Chair of the “Build the Veterans Cemetery” committee, Ed Pope

Irvine Community News & Views (ICNV) recently sat down with Chair of the Build the Great Park Veterans Cemetery committee, Ed Pope.  The committee is currently working to gather the 15,000 signatures required for their initiative to qualify for the ballot.

If the signature-gathering process is successful and Irvine voters approve the ballot initiative, construction for the State-built and State-operated Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the original (“ARDA”) site at the Great Park can begin in 2020!

ICNV asked Ed to give our readers an update on the progress of the campaign.  He began on a positive note, saying, “The support from the community has been tremendous!

Scores of volunteers — teachers, students, local business owners, veterans, and so many more — have eagerly joined this direct democracy campaign.”

Ed added, “Residents of all ages have been enthusiastic about signing the initiative petition.  That’s allowed us to gather about half of the 15,000 required signatures.”

Unfortunately, the news from Ed wasn’t all positive.  He explained, “The one obstacle throughout this effort has been raising the $100,000 required for a successful initiative campaign like ours.  I am not a professional fundraiser and asking for money doesn’t come naturally to me.  As a former high school teacher living on a modest pension, I don’t have the financial resources to fund this campaign myself and I don’t know anyone who can write a huge check.”

When asked how much the committee has raised so far, Ed said, “We had hoped to reach $50,000 by the end of 2019, but we came up a bit short.  That means we now face the daunting task of raising $52,000 in the next few weeks in order to be sure our volunteers have the resources they need to complete the signature-gathering phase.”

Ed continued, “I’m still recovering from the stroke I suffered last spring.  I am unable to be in shopping centers gathering signatures.  And most people who support our campaign simply don’t have the time to volunteer for hours on end.  But most of us can make some sort of financial contribution to our shared cause.  Whether that amount is $25, $250, or $1,000, I’m asking supporters to make a donation right now (click here), when we really need the help!

We ended our chat by asking Ed to provide a list of actions that supporters can take to ensure the initiative petition campaign is successful.

Here’s Ed’s list:

  1. Sign the initiative petition.  Those who haven’t yet signed can do so on Saturday & Sunday from 11am until 3pm at Heritage Park Library (14361 Yale Avenue) & University Park Library (4512 Sandburg Way).
  2. Encourage others to sign.  Click here to volunteer to gather signatures from your friends and neighbors.
  3. Make a donation.  Click here to donate to the campaign.
ICNV Staff