Choi makes unsubstantiated claim about creating jobs in Irvine

Irvine City Council member Steven Choi with a banner on his back showing Speaker Pelosi as Stalin (credit

Irvine City Council member Steven Choi with a banner on his back showing Speaker Pelosi as Stalin (credit

Do you think a Mayor of a mid-size city (populations of more than 150,000 to 450,000) can affect policies that led to private sector job growth?  Unless it’s a city contract, it’s doubtful.  But Irvine Mayor Steven Choi is claiming that among his accomplishments as mayor is decreasing Irvine’s low unemployment rate from 5.6 percent to 4.4 percent in 18 months.  There’s no actual numbers other than the percentages and there’s a small problem with this claim.  It’s a complete lie.

We contact the city of Irvine and asked them to provide any documentation of specific policies, changes, notes, city council directives, laws that can back up Mayor Choi’s claim to cutting unemployment.  The city was unable to provide a single example because the request was too broad.  We blame the broad claim; there are no specifics to demonstrate the number of jobs created, defined policies of how those jobs were creates, and Choi’s role in creating them.  It’s a fabrication.


But if Choi is going to take credit for cutting unemployment and has a vision of making Irvine a “Tech Valley,” does this mean we can view the pending department of security company HID to Texas from Irvine, the 240 Broadcom layoffs in Irvine and up to 1,500 RIFs at Allergan as something the mayor is also responsible for?  If you’re going to take credit for something you didn’t do, you ought to accept blame for something you had nothing to do with.

So we’ll put it up to Mayor Choi.  Be specific.  What policies have you led on and enacted that have resulted in lowering Irvine’s unemployment statistics.  Maybe the Irvine Chamber can offer some ideas or the OC Business Council.  I’d love to know how many actual jobs the mayor helped create?  Let’s leave percentages out of it.  Its pretty easy for us to track policies enacted by Governor Jerry Brown or President Obama and how they lead to job growth, but this claim is just another unsubstantiated lie that mayor should be chastised for making.

  10 comments for “Choi makes unsubstantiated claim about creating jobs in Irvine

  1. Ltpar
    August 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Dan, I of course do not presume to speak for the Mayor, but when I hear him talking about jobs being created in Irvine, I do not take it to mean that he personally created them. If you cut through all your bullshit, what really needs to be said is that the new Council majority moved from an anti-business philosophy by the City, to one which currently encourages and empowers business. This is what is causing new bsuiness to lok at Irvine as a place to grow.

    You refer to 240 job cuts, but fail to mention the many jobs that will come to irvine when the new Broadcom Campus is built at the Great Park, With those jobs comes sales tax revenue and prospective purchasers of homes at the Great Park and other locations in Irvine. Looks like a winner to me.

    In reference to your comment about businesses leaving California for Texas, need I point out the primary reason for that is the high taxes, government regulations and micromanaging of business by your Democrat Governor and State Legislature.

    In the end, Steven Choi, Christina Shea and Jeff Lalloway should all share credit for doing what they said they were going to do; turn Irvine around with a balanced budget and get construction of the Great Park going. Dan, I know it is hard for you to swallow but get used to it, the Agranistas are a thing of the past and H2O under the bridge.

    • August 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Pat, language, but there is no new policy that’s different with this council majorities from previous ones regarding supporting businesses. Irvine has 3.5 jobs per household and has had that for years. Irvine’s budget has been the envy of other cities for years. Taxes are lower as a percentage of income than they have been in years Pat.

    August 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Yeah, the right will use Texas but Houston Texas and Dallas Texas have higher poverty rates than Anaheim before adjusting for cost of living,, so Texas is not getting all professional jobs. Dallas Texas poverty rate 23 percent, Anaheim California 18 percent. Houston Texas 22 percent. In fact many liberals in Texas will tell you that most of the job growth was in jobs under 15 per hr. Granted, living cost are cheaper In fact Texas before cost of living has an 18 percent poverty rate versus 13 percent for Colorado where cost of living is not that much higher.

