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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 68

Photo of Melissa Fox

Melissa Fox

Irvine Councilmember/Businesswoman
44,033 votes (33.5%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • In the Assembly I’ll fight to ensure that we get more funding for every school and every student in our District, and that we invest that funding in classrooms and teachers, not in more bureaucracy.
  • In Sacramento, I’ll continue to fight for policies that create more affordable housing, reduce rents, and allow more residents of the 68th Assembly District to become homeowners.
  • Action on climate change is an existential imperative and we must work to mitigate and remedy the damages done to our planet. In the Assembly, I'll continue to fight for effective action on climate change and to protect our planet.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Irvine City Council Member, Attorney
Founding Attorney, Melissa Fox Law Firm (1999–current)
n/a, n/a (2020–2020)
Councilmember, Irvine City Council — Elected position (2016–current)
Commissioner, City of Irvine Community Services Commission — Appointed position (2012–2016)

Education

Tulane University Law School Doctor of Law (J.D.), Law (1992)
Brandeis University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English Language and Literature (1989)

Community Activities

Chair, Irvine Community Land Trust (2017–current)
Member, Orange County Public Library Advisory Board (2017–current)
Chair, Irvine Green Ribbon Environmental Committee (2017–2019)
Vice Chair, Orange County Great Park Board of Directors (2017–2018)
Member on the Board of Directors, Beckman High School Football Boosters and Beckman High School Wrestling Boosters (2012–2015)

Biography

An Orange County native, Melissa Fox is a business owner, wife, mother, attorney, veterans’ advocate and dedicated community leader.

Melissa is the founder of the Melissa Fox Law Firm, a civil law and public affairs firm located in Irvine, California, specializing in business law and public affairs advocacy. She has also earned a California real estate broker’s license.

Melissa was elected in November 2016 to a four-year term on the Irvine City Council.  She previously served for four years as a Commissioner on the City of Irvine Community Services Commission, which advises the City on Irvine’s parks, recreational, cultural, and youth facilities and programs.  As a member of the Community Services Commission, Melissa fought to ensure that developers provide ample open space and park and recreation facilities for both children and adults, for increased childcare, and to ensure that our seniors have state-of-the-art recreation and healthcare facilities. She has championed active and public transportation in Irvine as a means of reducing traffic congestion, and has also been Irvine’s most public advocate for more and safer bicycling, for both recreation and commuting.

Melissa also serves as a Director of The Great Park, Chair of the Irvine Community Land Trust, a member of the Orange County Public Library Advisory Board, most recent past Chair of the Irvine Green Ribbon Environmental Committee, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Fire Authority.

In addition to her service as an Irvine City Council Member and Community Services Commissioner, Melissa has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Beckman High School Football Boosters and Beckman High School Wrestling Boosters, and serves as a volunteer adult leader with the Sea Scouts (a co-ed program of the Boy Scouts of America) at the Dana Point Sea Base.  Melissa also served in the Orange County Park Ranger Reserve. Melissa also participates in many professional and community organizations, including the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, the Women Lawyers Association, and Women in Leadership.

The daughter of a Korean War combat veteran, Melissa has been active in advocating for increased City support for veterans, particularly those recently returning from deployment. She has called for the creation of an Irvine Veterans Advisory Committee, so that veterans have a strong voice of their own in city government.  She has also been a steadfast supporter of a Southern California Veterans Cemetery, located on the grounds of the former El Toro Marine Base.  The Orange County Register has called her “an incredible advocate for veterans and the [veterans] cemetery in Irvine.” Since her election to the Irvine City Council, Melissa has received the Orange County Taxpayers Watchdog Award for fiscal responsibility, the Active Transportation Change Maker Award from the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County, the Hero of Children Award from the Child Abuse Prevention Network, has been named Orange County’s “Best Politician” by the OC Weekly, and as one of Orange County “100 Most Influential” people by the Orange County Register.

