Dear Friends in the 68th Assembly District:
I am Steven Choi, the newly-elected Assemblyman representing you in the State Assembly. Thank you for electing me to represent you in the California State Assembly as your Assemblymember for the 68th District. I look forward to representing all of the cities in the 68th Assembly District - Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, North Tustin, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park.
I truly appreciate your confidence in me as shown by your overwhelming support. I am humbled by the election outcome which included nearly 61% of the total ballots cast in the 68th Assembly District. I am here to serve you; and promise to work hard to represent you well.
This introductory eNewsletter marks my first communication to you. Although many of you may already know my background, as an introductory gesture, I will give you a brief and abridged version of my life story.
My beginning was humble - born in a country side farming village of South Korea. After graduating from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, I served in the Korean Army as an artillery lieutenant. I then embarked on my first job as a Peace Corps instructor in the United States. (This makes me a “first generation immigrant.”) This gave me an opportunity to pursue my graduate studies in Library Science at Louisiana State University, and subsequently my Ph.D. in Library & Information Science, with minors in Political Science and Behavioral Science, from the University of Pittsburgh. Upon my graduation, USC hired me as an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Library & Information Management.
My teaching career expanded to other schools such as: UC Irvine, Cal State Los Angeles, Coastline Community College, Saddleback College, and Henderson State University in Arkansas.
Due to my teaching background, friends “lured” me into politics. I was urged to run for Irvine School Board in 1998. To my pleasant surprise, I was elected to the Irvine School Board the first time I ran. After six years on the School Board, I was elected to the Irvine City Council, where I served for eight years. In 2012, I ran for Mayor of Irvine and won; and served for two full terms. After 18 years of experience in local governments at various levels, another opportunity opened up for me to consider serving in the State Legislature.
With your support and vote, I won the election. On December 5th, I was officially sworn in as your Assemblyman. So far, the experience has been all-encompassing - a whole new system to learn, new people to meet, and new challenges to face.
One of the challenges I am facing as a Republican is that the make-up of the California Senate and Assembly is quite imbalanced. The Republicans are in the “Super Minority” in both houses. Since Sacramento is so partisan, I will be facing tough challenges when pushing forward to enact laws which will help foster our businesses and lower taxes. Even so, I will serve to the best of my ability to maintain and advocate for these fiscally conservative Republican values. My goal is to remain a fiscal conservative making sure that our dollars are spent wisely Statewide. I plan to protect the State funding that comes to our local communities and make sure that Orange County gets our fair share of State funds for education, transportation, and public safety.
Locally, I plan to meet and listen to my constituents in the District as much as possible. I will continue hearing the voices of my voters so that I can better represent my District. This is exactly how I served my constituents for the past 18 years in local government - as a School Board Member, a City Councilman, and most recently as Mayor of Irvine. I will continue to put my constituents and our local communities in Orange County first when I go to Sacramento.
As we know, in public service, we must rely on one another and partner with each other to help get things done locally as well as at the State level. I am looking forward to partnering with the local community, elected officials, community leaders, as well as staff of the many Boards and agencies that help our cities and State run smoothly.
I plan to report to you what is happening in Sacramento and in the 68th Assembly District. I look forward to sharing with you how you can get involved in shaping the policies that will affect all of our lives.
It is my true honor and privilege to serve you in the California State Assembly. Thank you for your trust and support. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me in the district at (714) 665-6868, in Sacramento at (916) 319-2068 or at Assemblymember.Choi@assembly.ca.gov.