My Busy — and Rewarding — Weekend!

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The weekend of February 25-26 began early on Saturday morning, meeting up with Orange County Fire Authority Chief Greg McKeown and dozens of volunteers from OC Fire, OC Fire Explorers, the Irvine Police Department, Irvine Police Explorers, CERT, and the Red Cross to inspect and install smoke detectors for residents at The Groves, a resident-owned senior community in the Irvine. A total of 738 smoke alarms were installed in 349 homes free of charge by 87 volunteers!

Then I headed out to Harvard Community Athletic Park for the Opening Ceremony and a pancake breakfast fundraiser for Irvine PONY Baseball, which included a beautiful salute to the American flag led by Irvine Boy Scout Troop 645.

Next on my Saturday agenda was a visit to Mike Ward Community Park in Woodbridge to participate in the “OC Charity Dog Walk – Who Walks Who?,” sponsored by Irvine Rotary and the Rotaract UC Irvine. The event included dog photo booths, veterinarians, dog toys, an auction and dog contests — all to raise money for great causes. $6,500 was raised for local charities!

Councilmember Melissa Fox joins with Gold Star Mothers and other City Councilmembers at Northwood Gratitutde and Honor Memorial Expansion Ceremony

Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox joins with Gold Star Mothers and other City Councilmembers at Northwood Gratitutde and Honor Memorial Expansion Ceremony.

Then I stopped at the Islamic Center of Irvine to drop off a donation of lightly used shoes for Soles4Souls, a charity that aims to disrupt the cycle of poverty, create sustainable jobs, and provide relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.

On Sunday, I joined with Mayor Wagner, Mayor Pro Tem Lynn Schott and Councilmember Christina Shea, as well as Gold Star parents and other City officials, to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the expansion of the Irvine Nothwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial.
Located in Northwood Community Park, the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial is the nation’s first memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last year, the Irvine Community Services Commission, of which I was then a member, recommended that the City add two new pillars to the site, extend the area of the plaza, install two new benches, and add a pedestal with the history of the Memorial. The City Council then unanimously approved the Commission’s recommendations.

“As a resident of Irvine and the daughter of a Korean War combat veteran, I am proud that Irvine continues to honor and express our gratitude to America’s fallen heroes,” I said. You can watch and hear all of my remarks here.

My favorite part of being an Irvine City Councilmember is representing our great City at community events.

Sometimes it is serious and solemn, like the Northwood Memorial expansion ceremony.

Sometimes it is just great fun and completely delightful, like the OC Charity Dog Walk and the PONY Base Opening Day ceremony.

But it is always rewarding, and it’s always an honor and a privilege to represent the City of Irvine and to meet with our residents and participate in the great things they’re doing.

Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving

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As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude to this great nation and to those whose sacrifices have ensured our freedoms, including the right to vote and choose our representatives.  I also want to express my gratitude to those who joined me in my campaign for Irvine City Council.  I am blessed to have you as my friends and to have worked with you for a better future for our City.  I know that you will join me in congratulating the victors and in wishing the very best for our Mayor and City Council in their new terms of office.

This was an extremely close and hard-fought election and many harsh things were said by both sides.  For my part, I promise to put aside the caustic rhetoric of the past and to work together with all persons of good will for a better Irvine.

In particular, I will work to help our Mayor and City Council achieve their own campaign promises: to defend our master plan and preserve the character of our communities, including preservation of the Woodbridge Village Center; to take effective steps to alleviate traffic congestion and school over-crowding;  to ensure that future growth is supported by careful planning and adequate infrastructure; to build a Veterans Cemetery and Memorial in the Great Park; to make sure that the promise of the Great Park is fulfilled for all of the residents of Irvine and Orange County; to preserve Irvine’s public safety record by providing our Police Department with the best personnel, training, and equipment; to support the continued success of the Irvine Barclay Theatre; and to embrace and celebrate our growing cultural diversity.

Thank You, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Melissa