The Irvine City Council election in Southern California is gaining national attention for reasons unrelated to the candidates’ plans for the city. Among the 12 City Council candidates for two available seats, David Chey has been placed under the media spotlight.
On Oct. 28, the Los Angeles Times published an article resurfacing old news about the candidate a week and a half before the election. The article rehashes a 2016 article saying that Chey enables his elderly mother to panhandle in Irvine and Laguna Beach by picking her up and dropping her off.
Since the recent article was published, CBS, FOX, and other major media have covered the incidents. With only one week remaining before the election, the coverage has Irvine residents questioning if this is the issue voters should be focusing on.
Shift in Focus
Karen Jaffe, an writer for the resident-run, volunteer organization, Irvine Watchdog, said that there are larger issues in this election. She said she doesn’t understand why Chey has become such a big issue in the election.
“I don’t think it’s something that really needs to be … a part of the election. That’s not a big deal to most Irvine voters.”
The issues that Jaffe thinks are a big deal for locals include the overdevelopment in Irvine without the accommodating infrastructure, which has led to terrible traffic problems and increased homelessness.
Irvine is in Orange County, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles. It has population of 267,000.
Other issues that need addressing according to Jaffe, include the city’s decision to block Irvine residents from attending Land Trust Board meetings, which she says is a complete violation of the law.
The issues Jaffe sites have not been mentioned most media stories covering the resurfaced incident. The Epoch Times reviewed six such articles, of which just one addressed issues other than Chey’s personal life and there was scant mention of Chey’s actual platform.
In order to solve the traffic problem in Irvine, Chey said that his plan is to implement a voter approval of development. Residential units over 10,000 square feet would require approval of citizens of Irvine, he said during a live broadcast of the City Council Candidate Forum.
In terms of Irvine’s future, Chey said he “would like to focus upon not only just on economic growth, but the quality and the kind that empowers individuals.”
On Nov. 6, the decision will be made for both the future mayor and council members. For more information about the Irvine council and mayor candidates, visit Irvine Watchdog’s website.