State of the City 2023


Ashley Wang

OUTLINING IRVINE’S FUTURE: Mayor Farrah Khan addresses Irvine’s successes and goals at State of the City 2023.

Aishwarya Ramasubramanian, THO Editor

Mayor Farrah Khan delivered the 2023 State of the City address to a crowd of over 300 people at UCI’s Barclay Theater on March 7, discussing a wide range of community projects that tackle various pressing issues in Irvine.

Khan’s address honed in on the City’s progress in pursuing the Active Transportation plan, addressing homelessness and fueling sustainable economic growth within Irvine through innovation. Khan also reflected on various city accomplishments over the past year, such as the continued construction of the Great Park and establishment of the Gateway Preserve, which develops trails and nature spaces for Irvine residents.   

“Our city has come a long way in a short period of time, and we should all be proud of what we have accomplished,” Khan said in her address. “We will continue to prioritize the needs of residents, promote sustainable growth and maintain our excellence in all that we do.” 

While traditionally held at City Hall, the event’s shift in location also allowed the City to include performances from Los Angeles Daf Ensemble, an all-female Iranian music group, Gospel Voices Youth Choir and the Chinese Dance Company of Southern California. Irvine City Council also invited Orchard Hills Middle School’s robotics team who won the International VEX Robotics Championship and local Girl Scout troops to incorporate Irvine student voices within the event. The event was hosted by High School Youth Action Team representatives, including Northwood junior Kristie To, Irvine seniors Ellie Irianto and Hope Wilkerson and Woodbrige senior Ryan DeHaas.

 “I wanted to bring the community together by holding [State of the City] somewhere else, which is why it’s at Barclay Theatre,” Khan said. “State of the City is now meant to bring the community together.”

We set the standard for not just Orange County, but for California and the nation

— Mayor Farrah Khan

Through the Active Transportation plan, Khan announced that the city council aims to make local transportation more accessible, safe and environmentally sustainable. Construction of various mobility and accessibility routes along Yale and other roads will soon begin alongside projects to build more bicycle pedestrian bridges to promote greener transportation, in tandem with Irvine’s Climate Action Plan and goal to reach net zero emissions by 2030.

Khan also revealed that Irvine recently acquired more funding to counter homelessness, given the city’s status as the 13th largest city in California. These new allocations will directly tackle this issue in hopes of making housing more affordable amidst the recent housing crisis. She asserted that Irvine has the most affordable housing in Orange County.

Finally, she announced the establishment of the Irvine Innovation Council. As a body dedicated to fueling entrepreneurship within Irvine, the group will execute the launch of the Innovation Lab, which will facilitate the growth of businesses by providing business owners with the resources necessary to grow a successful business in Irvine.

“We set the standard for not just Orange County, but for California and the nation,” Khan said.

Khan remains committed to working in the best interest of Irvine residents. The City will continue to work on existing projects dedicated to improving the quality of life in Irvine, including construction on the Great Park and the expansion of Irvine’s master planned communities. Despite recent controversy, such as the negotiations over the new Irvine amphitheater, the city council continues to unambiguously work toward a better Irvine.

“One of Irvine’s core values is transparency,” To said. “The State of the City address was a great way to promote transparency between local residents and public officials, especially within progress on community initiatives.”