From Irvine Mayor Steven Choi’s April Newsletter
In my State of the City address, I highlighted three initiatives that I am currently addressing. They are:
Mayor’s Forum on Education
As a former IUSD School Board member, an educator and with my doctoral degree in Library and Information Science, it is probably not a surprise that I am committed to public education. This next year, the City of Irvine will contribute about $8 million out of our General Fund to our local school districts (IUSD and TUSD). These monies fund everything from grants to crossing guards. I want to ensure that we are providing the kind of help that the districts want and to provide extra support when and where we can.
Our first effort in this initiative will take place in May. Dr. Howard Shane from Harvard University will present some of his research on using technology to help autistic children. Co-sponsored by the City of Irvine and IUSD, this session will be limited to educators, and I am delighted that Dr. Shane will return in September to participate in a forum that will be open to everyone. These presentations will also include UCI’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment.
I expect additional topics to include children’s bike and pedestrian safety and bullying. I will keep you informed as these develop.
Irvine loves libraries! However, we are seriously underserved by our County library branches. Our residents check out more books per capita than those in any other city, yet we have among the smallest amounts of actual library space. At the same time, our taxes for the library system go to other cities – and I mean millions of dollars each year – to give them more services than we receive.
The solution to this is complicated, but my vision is a great metropolitan library at the Great Park, where we already have the land. I am identifying the funds to build it, funds that will not include new taxes on our residents or cutting our important services. This is difficult, but doable.
Mayor’s Forum on Business
Irvine promotes itself as being a great place to locate a business. Centrally located in the County, we are a beautiful and safe city. We pride ourselves on our low business license fee. But does our business community agree that we are “business-friendly”? With the help of our Chamber of Commerce and others, I am creating a forum for business people to be heard, so the City can identify areas where we can improve.
Click here to watch the 2013 State of the City Address.
Click here to download a copy of the Mayor’s State of the City Address.