Community Link Newsletter: December 7-14, 2023



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December 7, 2023 | Edition 150

Welcome to the Community Link Newsletter

Our weekly newsletter aims to keep residents and businesses connected to us and all that is going on in and throughout the City. You can connect with us and learn more about our community, cultural events and celebrations, and news of interest by reading this newsletter, visiting our website at, and following us on our social media channels listed at the bottom of this email. We look forward to connecting with you. 


City of Irvine Earns a Perfect Score in Nationwide Municipal Equality Index 

People standing together at a pride event

The City of Irvine, for the second consecutive year, earned a perfect score of 100 – and nine bonus points – on the 2023 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) rating system based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and the City leadership's public position on equality. 


The 2023 MEI examined 506 cities and is used as a benchmarking tool to understand the extent to which cities have embraced LGBTQ+ inclusivity within their laws, policies, and services.


Irvine received nine bonus points in the following MEI categories, including: 

  • Non-Discrimination Laws: 30 out of 30 points, plus four bonus points (two for single-occupancy all-gender facilities; two for youth protection from conversion therapy). 

  • Municipality as an Employer: 28 out of 28 points, plus one bonus point for City employee domestic partner benefits. 

  • Municipal Services: 12 out of 12 points, plus four bonus points (two for City services to LGBTQ+ youth; two for City services to people living with HIV or AIDS. 

The full 2023 MEI report is available at 

Arm with blood being drawn

Give Back by Donating Blood

Join the City of Irvine and UCI Health in addressing the growing need for blood donations in Orange County. Donate blood at the UCI Blood Drive event, Wednesday, December 20, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at Irvine Civic Center.


The UCI Medical Center is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Orange County and transfuses over 1,000 units of blood every month. Cancer patients, people who have experienced severe trauma such as an auto accident, and babies in the NICU make up a high percentage of those receiving blood every day.


Appointments are recommended but not required. Walk-ins are welcome.


To learn more about eligibility, safety, common questions, and to book your appointment, visit

A man and woman holding a dog

Adopt a Pet This Weekend 

Are you looking to add a new furry friend to your family? Just in time for the holidays, the Irvine Animal Care Center will host the 17th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption & Fundraiser event this Sunday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Irvine Animal Care Center.


Home for the Holidays will feature:

  • Gourmet food trucks and a bake sale.
  • Opportunity drawing.
  • Vendors and services for pets and their humans.
  • Hundreds of adoptable pets.

Proceeds from the event support special programs for animals in need. Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $5 for adults; children are free. 


Learn more at

abstract art from Paul Gardner: A Retrospective

View New Art at City Hall Starting Next Week

Stop by Irvine City Hall beginning Monday, December 11, to view the new art exhibition as part of the Art at City Hall series.


The City of Irvine is pleased to announce Paul Gardner: A Retrospective, which celebrates the contributions and work of the late Paul Gardner, a visionary artist who had a profound impact in cultivating the local art scene in Orange County.


For over two decades, Gardner contributed to the cultural landscape of Irvine by teaching painting at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Gardner’s artistic creations offer a contemporary and abstract interpretation of our world, capturing the essence of fluidity, forms, and vitality. Whether inspired by water’s graceful flow or the dynamic energy of music, sound, and movement, his work transports viewers to immersive environments.


For more information about the exhibition and the opening reception, visit

Elf on a Shelf typing on a computer

Send your Letters to Santa!

It's a little hard to type when you don't have fingers, but with the magic of the season, Gus, our official holiday elf makes it happen.


Santa has gone digital and wants to hear from his friends! Have your kids use our online mailbox to send a special message to Santa with some magic help from Gus! All messages will receive email responses. 


Submit your note today at

Holiday decor

Keep Safety in Mind This Holiday Season

Did you know that holiday decorations are responsible for more than $11 million in home fire damage each year?


Ensure your holiday celebrations are fire safe and injury-free by following these safety tips from the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA):


Lighting and Decorations 

  • Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections before using.
  • Replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulb. 
  • Do not overload electrical outlets with too many lights or decorations, and make sure all extension cords are marked for proper use. 
  • Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). 
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor holiday lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.


View OCFA's Holiday Fire Safety flier for more tips on candle and Christmas tree safety.


This Week in DE&I  

There are many cultural and religious holidays celebrated and recognized throughout our community this month. Learn about some of the significant dates being observed in Irvine below and on our DE&I calendar.

A graphic of a diverse group of people

Hanukkah: December 7-15
This is an eight-day, eight-night celebration in the Jewish faith honoring the triumph of their ancestors over the Syrian Greeks. We wish all who are celebrating a joyous Festival of Lights.


Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7
Each year on December 7, Americans honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Additionally, 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah), and destroyed 188 aircraft. On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.


Upcoming Meetings & Events 

December 9 | 9 a.m.

Free Compost Event


December 12 | 2 & 4 p.m.

Great Park &
City Council Meeting

December 13 | 4 p.m.

Sustainability Commission

View the City Calendar 

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