Dear Fellow Orange County Residents,
I have announced my candidacy for the State Assembly for the 68th District. Assemblyman Don Wagner, who has served us well in Sacramento, is retiring due to term limits.
If I am elected to serve in the California legislature, my commitment to you is straightforward:
- I will fight against the stream of continuous tax increases
constantly put forward by liberal politicians.
- I will work to repeal the layers of job-killing, anti-business
regulations and bad laws that have made it so difficult for our
economy to thrive the way that it should.
- Tax cuts so that more money stays in family budgets rather
than in the state budget.
- Regulatory and legislative reform to foster business
development and growth, and job creation.
- The repeal many of the laws that have taken away local control
and moved power to the politicians in Sacramento – especially in
the area of education.
These are just some of the important areas on which I would focus as your representative. As my campaign goes on, I will be talking about more of the important issues facing our state. I know trying to bring common sense to the State Capitol will be a daunting task, but together I know we can do it!
That said, I ask you not to judge me based on what I say I will do – but rather by looking at my record, at some of what I have already done in public service, both as an elected school board trustee and on the City Council in Irvine, where I am honored to have been twice elected as a City Councilman and where I am currently in my second term as our city's directly-elected Mayor. Just since my election as Mayor in November of 2012, here are some of the accomplishments I have achieved working with my colleagues:
- Downsized the Orange County Great Park Board from 9 members to 5 members for efficiency and time and cost savings.
- Successfully completed negotiations for public benefits at the Great Park with a private partner within six months after five years of delays.
- Led the City Council to approve the Great Park public benefits package in five months.
- As a result, almost 60% of the Great Park (688 acres) will be developed within five years (not in 50 years, as some had anticipated).
- Initiated and completed a forensic financial audit of the OC Great Park's expenditures to investigate the wasteful and suspicious spending of over $251,000,000.
- Successfully negotiated with the Orange County Fire Authority to refund tax overpayments to the City in the amount of nearly $200,000,000, although the City must
defend against the recent legal challenge of this deal by the County of Orange.
- Developed a plan to pay off the City's unfunded public pension liability of $100,000,000 (created by policies enacted by previous councils) in ten years without incurring any additional costs to taxpayers. This plan has resulted in savings of $22,000,000 in interest payments alone. Irvine was the first in advancing such a solution to the unfunded public pension liability in the state.
- 24/7 Wall Street named the City of Irvine as the Best-Run City in America in 2014.
- The City of Irvine has maintained its status as the Safest City in America (among large cities with population over 100,000) each year since I have been on the City Council.
- Irvine City Hall is now open for public service every Friday, not just on alternate Fridays, for the first time in 19 years.
- Irvine City Council meetings now begin with a clergy's invocation for the first time in 19 years.
- Stopped the practice of giving away the City's year-end surpluses as employee bonuses.
- Formed the Mayor's Business Advisory Council with key Irvine business leaders for ideas on how to further develop and attract businesses and create jobs.
- Instituted the ongoing Mayor's Educational Forum to address children's issues that would be of public interest.
- Advanced the Irvine Tech Valley Initiative to attract and help Startup companies in the IT and Bio/medical fields, the InnoVine movement.
- Seen the Irvine unemployment rate drop from 5.6% to 3.1% in two years.
Please allow me to serve you by voting for me on the Primary Election Day on June 7, 2016. Together, let's make California a better place to live in.
It is my privilege and honor to serve the people of Irvine, and it would be to serve all of the people of the 68th Assembly District.
God bless you.
Mayor Steven Choi
Candidate for 68th Assembly District