A “yes” vote on the Southern California Veterans Cemetery referendum on the primary ballot will give the men and women of our armed services what they’ve long desired and fought for: a final resting place on land that once was the former MCAS El Toro base.
A “yes” vote will send a strong message confirming that Irvine respects and honors those veterans, and will stay true to promises made to them.
A “yes” vote will confirm a cemetery in the city at the Strawberry Fields. There is no other site, as all the studies, site tours, approvals, city and state votes, and appropriations have concluded that the 125-acres adjacent to the 405 Freeway is the site that makes sense for the cemetery to be located.
Despite months of opposition by a small minority in Irvine, supported by fake news and disinformation under the guise of “saving the veterans cemetery” that led to the June 5 referendum, the final decision is now up to voters.
The June 5 vote is NOT a referendum by which voters can choose between two cemetery locations. It is NOT a referendum on traffic and development. It is not a referendum on what may or may not be built on the land the city swapped for the pristine Strawberry Fields site. And it most decidedly is not a referendum on the Irvine Master Plan, as there is not now, nor has there ever been any language, in the city’s plan either for or against a cemetery anywhere within the city.
Voters will say “Yes” to fiscal responsibility, saving an estimated $50 million by confirming the existing site of the cemetery.
Voters will say, “Yes” to transparent municipal and state government. Every city council session on the subject of a cemetery has been well attended, with open debate and broad citizen participation. The final vote has been clear and certain each time.
A “no” vote is a vote for Irvine’s erstwhile “shadow government” led by those voted out of power. A “no” vote supports a campaign of machinations and misinformation designed to subvert the wishes of veterans, citizenry and a large majority of elected representatives.
A “no” vote denies veterans the cemetery Irvine has promised them, and which they deserve.
Those in favor of voting “yes” on the Veterans Cemetery at Strawberry Fields
The Republican Party of Orange County:
“The Republican Party of Orange County strongly condemns the misleading tactics of Larry Agran, and encourages not only Irvine residents, but all of Orange County to unite together to soundly defeat any attempt to deny its veterans their cemetery at Strawberry Fields.” -letter to Irvine City Council
The Democratic Party of Orange County:
“The Democratic Party of Orange County opposes the misleading tactics and communication with Irvine residents by referendum proponents to initiate a zoning change, the effect of which would likely eliminate the development of a veterans cemetery in Orange County.” -letter to Irvine City Council
The clear majority of Orange County veterans:
• The American Legion
• Veterans of Foreign Wars
American GI Forum of the United States Education Foundation Orange County, California (AGIFOC)
• League of United Latin American Citizens
Federal, state and local government leaders, including:
- Gov. Jerry Brown
- U.S. Representative Lou Correa
- U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher
- Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, the key leader in Sacramento seeking to honor veterans with a cemetery in Orange County
- State Senator Janet Nguyen
- State Senator Josh Newman
- State Assemblyman Steven Choi
- Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer
- Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel
- Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner
- Irvine City Councilmember Christina Shea
- Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox
Individuals and organizations saying “no” to the Veterans Cemetery
• Larry Agran
• Jeffrey Lalloway
• Lynn Schott
• Irvine Community News and Views
The likely small percentage of referendum signatories who understood they were not “saving the veterans cemetery” but supporting a campaign that would kill it.