Melissa lives with her husband, Dr. Michael Fox, in the Portola Springs community of Irvine. Their son Max is studying firefighting and emergency services management at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (43)

Elected Officials (50)

Individuals (64)

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?
Answer from Melissa Fox:
California has an affordable housing crisis.  As Chair of the Irvine Community Land Trust, I've helped reduce homelessness and create affordable housing for families, veterans, and people with disabilities, and I’ve gone to Sacramento to fight for tax reductions for investments in affordable housing. As a member of Irvine's City Council, I've supported policies that have led to more affordable housing.  I've also worked with the state legislature to successfully amend our tax laws to make it easier to build affordable housing across our state. Through my commitment towards creating more affordable units, I’ve realized that the first step we need is to develop and build more affordable housing units, not luxury ones, in dense areas. We also need more regulation to prevent unwarranted and unplanned evictions. This is a complex issue and I look forward to working with different interest groups to develop a solution that works for California.
What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Melissa Fox:

As previously stated, we must continue to support aggressive water conservation to reduce the tremendous percentage of our energy that goes to moving water around the state, with statewide implementation of tiered water rates with penalty tiers devoted to improved conservation (IRWD model). We need an increased emphasis on smart projects that store water locally, capture runoff, and recycle waste water (GWRS.)

Furthermore, many of our California residents across the state are being exposed to unsafe drinking water, with our small towns being disproportionately hurt. It is an overlooked crisis. It is time we address this public health crisis and bring a viable solution to our failing drinking-water systems. In the Assembly, I will support measures for sustained funding to improve water infrastructure across California.

To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.
Answer from Melissa Fox:
Our district must become ever more environmentally responsible and should be a national leader in meeting the existential ecological demands of the future. In order to do so, we must continue efforts to eliminate half of all greenhouse gases, implement bolder plans to conserve water, and aim for all electricity used to be from renewable sources. We must continue to support aggressive water conservation to reduce the tremendous percentage of our energy that goes to moving water around the state, with statewide implementation of tiered water rates with penalty tiers devoted to improved conservation (IRWD model). We need an increased emphasis on smart projects that store water locally, capture runoff, and recycle waste water (GWRS.)  This state also needs programs to encourage ultra-fuel efficient cars and dramatically lower the average MPG of California’s vehicle fleet, along with financial incentives that allow consumers to make their own choices along the European models where higher fuel taxes are invested in regional transit systems. I am committed to doing more to expand the role of state government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing global warming and will work in the assembly to pass legislation that does so. Personally, and as chair of the Irvine Green Ribbon Environmental Committee, I have sought to advance environmental policy initiatives and programs to accomplish environmental goals, as well as advocated for the city of Irvine to adopt a Climate Action Plan separate from the General Plan and to purchase green power through Community Choice Aggregate . Our state has made commendable progress in combating climate change, but global climate change continues to have an adverse impact on California’s environment, natural resources, and human health.
According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?
Answer from Melissa Fox:

Community-based treatment, as opposed to incarceration, is worth fighting for, especially for our youth. It serves to improve the overall well-being of offenders more than an institutionalized setting would and will rehabilitate and root out the cause of violence by providing assistance for both the offender and their families. This includes medical and mental health services and the development of social and employability skills.

In the State Assembly, I will champion legislation that reinvests savings from reduced jail and prison population into these alternative models. I look forward to working with criminal justice groups to produce more alternatives.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $592,582

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
California Democratic Party
$102,985
2
California School Employees Association
$11,800
3
Re-Elect Fiona Ma for State Treasurer 2022
$9,400
3
Employees of starpointe ventures
$9,400
4
AFSCME California
$9,300
4
California Faculty Association
$9,300
4
California Federation of Teachers
$9,300
4
California Nurses Association
$9,300
4
California Professional Firefighters
$9,300
4
California State Council of Laborers
$9,300
4
Professional Engineers in California Government
$9,300
4
SEIU California State Council of Service Employees Small Contributor Committee
$9,300
4
SEIU Local 1000
$9,300
4
SEIU Local 2015
$9,300
4
SEIU Local 721
$9,300

More information about contributions

By State:

California 96.44%
District of Columbia 2.55%
Nevada 1.01%
96.44%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.45%)
Small contributions (0.55%)
99.45%

By Type:

From organizations (73.96%)
From individuals (26.04%)
73.96%26.04%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

With Washington in continuous disarray, it's more important than ever that we ensure California is a beacon of hope, progress, and opportunity for the people of our state. ​

For too long, residents of the 68th Assembly District have not had a seat at the table where decisions are made in Sacramento. I'm going to change that -- and make sure our voices are heard, loud and clear. ​

I'm running for State Assembly to bring common sense leadership to Sacramento that represents the true values and interests of our district. That means building safer neighborhoods, ensuring high quality public education, growing a strong middle-class economy, and protecting our air and water.  It also means investing in infrastructure, renewable energy, fire protection, health care, and transportation, while holding government accountable, fighting waste, and safeguarding taxpayer dollars.

We can do all of this and simultaneously create a more compassionate and inclusive state for the people of California.  Together, we can make our district a better place to live, work, and raise our families.

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