On February 29, 2016, Concordia University Irvine announced the appointment of Jo Ellen Chatham, Ph.D., as director for The Center for Public Policy (CPP). As director, Chatham will advance the CPP’s mission, which is dedicated to promoting civil dialogue, encouraging public engagement, and serving as a forum for research and discussion on public policy issues facing Orange County and California. Chatham succeeds Keith Curry, who headed The Center for Public Policy for five years. Curry will remain as professor, teaching public policy and leadership in the university’s School of Business MBA program and will continue serving as a CPP Board member. The Center for Public Policy was established in 2011 by Curry.
Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry is no stranger to politics and public service, beginning his foray at the ripe old age of 13! Since then, he has served in a variety of capacities, including in the administration of then-President Ronald Reagan as Special Assistant to the Federal Transit Administrator. Since then, he has served as Mayor and Councilman of Newport Beach since 2006, endeavoring and succeeding in righting the city's fiscal ship on a course of sustainability. A policy expert and seasoned political veteran, Keith has a thing or two to say about California's and the US's current state of affairs.
Concordia students were recognized on the floor of the California State Senate during the 59th annual University Sacramento Seminar. From left to right: David Rhoads, Michael Shurance, Sherry Jackson, Center for Public Policy Director Keith Curry, state Senator Janet Nguyen, Sharon Davis, Aludith Mayares, Mackenzie Kreinheder and Tina Thompson.
Concordia students Jachin Anrig, Joseph Deverian, and Shannon Meridith, along with Center for Public Policy Director, Keith Curry, visit the California senate and assembly floors with Senator Mimi Walters and Assemblyman Don Wagner.
We Need To Protect Proposition 13
For more than 35 years, Proposition 13 has protected California homeowners and taxpayers. While our sales and income taxes have risen to be the highest in the nation, property taxes remain constrained and more importantly, predictable to each property owner.
Residents can anticipate their base property taxes will be 1% of their assessed valuation and will rise at no more than 2% per year. Prior to Proposition 13 the average tax rate was 2.67%. In addition, homes were revalued frequently and it was not uncommon during times of rapid property inflation to see property taxes nearly double due to reassessment. This was particularly devastating to seniors and those on fixed income. Tens of thousands of residents in our coastal communities are “house rich-cash poor” and risked being literally taxed out of their homes.
Recently, local elected officials were solicited by a San Francisco-based organization called “Evolve,” drumming up support for an effort to change Proposition 13 by reducing or eliminating its protections for commercial properties. This would represent a $6 billion tax increase with money going to local governments throughout the state. Already, more than 20 local governments and school districts have answered this siren song to raise taxes. The proponents make it enticing by telling homeowners that they will not pay, but when we raise taxes on commercial properties, we all pay. This $6 billion tax increase will show itself in higher rents as building owners recoup the taxes from their tenants. It will result in higher prices as shop and business owners get hit with higher occupancy costs and it will further exacerbate the disadvantages of brick and mortar stores that compete with internet retailers resulting in more store vacancies on the main streets of our state.
Perhaps the biggest impact will be in increased unemployment. Pepperdine University estimates that the so-called “split roll” will result in a loss of 390,000 California jobs initially and the continued loss of 100,000 jobs each year thereafter. Make no mistake, if the high tax lobby can split homeowners and commercial property owners now, they will be back soon to raise taxes on residential properties in the future.
Since the passage of Proposition 13, local governments have survived and thrived. The State is prohibited from taking local revenues, so there is no need for a $6 billion tax increase to fund more government. We should all respond with a resounding NO to this San Francisco-based tax grab.
Keith Curry is a council member and former mayor of Newport Beach. He is also Director of the Center for Public Policy at Concordia University.
Remembering JFK and the Courage to Compromise in the OC Register and The Daily Pilot.
A Symposium on Solutions for the 21st Century. Summary Report. [PDF]
Concordia Participates in Global Outsourcing Summit
Read more about the Global Outsourcing Summit in the Outsourcing Article. [PDF]
Concordia's Director of the Center for Public Policy Keith Curry to Lead Association of California Cities for OC
Keith Curry was installed Thursday as the President of the Association of California Cities, Orange County. The association represents Orange County cities and promotes innovation, information sharing, and fiscal stability among cities. Curry also received the Association’s Collaborative Public Policy Award for his leadership as Chairman of the Association’s Local Government Innovation Committee.
Click Here to read the full Article
Concordia Center for Public Policy hosts Orange County Mayors
L-R Orange County Mayors meet at Concordia: Gary Miller, Seal Beach, Al Murray, Tustin, Prakash Narain, Cypress, Steven Choi, Irvine, Keith Curry, Director of the Center for Public Policy and Newport Beach, Bob Foster, featured speaker and Mayor of Long Beach, Beth Swift, Buena Park, Jim Righeimer, Costa Mesa, Tom Tait, Anaheim, Tri Ta, Westminster, Ron Garcia, Brea.
The Concordia Center for Public Policy hosted a summit of mayors from Orange County cities to discuss the issues and challenges facing mayors in today’s economic climate. Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster was the featured speaker as the mayors tackled issues such as pension reform, labor negotiations, economic development and building consensus among local city council members. “Mayors are the real innovators for government reform and improved public services” said Director of the Center for Public Policy Keith Curry, who also serves as the mayor of Newport Beach. “All of my colleagues appreciated the opportunity to get together and share the challenges that face each of our cities,” Curry continued.
The Mayors Summit was one of a continuing series of programs offered by the Center in 2013 focused on the theme “Can California Come Back?”
