to work with experts, legislators, and community advocates to find practical solutions to California's housing and homelessness crisis."


One of the most popular sessions at the Conference was a presentation by  Cesar Covarrubias of the Kennedy Commission on generating community support for  affrordable housing  in affluent neighborhoods.

"This is an issue I face constantly as Chair of the  Irvine Community Land Trust , often from people who would never admit that they are opposed to affordable housing, " Councilmember Fox explained. 

"I was thrilled that the Irvine Community Land Trust was cited here as a positive example!" 


It's kitten season.  Every week, dozens of stray kittens are brought into the Irvine Animal Care Center and the OC Animal Shelter in Tustin.


It's kitten season. Every week, dozens of stray kittens are brought into the Irvine Animal Care Center and the OC Animal Shelter in Tustin.

Many of these kittens are too young to even open their eyes, and unfortunately many of them will not survive without their mothers.

Neonatal kittens are especially susceptible to picking up infectious diseases in-shelter because their immune systems are so weak. 

Many of the current shelter volunteers already foster kittens at home, but their resources are stretched thin.


New volunteers are needed who can foster the kittens, which involves bottle feeding the kittens every three or four hours.

The kittens can survive only with this attention and care.

Bottle baby fostering may be best for people who work from home, have flexible schedules, or are retired.

If you think that you might be able to foster these kittens, please go to the shelters or visit them online at  here (Irvine Animal Care Center) and   here (Orange County Animal Care in Tustin).

The shelters are located at 6443 Oak Creek, Irvine, CA 92618 and 1630 Victory Road, Tustin, CA 92782.

Never bottle-fed a kitten before?  No problem!
Our shelters have experienced volunteers and staff happy who will help every step of the way.

Need Supplies?  Our shelters have you covered!
All you need is love.

Your love and care could mean the difference between life and death for these young kittens. 

Irvine City Council Issues Proclamation Remembering Holocaust and to "Remain Vigilant Against Hatred, Persecution, and Tyranny"

 Council unanimously votes in favor of my motion for an official proclamation recognizing April 28 - May 5, 2019, as "Days of Remembrance" in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors, rescuers and liberators.


Lisa Armony, Project Director at Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County, with Irvine Holocaust Remembrance Proclamation.

At the Irvine City Council meeting on April 23, 2019, the Council unanimously voted in favor of my motion for an official proclamation recognizing April 28 - May 5, 2019, as "Days of Remembrance" in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and in honor of the survivors, rescuers and liberators, and urging all to "remain vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny."

I want to thank the Mayor and my City Council colleagues for their unanimous support for this proclamation. The memory of the Holocaust should serve as a reminder throughout the ages of the need to treat all people with respect and dignity, and to ensure that hatred, bigotry, and tyranny have no place in America or any civilized community.

The proclamation reads as follows:

DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE
April 28 - May 5, 2019

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States established the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to create a living memorial to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, to never lose memory of that terrible moment in time; and

WHEREAS, the Holocaust was the persecution of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945, and Jews were the primary victims - six million were murdered along with millions more targeted for racial ethnic or national reasons; and

WHEREAS, the history of the Holocaust offers an opportunity to reflect on the moral responsibilities of individuals, societies, and governments as well as remember the terrible events of the Holocaust and remain vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny by rededicating ourselves to the principles of individual freedom in a just society; and

WHEREAS, the Days of Remembrance have been set aside to remember the victims of the Holocaust as well as to reflect on the need for respect of all people; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to an Act of Congress the United States Holocaust Memorial Council designates the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust to be Sunday, April 28 through Sunday, May 5, 2019, including the international Day of Remembrance known as Yom Hashoah on May 1;

NOW THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Irvine  DOES HEREBY PROCLAIM APRIL 28 - May 5, 2019,  as "Days of Remembrance" in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and in honor of the survivors, as well as the rescuers and liberators. 



This proclamation also serves as a reminder that antisemitism - and any form of racism or bigotry - will not go unchallenged by the good people of Irvine.

Irvine will always stand strong against hatred and intolerance and stand up for our neighbors.

An attack on anyone in Irvine because of their faith, race, or national origin, is an attack on us all.


Irvine Shares the Way: Improving the Safety of Everyone in Irvine, Whether Walking, Bicycling, or Driving 

Irvine Shares the  Way  is a project to improve the safety of everyone in Irvine, including educational materials, safety workshops, and other activities across the City of Irvine.


Irvine is world-famous as a safe place to live and raise our families.  But it won't stay that way unless all Irvine's motorists obey the stop signs and respect pedestrians' right-of-way.

Residents of Irvine are very concerned - and rightfully so - about their safety and the safety of their children because of the consistent failure of drivers to come to a full and complete stop at our stop signs and obey all the rules of the road.

It's not just our reputation as America's safest city that is on the line.  Our lives, and the lives of our children, are at stake.


As member of the Irvine City Council , I've taken an active and leading role in making Irvine safer for pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists.  I've participated in the Ride of Silence, I've put stop sign safety on the top of the Transportation Commission agenda, I've met with our police chief to discuss traffic safety improvements and ensure traffic law compliance, and I've held a Town Hall on Traffic Safety.  

Now Irvine has introduced a new initiative called  Irvine Shares the Way.

Irvine Shares the Way is a project to improve the safety of everyone in Irvine, whether they are walking, bicycling, or driving. Irvine Shares the Way is a broad-based campaign, including educational materials, safety workshops, and other activities across the City of Irvine.


The campaign will help raise awareness of traffic laws and remind residents how they can reduce the chances of a collision when they are walking, bicycling, and driving.

In the coming months, the City of Irvine will roll out new materials and features on our website and host workshops, family-friendly events, and more!  Stay informed of news and events; sign up for our email list at sharestheway@cityofirvine.org.

Join "I Am Me" Teen Empowerment Program at Tilly's Life Center!  

"I Am Me" empowers teens to relieve their stress and promote healthy, happy, and productive lifestyles .


Tilly's Life Center in Irvine is starting a new round of its teen-empowerment program " I Am Me."

The new course starts on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, and meets once a week for 12 weeks, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Tilly's Life Center at 17 Pasteur, Irvine CA 92618.

Tilly's Life Center is a youth-focused, 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable foundation aimed at empowering all teens with a "youth-focused nonprofit empowerment program for teens helping to change attitudes and mindsets in order to overcome adversity and ultimately find happiness and success."

Teens are facing problems that are universal, affecting them at every socioeconomic level and in every community. Even in supportive environments, teenagers face confusion and uncertainty in life.

As young people come under increased pressure to excel in a highly competitive world, Tilly's Life Center is  providing teens the support they need to thrive.



The  "I Am Me" program teaches teens life skills that motivate them to pursue their dreams and to focus on improving their lives, including positive thinking, stress management, motivation, goal setting and effective communication.
Using experiential learning, including journal writing, open discussions, and self discovery in a safe and caring environment, the "I Am Me" program empowers teens by teaching life skills that build confidence, inspire compassion, and encourage them to pursue their dreams.

Space is limited (and there is a cost).

Call 949-394-0391 or email Christine@TillysLifeCenter.org for more information.
May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month




Ramadan Mubarak to all our Muslim friends and neighbors! 









Melissa Fox
Irvine City Council
Staff and Commissioners

Allison Binder, Lead Council Executive Assistant
abinder@ci.irvine.ca.us

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)