Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

After talking with thousands of voters, we have summarized the following frequently asked questions (FAQ) and our answers.

1.      What is your vision for Irvine?
Response: Irvine is a good city; however, there is definitely room for improvement.
I am running for the mayor of Irvine to make Irvine better.  I would be honored to have your vote. In one sentence, my campaign platform is one vision with three focuses.  My vision for Irvine is for Irvine to really become a first-class city while still maintaining its unique features, such as being the safest city in the nation and having many parks and green spaces, nice architecture, a family ranch feeling, etc. My focuses are managed growth, traffic, and education.

Under this vision, I have three focuses:
a.       Managed Growth: Many voters think our development for the past 10 years was too fast.  To solve the problem, the magic phrase here is "managed growth." To stop the growth completely is too far left and is not going to work. What we really need is to manage our growth, plan our city properly, and develop in a controlled and organized manner per our updated master plan.
b.      Traffic: The city has also outgrown its infrastructure's capacities. This is one main reason for the traffic congestion we have experienced over the past decade. The Irvine city government realizes this problem, as have previous governments; as a result, they have been trying to develop a solution, such as the widening of the roads and synchronizing traffic signals. However, their solutions are passive, piece-meal, and limited to only making physical improvements. It is a good start but can be improved. As your mayor, I'll lead the effort by adopting a comprehensive and holistic approach to alleviating the traffic problems. The magic phrase here is "source reduction." We need to reduce traffic from its source. How to do it? 
1)      Spread the traffic more evenly: We can adjust the city's Master Plan to distribute the traffic generating businesses more reasonably and reduce the sources of the traffic congestion;
2)      Staggering of working hours city-wide: We can also educate and give incentive to Irvine businesses to provide the option of flexible working hours for their employees. If you drive on Culver at 8am or 5pm, you'll see bumper-to-bumper traffic, but if you get on Culver at 10 am, you'll have a free drive and maybe see 20 cars in total. If most Irvine businesses simply revise their employee manuals and give the employees the flexibility to work from 8am to 5pm, or from 7am to 4pm, or from 9am to 6pm, we may be able to cut the traffic in half for rush hours.

Measures like these will greatly alleviate the traffic congestion and improve the quality of life for Irvine residents.
c.       Education: Most people bought a home in Irvine because of its good schools. However, the class sizes for Irvine schools are too large. For example, a class often has 33 students for 4th to 6th grades. With a larger class, it is hard for the teachers to pay adequate attention to each student. The main reason for larger class sizes is because of the limited state funding for education. As your mayor, I will work with your school board representatives to start the process of class size reduction, work to increase the number of APAAS classes to meet Irvine residents' demands, and improve the libraries. I will work with other mayors as we go to Sacramento to request more funding for our schools and also work with private firms, residents and IPSF to start to raise money toward this goal. I will also have the city staff evaluate the Irvine city ordinance to require all new schools to be planned and designed to have the capacity to reduce class sizes, instead of continuing to add portables whenever we need to add a classroom.

2.      Why should we vote for you?
Response: I am an outsider and not a career politician, but that is what Irvine needs right now.
Do you know why Irvine was successful in the past? It was because my fellow architect, William Pereira, proposed the idea of incorporating Irvine as a new city, created the master plan for Irvine, and introduced his vision of a city and university (UCI) growing together.  This plan has been successful for a long time. However, after 50 years, the current population of Irvine has grown to about 250,000. We have to re-evaluate and revamp the City of Irvine's master plan to meet the needs of the current and projected population. As an architect with extensive training in urban and regional planning, master planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, I am a perfect fit to lead this effort.

3.      Why do you use "Join Our Gang for a Better Irvine!" as your campaign slogan?

Response: We use "Join our Gang for a better Irvine" as our campaign slogan for the following reasons:
  • a.       Our mayoral candidate's first name is Gang, so our campaign slogan is: "Join our Gang for a better Irvine."  This will help voters remember his name.
  • b.      "Our Gang" is a very successful movie series that is loved by older Americans. Most older voters can relate to it and LOVE it.
  • c.       Gang also means a group of people.
  • d.      Our Gang also means that our candidate, Gang Chen, is one of us, and he is OUR Gang. He knows what we are going through, and he can represent us well.
  • e.       Our slogan, "Join our Gang for a better Irvine," has been tested with many voters, and they love it. Most of the voters will smile and say: "Very smart" when we knock on their doors and say:
  • "I am helping Gang Chen to run for the Mayor of Irvine, please vote for him on November 8th. His first name is Gang, so our campaign slogan is ‘Join our Gang for a better Irvine.’  This will help you remember his name."

