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Author: Franklin J. Lunding

Irvine Through the Decades: Our City Makes Global News in the 1980s

The 1980s was when our City leaders began to brand Irvine as one of America’s great “international crossroads” cities, welcoming immigrants from throughout the world. Policies were put into place during the late 1980s to make sure that Irvine would become one of the most diverse and thoroughly integrated cities in the United States.

As Mayor of Irvine in 1988, Larry Agran — a Harvard Law School-trained civil rights attorney — wrote and won approval of Irvine’s comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance. The ordinance was years ahead of other cities and the first of its kind in Orange County.

In the late 1980s, City leaders successfully rallied Irvine voters to pass a ballot initiative that set aside 10,000 acres of beautiful wilderness for families to enjoy forever … and Irvine made international news when it became the first city on the planet to ban CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals.

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Five-Part Series: Irvine Through the Decades — The Beginning of Our Planned Community in the 1970s

On December 28th, Irvine will commemorate its 50th anniversary! To mark the occasion, I sat down with two of our City’s longtime leaders — Mary Ann Gaido, former Councilmember and current Planning Commissioner and Larry Agran, former Mayor and current Councilmember to discuss highlights from the past five decades.

Both Gaido and Agran were integral in crafting and implementing policies that have made Irvine one of the greenest cities in the nation.

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From the Publisher: We Can’t Allow Developer FivePoint to Derail Plans for Our Veterans Cemetery … Again!

If Mayor Khan had simply followed the law that she and two of her Council colleagues — Anthony Kuo and Mike Carroll — adopted in May 2020, designating the Great Park ARDA site as the legal location for the community-supported and voter-approved Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery, construction would be underway right now.

Instead, here we are in the midst of the latest scheme hatched by billion-dollar-developer FivePoint and embraced by Khan, Kuo and Carroll to abandon plans for the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the Great Park in Irvine.

The latest scheme is particularly cruel to the families of veterans; it pushes the Veterans Cemetery completely out of Irvine and shoves it alongside the busy, polluted 91 freeway (Gypsum Canyon), just a few miles from the Riverside County line, and more than 20 miles from Irvine.

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Editorial: The Undemocratic “Rule of Two” is Being Used to Silence Thousands of Irvine Residents

Through my previous work on the Irvine Planning Commission and Irvine Transportation Commission, I saw firsthand how, with the right leadership, our City can do big things — preserve thousands of acres of open space, ban harmful chemicals in our air, establish thousands of attractive affordable housing units, and build a beautiful Community Parks system.

None of those “big things” happened without plenty of input from the entire Irvine community. Back then, City leaders encouraged Irvine citizens to become actively involved in the legislative process and to participate in public discussions on critical issues.

But, that is no longer the case! As I watch City Council meeting this year, it has become clear that our new Mayor and her Council majority have no interest in hearing from residents, particularly when it comes to a number of critical issues directly impacting thousands of Irvine citizens.

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