    August 3, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Many of those waiting are the Dallas area’s working poor, people who have paid their rent, their car payments and their utility bills, but don’t have enough left over to buy food.
    “Food lines here — that’s not an image people in Dallas have,” said Jan Pruitt, president and CEO of North Texas Food Bank. “But we have them, literally. Every Friday we see 200 cars line up to put that food in their trunks. … People are making choices every day to buy food, buy medicine or pay their utilities.”
    Poverty in Dallas has persisted in the face of enormous growth, right in the heart of a metropolitan area that has been among the nation’s most prosperous and fastest growing. Dallas residents are more likely to be impoverished than in any of America’s 20 biggest cities, except in Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia.
    There are lots of jobs in Texas cities. Among the nation’s top 49 metropolitan areas, Austin’s unemployment is second-lowest. And Houston, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth are all tied for eighth. Unemployment in the city of Dallas is 6.1 percent.
    Texas may grow jobs like California grows oranges, but for many in its biggest cities, work alone isn’t lifting people out of poverty.
    “The issue is not just unemployment,” said Celia Cole, president of the Texas Food Bank Association, an Austin-based umbrella organization for food banks across the state. “It’s underemployment. Texas has lots of jobs, but too many with no benefits or low wages.”

    August 3, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Still, there are others who argue that federal poverty statistics make things look worse in Dallas than they really are.
    Labor economist Pia M. Orrenius, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said even many cities with lower poverty rates than Dallas have much higher costs of living, making it harder in those places to make ends meet.
    She also said Texas cities have higher concentrations of Hispanics, who almost always have higher rates of poverty, she said. That’s because Hispanic residents are often younger, have more recently arrived from other countries and have not yet reached their earning potential, she said.
    Newly arrived immigrants, she said, face language barriers at school and, when out of school, often lack credentials necessary to land good jobs. She said many of those same residents work themselves out of poverty.
    Dallas has more immigrants than most large U.S. cities, and in 2012, 41 percent of the city’s residents were Hispanic. Chicago and Charlotte, which is about three-quarters the size of Dallas, had 29 percent and 13.5 percent Hispanic populations in 2012.

  5. Ltpar
    August 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Cynthia, your comments obviously reflect those of a upper middle class liberal, who only sees the problem and not the reasons for it. The question is, why do we have so many poor people standing around waiting for their next welfare or unemployment check and food stamps to put bread on the table. It is for many years that big government (Democrats and Republicans) have discouraged the independent philosophy American’s used to have about standing on their own two feet and providing for themselves and their family. In place, we have seen more government intervention, cradle to grave entitlements and people turned into a “Poor Class” with no desire to work or produce anything. Add to that, government regulations and micromanaging many former blue collar jobs such as manafacturing and the jobs were moved overseas to a more receptive labor market. Finally, putting the icing on the cake are millions of uneducated, unskilled illegal aliens invading the country, perhaps finding low paying jobs, but more likely to end up as a drain on the entitlement system.

    So what is the answer to solving the problem? That is the Trillion dollar question? Perhaps we could start with enforcing Immigration Law already on the books, sealing the border and deporting those here illegaly. Immigration Law should be rewritten from top to bottom to speed up the process, punish employers who hire illegals and reward those aliens who follow the system. Congress could get off it’s butt and throw out the curent Welfare System and rewrite it from top to bottom. The give aways need to stop and mandatory work should be included for all those capable of doing so. Education and re-education should be part of the process to assure people develop job skills needed to compete in the 21st Century marketplace.

    Bottom line is there are many fingers of blame in this pie but the biggest is from each of us as an individual. We have sat back over the last 50 years and allowed our government to become corrupt, inefficient and out of control. “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.”

      August 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      I’m not a liberal I’m tired of right wing double standards as for illegal immigration. Harris County/Houston Texas has more than Orange County it is probably the third largest illegal immigration in the US after La and New York City. Texas has between 1.65 to 1.9 workers without papers, only second to California. It has a Million more than Blue Liberal New York and about a million more than Purple Florida . In fact under Rick Perry’s governorship about 300,000 to 500,000 more illegal immigrants to do constriction work and restaurant work. If conservatives really cared about illegal immigration they would criticized Texas that relies on this type of labor but they don’t they are far more interest not in illegal immigration but if a state has an income tax or more. The State with the least illegal immigrants is liberal Vermont.

  6. Sherree
    August 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    What about corporate welfare? Is that why big business offshores it’s money through inversion? Is that how businesses, like Walgreens, stands on its “own two feet” by taking advantage of government subsidies on the taxpayer dime and not paying its share of taxes? Both parties–but especially the Republican party–are in bed with big business. They care nothing for the American citizens they purport to represent.

    August 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Well, Texas sure has a lot of illegal immigrants, go to the Houston Metro area you just listen to Chuck Devore. Texas is number 2 in illegal immigration while both Florida and New York are about a million less. Liberal Vermont almost doesn’t have any illegal immirgants.

  8. August 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Pat — the city cannot document any policy that backs Choi’s claim. They cannot verify the numbers and attribute it to Choi. Face it…the Mayor lied…again.

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