Concordia Students visit Sacramento
Director of the Center for Public Policy Keith Curry, Jachin Anrig, State Senator Mimi Walters, Keane Anrig and Sean Rhyme on the floor of the California State Senate during the recent Legislative Seminar. Concordia students joined nearly 100 students from other California universities to hear firsthand from legislators, state constitutional officers, lobbyists, journalists, and staff members on the workings of the California state government. For the full story from the Concordia Courier, please click here.
Read the OC register article here.
Watch the KCAL 9 video here.
The Daily Pilot
Commentary: the state of our city is strong
Outlook is sunny for Newport
Speak Up Newport Mayor's Dinner 2013
Read Mayor Keith D. Curry's full speech.
Concordia and USC Host Program on California Governance
Read the official press release.
Concordia Announces Government Technology Forum
Irvine, CA - The Concordia University Center for Public Policy announced the lineup for its "Government Technology Forum," to be held June 22, 2012. Geoffrey Moore, author, business consultant and venture capitalist will serve as the keynote speaker at the Forum with concepts from his recent book Escape Velocity. Moore's book lays out a comprehensive strategy for engaging with next-generation trends while maintaining core franchises.
In addition to Moore, the program will feature Tim Britt, Chief Executive Officer of Synoptek, who will introduce ten trends in public agency technology. A panel of state, county and city technology leaders will round out the forum, sharing their strategies for changing the way technology is used in government. The panel participants include thought leaders from Los Angeles, Riverside, Mountain View and the state of Montana, who have each led the charge in creating a new vision for using technology in government with limited resources.
The half-day program is designed to equip public sector managers and elected officials in responding and adapting to the changing public technology environment to enhance services, reduce cost and improve efficiency. "This is the third installment of our programs designed to improve government performance and efficiency," said Center Director Keith Curry. "I am very proud of the quality of the speakers and the practical and timely content of this program," he continued.
"Today's public agency IT management approach is rapidly falling behind in its ability to deliver services to stakeholder departments and constituents," said Britt of Synoptek, sponsor of the program. "This forum will equip public sector managers to address the key decisions necessary to manage the transition to the next generation of technology and will enable elected officials to frame key questions."
The program will take place at the offices of the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Avenue in Irvine from 8:30 a.m.-12 noon. For reservations call 949 214-3200 or www.cui.edu/cpp.
Concordia Students Visit State Capitol
Quote from State Senator Tom Harman
This week, I was pleased to welcome to the Senate Floor, Keith Curry, the Director of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy, Keene Anrig (age 22) and Jason Lyle (age 21), undergraduates at Concordia University. Concordia University is located in Irvine.
Keene and Jason are active competitors for the University's award-winning forensics program. As such, they were in Sacramento this week participating in the annual Sacramento Legislative Seminar sponsored by Loyola Marymount University.
Keith Curry is a former Mayor of Newport Beach. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Orange County Parks Commission and Vice President of the Association of California Cities Orange County. It was a pleasure introducing these acclaimed members of our community on the Senate Floor.
Article excerpt from the "Concordia Courier"
Coming to Grips with Pension Costs
Read about rapidly escalating pension costs and what you can do about it in the March Commentary. [PDF]
Concordia to host Harvard Professor
When: March 1, 2012
Contact: Ann Ashmon
Read the official press release.
Shell Games with Tax Dollars
Read about the current controversy in Orange County in the December 17th Concordia Commentary. [PDF]
Student Newspaper Reports on The Center for Public Policy
Read about Curry's vision and the beginnings of the CPP in the December 6th issue of The Concordia Courier. [PDF]
Concordia University Announces New Center for Public Policy
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Contact: Keith Curry, Director of the Center for Public Policy
Phone: (949) 214-3200 (Curry)
Contact: Ann Ashmon, Director of Communications
Phone: (949) 214-3178 (Ashmon)
Irvine-Concordia University President Kurt Krueger announced today the formation of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy. The Center will serve as a forum for events, research and strategic partnerships to involve the University in the discussion of contemporary issues facing Orange County public sector leaders. "There is no question that state and local governments are experiencing profound change. I believe our university can play an important role in facilitating the discussion of how that change will impact Orange County and in the preparation of leaders equipped to manage that change in the next decades," said Krueger.
The Center will host forums, symposia, debates and will undertake research to help Orange County officials better understand and address the critical issues facing local decision makers. "We look forward to strategic partnerships with local governments, business, labor, media and both political parties to elevate the level of discussion and to focus on practical answers to the emerging issues of the 21st Century," continued Krueger.
In addition to serving as a forum for public policy discussion, the University is embarking on a strategic initiative to strengthen its course offerings in public administration with a particular emphasis on public finance. The first event for the Center will be an "Annual Report" on the state of Orange County by Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Campbell to be held on Thursday, November 17, 2011.
Keith Curry, a Newport Beach Council Member and former Mayor, was named Director of the Center. Curry recently retired after a 23 year career as a Managing Director of Public Financial Management, a national public finance consulting and advisory firm. Previously he served in the administration of President Ronald Reagan at the Department of Transportation.
"Our goal is to focus on Orange County as an urban area of more than three million people and to serve as a resource for helping local officials make better decisions. We also aim to prepare students with practical, real world skills needed for today's local governments, with a particular emphasis on public finance," said Curry.
The University also announced a broad-based list of "who's who" in Orange County who will be serving as board members of the Center. The board includes both the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties of Orange County, labor leader Nick Berardino and union-critic Supervisor John Moorlach. Also represented are the Orange County business leaders and local elected officials of both parties, including Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell.
"The board represents the diversity of opinion and the breadth of experience that we want to be the hallmark of Center programs," said Curry.
Concordia University Irvine, founded in 1976, is an innovative institution grounded in the rich tradition of the nationally respected Concordia University System. The university enrolls 3,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs. Concordia's breathtaking 70-acre campus is just seconds off the 405 freeway - conveniently located in the beautiful Turtle Rock hills of Irvine.