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$1.1 million in PAC money flows into Irvine elections (OC Register, Nov 2, 2016)


Political action committees have funneled $1.1 million into the Irvine mayoral and City Council races as of Tuesday, according to a Register analysis, dwarfing campaign contributions candidates are raising and spending on their own. 

Forty-three percent of that money has been used to attack Mary Ann Gaido, a candidate for mayor who has promised to halt new residential developments in the city. Gaido, a planning commissioner, said developers are pouring money through independent expenditure committees.

“It is hurting our democracy,” Gaido said. “They are essentially buying up the City Council.”

For example, the California Homeowners Association committee has spent over $255,305 opposing Gaido and $172,140 supporting mayoral candidate Don Wagner and council candidates Christina Shea and Anthony Kuo. The PAC received $49,000 from developer Starpointe Ventures, which has stakes in Irvine projects.

Gaido said Wagner, as a seasoned state assemblyman, must be aware that the $23,308 he has raised isn’t enough to fund a campaign in a large city like Irvine

“He’s allowing big developers to totally fund his campaign and smear my name and character,” Gaido said about Wagner. “It is very disappointing.”

Click here to read the full article

Endorsed by the Sierra Club

I am deeply hono14570646_703087033181435_6602731875177816291_ored to receive the endorsement of the Sierra Club, America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. The Sierra Club is made up of 2.4 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet. 

As a former Council Member and Planning Commissioner, I have worked hard to ensure Irvine has always remained on the forefront of sustainability. We not only need to protect our clean air and clean water, but as the Sierra Club so eloquently puts it, we need to: "promote the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of California's environment. Californians want clean, renewable energy, open space, smartly planned cities, better transit options, and safer bicycle routes."

I have been successful in preserving over 16,000 acres of Open Space in the City of Irvine, including the preservation of Bommer Canyon. 

As Mayor, I am committed to protecting our City's open space and championing environmental stewardship as the City meets its challenges of the future.


I had a great time at the Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center (AASCSC) 2016 Open House and Moon Festival Celebration Event last Saturday (09/17/16) morning.  I had the pleasure of assisting in presenting appreciation certificates to the senior volunteer teachers that day.

Read more about the event from three associated local Chinese news reports (09/18/16 – World Journal, 09/19/16 – Sing Tao Daily News, and 09/2016 – The Epoch Times) 


Irvine Community News & Views Endorses Mary Ann Gaido for Mayor of Irvine (Irvine Community News & Views, September 2016)

Although there are five candidates officially running for Mayor of Irvine, a study of the candidates’ records — and where they stand on the issues — clearly reveals the one best choice for Mayor: Irvine Community News & Views endorses Mary Ann Gaido for Mayor of Irvine.

Mary Ann Gaido (pronounced Guy-Doe) is the only Mayoral candidate with the knowledge, experience — and proven record — to deal with the excessive growth, traffic and overdevelopment that is now eroding Irvine’s quality of life. Her campaign pledge is to “put the people back in control” through a Comprehensive Growth and Traffic Control Ordinance that will control and limit the number of building permits issued and require a ballot-box vote of the people before any major new residential development can go forward.

Read the full story here

Orange County League of Conservation Voters Lauds Mary Ann Gaido's "Commitment to Environmental Protection"

I am proud to announce that my campaign for Mayor of Irvine has been endorsed by the Orange County League of Conservation Voters, one of the most well respected  environmental champions committed to protecting our air, water, and health. 

In their letter of endorsement, League officials wrote to me: "Based on your knowledge and experience with public policy, your appreciation of the importance of local leadership in Orange County and throughout the region, and your level of dedication to conserving our environment, the League of Conservation of Voters proudly endorses your campaign for Mayor of Irvine."

As a City Planning Commissioner I have been successful in preserving over 16,000 acres of Open Space in the City of Irvine including the preservation of Bommer Canyon. 

As Mayor, I am committed to protecting our City's open space and championing environmental stewardship as the City meets its challenges of the future. 

A Mayoral Moment: Learn about each candidate for Irvine Mayor in the Irvine City News Virtual Town Hall (From Irvine City News, August 2016)

MaryAnn Gaido

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 5.08.47 PMWhy are you running for mayor of Irvine?
MG: Over the past four years, the mayor and city council have rubber-stamped every proposal from developers for thousands of new houses and apartments, while, at the same time, they’ve ignored the damaging effect on our existing villages and neighborhoods. If you have any doubt, just consider the traffic mess they’ve created throughout Irvine. I plan to put the people back in control!
What’s the most important issue you believe Irvine faces today? 
MG: Uncontrolled growth and development has overwhelmed our streets with traffic and caused overcrowding in our schools. Future development must be strictly controlled to prevent traffic congestion and to uphold our excellent classroom standards.
What do you love about Irvine/what works well in the city?
MG: The high quality of life our diverse community has enjoyed over the 40 years following cityhood has been achieved not only through thoughtful, master-planned development, but also through a commitment to permanently preserve thousands of acres of parks, trails and open space. I am proud to have participated in that planning as both a planning commissioner and a city councilwoman.
Describe how you’d like to see Irvine in 20 years?
MG: Irvine will have changed the recent course of over-development and, with careful planning, will preserve not only large areas of open space but also achieve a high level of connectivity through transit and extensive trail systems with interconnected areas of land. For Irvine residents in the future, there will be unparalleled recreational opportunities – and the knowledge that there are indeed limits to urban development here.