4.      What is your position on the veterans' cemetery in Irvine?
Response: I support the veterans and their wish to have a great cemetery. They fight and die for us, and they absolutely deserve it. Once the cemetery is built, it will be there for thousands of years, and we want to make sure it is done right. Currently, there are two sites available; one needs to be selected. I support the landswap presented by Bill Cook, the leader for the veterans, at the 4/12/16 Irvine City Council meeting. I was there in the meeting and spoke in public to support Bill Cook and the veterans because the new site they propose is MUCH better than the old site in every way. The new location is much better than the old location for all stakeholders; veterans do not have to spend a lot of money to do the clean-up, and  the new location is close to the intersection of the 5 and 405 freeway. It can be a very visible landmark for Irvine and remind all of us the great contribution of the veterans.

It is away from the new Portola High School and homes, and Irvine residents love the new location.

The cemetery is like a great puzzle; you cannot bring out a knife and cut all the puzzle pieces square and put them together. It takes some extra time and effort to really solve the puzzle, and now all the pieces have finally come together. We have finally solved the puzzle and worked out a win-win solution for all parties involved. Supporting this win-win solution is the right thing to do.

5.      Are you going to represent ALL people in Irvine?
Response: Yes, I will. The key to being a good mayor is to truly represent ALL your constituents and treat them all fairly. Representing and serving Irvine people is a difficult balancing act; you may not be able to make everyone happy, but you HAVE to listen to everyone and be FAIR to everyone.

As the mayor of Irvine, I'll make sure every one of the Irvine people will have NO fear to speak of their concerns. This is the essence of our democracy.

6.       What is the progress on the Great Park Project?
Response: The Great Park is actually a NOT so great of a park because of the mishandled funds.  It was a big disaster and a failure. The 251 million dollars for the Great Park was mishandled by some previous city councils and former mayor, Larry Agran. You can see all the details of the Great Park disaster at the OC Grand Jury's report at this link (pay special attention to the findings on pages 24 to 26 of the pdf):
Mayor Choi had to make a difficult trade-off with the developer, Five Point, and give the developer some incentive to help the city complete the project. The Great Park Project is being built by Five Point now.

7.      What are the differences between Mary Ann Gaido and you?
Several items:
Mary Ann Gaido is too far left and not right for Irvine. My platform is a middle-of-the-road approach and is what Irvine needs right now. For example, many voters think the development of Irvine for the past 10 years is too fast and too rapid. Mary Ann Gaido's solution is to completely STOP all development. Her solution will NOT work and is bad for Irvine. My solution is to manage our growth, through proper urban planning and control of our development. My solution is a middle-of-the-road approach, and it will work.

Irvine voters voted Larry Agran out of office in 2014. Mary Ann Gaido has been very close to Larry Agran for over 40 years.  She is a part of Larry Agran’s team. Mary Ann Gaido is a part of the problem and not a solution for Irvine. For example, the Great Park became one of the biggest scandals under former Mayor Larry Agran and some other city council members: 251 million dollars was mishandled, less than half of the money was actually spent on the design and construction of the Great Park, 43 million dollars were un-accounted for, and many contracts were handed out without bidding. You can see all the details of the Great Park disaster at the OC Grand Jury's report at this link (pay special attention to the findings on pages 24 to 26 of the pdf):

On the veteran's cemetery issue, she limits the veterans' choice to the original proposed location. This is more for her own political gain than for veterans. Why? Because the original location will probably NOT work; it requires millions of dollars in cleaning costs and demo costs. Where is the money? I support the veterans, and I want to make sure the veterans have  two choices.  In fact, most veterans like the new alternate site. I support the new alternate cemetery site and support the landswap proposed by the veterans. The new site will work.
Paid for by Gang Chen for Mayor 2016 ( 1379051

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