The Democrats of Greater Irvine held their second meeting this past Sunday. Last month, with the help of DPOC chair Henry Vandermeir, the club got a makeover, bringing in new leadership, and reaching out to new Democrats throughout Irvine. Club chair PK Wong, along with Vice Chair Matt Stone, greeted a group of about 55 eager Democrats to take the next steps in growing the club.
The meeting started off with the announcement of new committee chairs that the club hoped would keep its members involved and help the club make a bigger impact on the Irvine community. They announced chairs for committees on issues and legislation, membership, finance and fundraising, communications, voter registration which will be led by Irvine City Council candidate Melissa Fox, and a youth chair.
The crowd was then treated to a great presentation by DPOC chair Henry Vandermeir on the voter registration statistics for various districts in Orange County. He highlighted the voter registration trend in Orange County over the last 7 years in which Republicans have been losing about 1% in registration per year, mostly to the NPP (no political preference) group.
Vandermeir then focused on the districts that included the city of Irvine, most notably the 65th CD that will soon be vacated by Congressman John Campbell. While the group of Democrats expressed their joy with the 65th CD seat becoming an open seat, they were soon brought back to reality when Vandermeir showed the statistics of the district. Democrats are outnumbered severely in the district with about 44% of the district being Republican compared to 28% who are registered Democrats. There is about 22% who are NPP (No Party Preference), but that is still a huge voter registration gap in the 65th that favors the Republicans. Nevertheless, the group believes a Democrat can still win the seat if they find the right candidate and run the right campaign.
Vandermeir was followed by Councilman Larry Agran, who, after thanking the enthusiastic crowd for showing their support of the new club, gave a presentation on the proposed plan for the 5th and newest high school to be built in Irvine. The Irvine School Board approved a plan for a new high school to be built near the Great Park, just off Irvine Boulevard. The proposed site would land this new state of the art school a little less than a mile away from the James Musick jail, otherwise known as “the farm.” This jail is set to become a holding place for much harder criminals and is going to change from having about 1,000 inmates to around 7,500. Seems like this wouldn’t be the best place to put a new 262 million dollar high school. Agran wants the high school to be built closer to Sand Canyon and Trabuco Road, near O Street, right next to the Great Park. This is a major issue that the city of Irvine will be discussing but Councilman Agran simply wanted to bring up the topic for discussion with the club.
The Democrats of Greater Irvine will continue to meet on the 4th Sunday of each month. Their new website is www.irvinedemocrats.org
For more information on what is going on in the city of Irvine from City Council members Larry Agran and Beth Krom, visit www.irvinematters.com.