Click here to read the full article at Irvine City News

Gaido vs Wagner in Irvine's Mayor's Race

(from Irvine Community News & Views, August 2016)

1aa 2
There are two very different candidates and campaigns for Mayor.

Can Planning Commissioner Mary Ann Gaido’s grassroots, pro-resident, growth-control message overcome State Assemblyman Donald Wagner’s developer-funded, pro-development campaign

When she launched her 2014 campaign for Mayor — to unseat incumbent Mayor Steven Choi — two-time former Councilwoman Mary Ann Gaido (pronounced Guy-doe) minced no words in her official candidate statement.  She declared, “This election will decide who controls the future of our City — profit-driven developers or Irvine residents.”

Taking her growth-control, “slow growth” campaign to every corner of the City, Gaido’s 2014 underdog campaign came within 954 votes of defeating incumbent Mayor Steven Choi — Choi’s narrow victory came only after Irvine mega-developer FivePoint Communities came to his rescue in the closing days of the campaign with hundreds of thousands of dollars in anti-Gaido mailers — “hit pieces” — that were part of a so-called “independent expenditure” campaign.

Now, Mary Ann Gaido is running for Mayor again.  She is promising, if elected, to “put the people back in control” by instituting strong growth control and traffic control measures.  But this time she faces a different opponent.  With Choi apparently headed to the State Assembly, the Mayor’s seat is open.  Officials and political operatives at FivePoint Communities, fearful of Gaido’s tough stand against overdevelopment, is involved once again in the Irvine Mayor’s race.   This time, FivePoint has recruited termed-out Assemblyman Don Wagner to run for Mayor.  In effect, Choi and Wagner, both conservative Republicans, want to switch seats — with Choi going to Sacramento and Wagner seeking the Mayor’s chair in the November 8th election.

Click here to read the full article at Irvine Community News & Views

Q & A With Mary Ann Gaido (From Irvine Community News & Views, June, 2016)


Q. What do you see as the top issue in this campaign?

A. Well, clearly the top issue is growth and development, and the horrendous traffic congestion it’s bringing to our entire City. But, in a larger sense, the real question is whether Irvine voters are ready to elect a Mayor and City Councilmembers with the backbone to stand up to the big developers and stand up for the residents of Irvine.

Q. And just how would you do that?

A. As Mayor, I would be prepared to exercise the broad authority that all mayors and city councils in California have — the power to control residential growth and development…and the traffic it brings. This can be done by adopting policies and ordinances to limit the issuance of building permits and institute a genuine “pause for planning.” Good planning means controlling the pace of growth and development to make sure our infrastructure and our ability to deliver outstanding municipal services aren’t overwhelmed by a pace of growth that’s just too fast. We have done this before in Irvine — in the 1970s when we were just getting started as a City, and then again in the 1980s when we were putting our emphasis on open space preservation rather than fast-paced residential development.



Click here to read the full article.

1 coverGaido To Again Run For Mayor

Planning Commissioner Mary Ann Gaido stakes campaign for Mayor on a renewed commitment to planning and strict controls on growth and development.

Long-time Planning Commissioner and former City Councilmember Mary Ann Gaido has publicly announced her candidacy for Mayor of Irvine. In an “Open Letter” —entitled “Why I Am Running for Mayor” — Gaido lays out her rationale for a second run for the City’s top post.

She writes: “Two years ago, I ran for Mayor of Irvine. I challenged Mayor Steven Choi and his fast-growth, pro-developer policies that have been producing horrendous traffic and overcrowding throughout Irvine, posing a real threat to our master-planned City and our quality of life.”



Click here to read the full article on the Irvine Community News & Views Website

Open Letter From Mary Ann Gaido 

MA GaidoWhy I Am Running for Mayor

Two years ago, I ran for Mayor of Irvine. I challenged Mayor Steven Choi and his fast-growth, pro-developer policies that have been producing horrendous traffic and overcrowding throughout Irvine, posing a real threat to our master-planned City and our quality of life.  

In 2014, I campaigned from one end of Irvine to the other, calling for a “pause for planning” — to enable us to place strict controls on growth and traffic, preserving our residential neighborhoods and villages.  

Even though Steven Choi was backed by developers who bankrolled his campaign with more than $500,000 in campaign spending, I came within 3 percent of winning. In fact, I fell just 954 votes short of winning.

Well, as they say, elections matter. Elections have consequences. Since 2014, the Mayor and his Council majority have failed to place any controls at all on growth and development. The result: a growing nightmare of traffic and stress, instead of the City of our dreams. Worse still, the Mayor and his pro-developer allies on the City Council don’t seem to care and don’t have a clue about what to do...  


Click here to read the full letter on the Irvine Community News & Views Website

Statement On Behalf Of The Irvine Living Wage Coalition

Thank You, Irvine!

With the help of hundreds of Irvine volunteers — and the signatures of thousands of voters — a remarkable citizen initiative to raise the minimum wage has become law. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the nation’s highest minimum wage, boosting the statewide California minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next 5 years.

As a result, millions of Californians, including several thousand in Irvine, are now on the path out of poverty...


Click here to read the statement on the Irvine Community News & Views Website

City of Irvine Website: Q & A with Planning Commissioner Mary Ann Gaido








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Click Here to Join the Mary Ann Gaido Campaign as a Volunteer