Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan Named a Top US Mayor to Watch
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
The past year or so has been one of unprecedented challenges and fast-paced problem-solving for local governments, as they've weathered the pandemic and are now moving to recover from it. In the meantime, city leaders have also had to continue grappling with long-standing difficulties surrounding issues like homelessness, affordable housing shortages, and aging infrastructure.
Route Fifty regularly covers these topics and is recognizing a group of mayors it deems worth paying special attention to given the innovative ways they have been tackling some of the most pressing challenges cities face, or because of how their work, or time in office, reflects interesting trends.
Route Fifty’s 10 Mayors to Watch is not a ranking, but rather a rundown of notable local elected leaders across the country.
Mayor Khan, a Democrat, hasn’t been mayor long. But, after winning a city council seat in 2018, she clinched the mayoral spot in November 2020, defeating incumbent Republican Christina Shea, who’d served on the city council for over two decades. Shea stirred controversy with her reaction to Black Lives Matter protests, and Khan, who is the first Muslim mayor of the City of Irvine, said that was a key factor that spurred her to join the race.
There are signs Orange County, where Irvine is located, has been tilting more progressive in recent years and Shea chalked up her defeat, at least in part, to the shifting political landscape. Located southeast of Los Angeles, the city enjoys an economy powered by major employers like University of California, Irvine, which alone has about 25,000 employees, and a host of tech companies that specialize in areas ranging from video games to heart valves. Khan has said she’ll prioritize issues like the environment, climate change, homelessness, and the COVID-19 recovery. Her term ends in 2022.
What to watch: To what extent will Khan execute on some of the progressive policy priorities she’s identified? And will her rise in city politics extend beyond her first mayoral term?
Join the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee as special guest Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan discusses the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, Community Choice Aggregation (also known as Community Choice Energy), city-wide broadband, and ways the city plans to partner with the Greater Irvine Chamber on economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thursday, August 5, 8 - 9:30 a.m.
36 Executive Park, Suite 100
Category: Irvine, Mayor Farrah N. Khan, Community Excellence, City of Irvine, Orange County, Leaders Circle, UCI, Greater Irvine Chamber