Mayor Steven Choi and Council member Lynn Schott are hosting a “town hall” meeting on Monday June 6 at Cypress Community Park in Irvine with a goal of relocating the Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial out of the Great Park. Apparently, another location has been found and it’s undisclosed.
The premise behind moving the cemetery starts with “a majority of Irvine residents oppose a Veteran’s Cemetery at the Great Park.” Does anyone recall a vote, a phone survey or anything that proves this claim?
Former Assembly Rep. Sharon Quirk-Silva, who championed the Veteran’s Cemetery though the State Legislature, offered these comments:
“So disappointing, we ask our men and women to fight and defend our country, yet in our great county of Orange, we have some who do not want a final resting place for our #Veterans Many communities have a cemetery near a school. Fullerton does. Integrity means something- #AB1453 the legislation that supports building a veterans cemetery has been passed and signed. My hope is that the city of Irvine keeps their word to build a veterans cemetery at the Great Park. Please call Irvine Council Members to voice your support.”
There’s an organization that’s been quietly lobbying City Government since February. The Orange County Residents Alliance is promoting the Town Hall meeting:
Town Hall Meeting With Mayor Choi and Council Woman Lynn Schott
To communicate about the proposed Veterans Cemetery in OC Great Park
Monday, June 8th, 2015, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Cypress Community Park
255 Visions, Irvine, CA 92620
We ask you to join the discussion of relocating the Veteran’s Cemetery to another location. Don’t miss the great opportunity to express your concerns to city leaders.
- Majority of Irvine Resident oppose a Cemetery in OC Great Park
- There is an alternative site identified in Orange County for a Veteran Cemetery
- Any Cemetery in the Great Park will certainly affect residents’ life in certain ways.
- Your living environment suffered
- Your kids attending a school near the cemetery
- Your home will be less attractive on the market Hosted by Orange County Residents Alliance (OCRA) & City of Irvine To contact us, e-mail: email@example.com For latest update, see:blogspot.com
We are writing you to express our opposition of the State Veterans Cemetery in Orange County Great Park. We strongly urge you to reconsider the selection referenced inAB1453. Other more suitable locations in OC shall be considered.
With all due respect to OC Veterans, we do support an OC veteran cemetery to be built at a suitable site. Veterans fight for this country and our freedom and they certainly deserve a cemetery in OC. We hope the OC veterans’ cemetery can demonstrate a good example of the respect of human rights and cultural tolerance on which this country is built and prospers, and for which veterans have been fighting.
However, we are questioning the compatibility, feasibility, and its underlying politic motivations to choose this cemetery site. It is insensitive for municipals to overlook the likely negative impacts of the site on its nearby residents. These likely impacts will be profound and lasting to Irvine economic future, Irvine residents’ psychological comfort, and Irvine community’s multicultural health. The cultural impact cannot be underestimated. It can spread into many other areas such as local economic and community development.
When this Bill was passed in July, 2014, public notification was certainly lacking if there was any. As a result, most residents in the area did not know anything about it. We are really questioning whether the process was truthfully and honestly conducted with considerations to reach out to the affected residents.
We are willing to help the veterans to find a better location to create a win-win situation.
The flyer promoting the event talks about declining home values and much of the site is in Chinese. We covered that plans for a Cemetery at the Great Park existing for months prior to the work of former Council member Larry Agran and Quirk-Silva. And we’ve pretty much established there isn’t an alternative site in OC that will work.
Here’s another sampling from the anti-Cemetery website:
Call to Action
Petition to amend CA bill AB1453 to relocate the State Veterans Cemetery from the OC Great Park
It you want to join us, here is what you can do to help (Follow steps A, B, and C, the map showing the current proposed location of the cemetery is at the bottom of this page. We think the proposed location is WRONG):
- Please call, fax and e-mail the following government offices. In the order of effectiveness: phone call, fax and e-mail
Here is what you can say when you call: “Please issue an executive order to amend bill AB1453 to relocate the State Veterans Cemetery from the OC Great Park because it is at a wrong location, too close to homes, a high school, and the urban center, and at a highly populated area.” They may ask you for your name, address and phone number, just give it to them. They just want to verify you are a real person, and not a telemarketer.
Note: When calling people other than the California Governor, change the first sentence to “Please amend bill AB1453 to relocate…” This is because only the governor has the power to issue an executive order. Of course, you can make other modifications and use your own language.
Dear Governor Brown,
I am a resident in the City of Irvine, California. I am writing to you to petition for the relocation of the State Veterans Cemetery from the OC Great Park. Please issue an executive order or an amendment to billAB1453for this relocation.
With all due respects to veterans, we do support any and all necessary and suitable veteran cemetery sites. However, we question the compatibility, feasibility, and its underlying politic motivations on such oddly located cemetery site that is in the center of a highly populated city, neighboring to residential area, and adjacent to a future high school.
Irvine is a highly populated and diverse city with about 40% of the population as Asians, and this cemetery site is located very close to the urban center. Most of the residents lived next to the cemetery are Asians. In Asian culture, the location of the cemetery is very important. It is a taboo to place cemetery next to homes or close to urban area. Even the emperor’s tomb is built far away from urban areas.
Veterans fight for us, die for us, we absolutely respect them, but I am pretty sure they fight so that we can have freedom to voice our opinions, so that we can live happily on this land of free, and the home of the brave. I am sure once they really understand Asian cultures and know it is a taboo to put cemetery to homes or close to urban areas, they will work with us to find a better location for everyone.
There was little or no notices regarding this proposed cemetery in Asian languages from all levels of government agencies. As a result, most of the Asians residents (including me) did not know about this cemetery until October, 2014. We feel shocked about the proposed cemetery and blindsided. We feel our culture and views have not been respected and our voices have not been heard.
Dear Governor Brown,
I urge you to do the right thing, and:
- Immediately stop any funding for the design and construction of this cemetery until a comprehensive communications with Asian communities, and an acceptable agreement by all parties has been reached
- Set up a search committee to search for a suitable alternative site for the State Veterans Cemetery in the Orange County. We love to help you in this search too since we do want our veterans to have a good cemetery site.
- Issue an executive order or an amendment to bill AB1453 for this relocation.
Veterans Cemetery from the OC Great Park is at a wrong location, and is right Next to Residential Area and a Future High School!!! Please help us to relocate the cemetery to a suitable location!
What’s clear is if Choi and Schott go for this and work towards revoking the location of the Veteran’s Cemetery, steps ought to be taken to recall both from office.
It will be interesting to see how many of OC’s elected Republicans step up to the plate and support a relocation.