DPOC to bestow “Truth Award” on Mayor Farrah Khan, Irvine Democrats disagree.

Editors’ Note: We don’t hear much news out of Irvine in the local blogosphere lately, and we idly wonder why that might be. But we’ve just been made aware that the Democratic Party of Orange County is planning, at their annual awards ceremony October 23, to give their “Truth Award” to Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan. An interesting choice, even counterintuitive. Some local Irvine Democrats (DGI, Democrats of Greater Irvine) are none too happy about this either, and in general their complaints about not being listened to by the larger County Party remind us of how other local Democrats Clubs often feel. Anyway, we came into possession of this letter from an indignant DGI member:

Dear leaders of the DPOC,

My name is Luette Forrest and I am a retired scientist at UCI.  In addition, I have been a delegate from AD 74 in 2009-2010 for CADEM. I am still an active member of Democrats of Greater Irvine. I have spent many hours of my life working for the party and some monies of course. I attended a Truman dinner and met Adam Schiff.

It is with a VERY heavy heart that I write this letter.

It is unclear and troubling to many Irvine Democrats how the DPOC could give a “Truth award” to Farrah. It is my understanding that our local club had no input into this choice. It seems like this is very top down and tone deaf at best.  To enumerate…………

1.  There is the issue of the asphalt plant and the refusal to put the issue on the agenda in spite of campaign promises which are on video:
For months, the city council majority has resisted any discussion on the issue, saying while the air quality district’s response is failing, it’s not within the council’s jurisdiction to do anything more about the problem.

2.  There is backtracking on the Veteran’s cemetery, another untruth:
From this article:
Last year, council members approved a voter initiative championed by Councilman Larry Agran declaring the cemetery would be zoned at the hangar site. But a year later, many of the same council members who supported that vote are unwilling to commit to the site, saying they want to see the results of the state study before they commit.

3.  Here is yet more:
“Mayor Farrah Khan and Councilman Mike Carroll did not return requests for comment.”
“Mayor Farrah Khan, who proposed the extension along with Councilman Anthony Kuo, said the item had actually helped her get to know fellow council members better.”

4.  District elections are not moving forward. Irvine is the ONLY city with this population in our state to NOT have district elections:

5.  There is the matter of the Orange County Power Authority……
“Power authority board members Susan Sonne, Mike Posey, Mike Carroll and Farrah Khan did not return requests for comment.”

6. Great Park Neighborhood taxation
“Several months ago it looked like homeowners would get heard on the issues when three of the four council members elected last November pledged during the campaign to support an advisory committee of Great Park residents to weigh in on future projects.”

7. Appointing a Republican instead of holding an election for a vacancy on city council. It is my understanding that the DPOC censured Farrah.

I can probably add a few more problems, but trusting Farrah Khan is out of the question. It is too late for me.

While this award is likely set in stone, I would like to make a suggestion to the DPOC for future awards. In my experiences with my veterinary school and the UCI community of faculty, nominations for these type of awards are from the people within that group. Please consider asking each local club to nominate OC people for each award. Then ask the clubs themselves to vote. It would be more inclusive of local clubs, engage members to learn more about local leaders and be less top down. When people feel ignored and disrespected, I think it will impact the incentive to volunteer and donate.

Luette Forrest D.V.M.

“I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.” – Harry S Truman

To which the Democratic Party of OC responded:

Dear Luette,

Thank you for expressing your concerns.  I know that I speak for the entire leadership of the DPOC when I say that we are truly grateful for your support and the important work of DGI.  I regret that we have offended you with one of our awardee selections.  

As a small group with a great deal of work to do, we have done our best in making our selections.  We appreciate all the help we can get!  I hope you will consider serving on next year’s awards gala committee, or any of the DPOC committees in which you have an interest. 

Again, thank you for all that you do for the Democratic Party. I look forward to working together to grow stronger every day.


Lara Horgan, Vice Chair, South Democratic Party of Orange County 

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.