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Congressional Representatives Visit Campus

Rep. Katie Porter and Rep. Michelle Steel

Orange County congressional representatives Rep. Katie Porter and Rep. Michelle Steel were invited to two town hall meetings sponsored by Concordia’s Center for Civics Education. The students were actively engaged in the event and were able to learn more about each candidate and their platforms.

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Constitution Week Comes to Campus

Saluting the flag

A week-long celebration of the Constitution on the CUI campus. “The U.S. Constitution is so important to our country, but many don’t know anything about it,” says co-organizer Ryan Jones, ASCUI president and a senior going into Lutheran elementary education. “How do we get college-age people to want to learn more about it and say, ‘This matters—this is what we’re founded on’?”

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Jo Ellen Chatham Appointed as Director of the Center for Civics Education

On February 29, 2016, Concordia University Irvine announced the appointment of Jo Ellen Chatham, Ph.D., as director for The Center for Civics Education. 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 Civics Education for five years. Curry will remain as professor, teaching public policy and leadership in the university’s School of Business and Economics MBA program and will continue serving as a CPP Board member. The Center for Civics Education was established in 2011 by Curry.

View the press release>>

Keith Curry Reflects on His Public Service and the Current State of Politics

Keith Curry on OC Talk Radio

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 Event Honors Legacy of Naturalist John Muir

On March 20, 2015, Concordia's Center for Civics Education hosted an event in remembrance of the 1800's wilderness preservation advocate John Muir, who passed away 100 years ago.

Read the full article from the Concordia Courier by clicking the button below.

Read Article

Concordia Center for Civics Education hosts Orange County Mayor's Summit

On February 20, 2015, the Center for Civics Education hosted the 2015 Orange County Mayor's Summit featuring Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for Budget and Innovation.

Mayors Summit

Concordia Students and Keith Curry in Sacramento

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 Civics Education Director Keith Curry, state Senator Janet Nguyen, Sharon Davis, Aludith Mayares, Mackenzie Kreinheder and Tina Thompson.

Sacramento Seminar

Keith Curry Discusses June California Primary Election with California Politicians

Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh (R) joins Democratic Party Chairman Henry Vandermeir (L) to discuss the results of the June California primary election with Center for Civics Education Director Keith Curry.





Keith Curry on the Cox OC Connection


Concordia Students and Keith Curry in Sacramento

Concordia students Jachin Anrig, Joseph Deverian, and Shannon Meridith, along with Center for Civics Education 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 Civics Education at Concordia University.

Remembering JFK

Remembering JFK and the Courage to Compromise in the OC Register and The Daily Pilot.

Governing California

A Symposium on Solutions for the 21st Century.

Summary Report[PDF]

Concordia Participates in Global Outsourcing Summit

Read more about the Global Outsourcing Summit by clicking the button below.

Outsourcing Article[PDF]

Concordia's Director of the Center for Civics Education 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.

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Concordia Center for Civics Education 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 Civics Education 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 Civics Education 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 Civics Education 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 Civics Education 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 the button below.

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DUI Summit

Read the OC register article

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 below.

Read Full Speech

Concordia and USC Host Program on California Governance

Read the official press release below.

Read the official press release

Concordia Announces Government Technology Forum

Irvine, CA - The Concordia University Center for Civics Education 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

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 Civics Education, 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 below.

View March Commentary[PDF]

Concordia to host Harvard Professor

When: March 1, 2012
Contact: Ann Ashmon
[email protected]
Read the official press release below.

View Press Release

Shell Games with Tax Dollars

Read about the current controversy in Orange County in the December 17th Concordia Commentary below.

View December 17th Concordia Commentary[PDF]

Student Newspaper Reports on The Center for Civics Education

Read about Curry's vision and the beginnings of the CPP in the December 6th issue of The Concordia Courier below.

View December 6th Concordia Commentary[PDF]

Concordia University Announces New Center for Civics Education

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Contact: Keith Curry, Director of the Center for Civics Education
Phone: (949) 214-3200 (Curry)
Email: [email protected]

Contact: Ann Ashmon, Director of Communications
Phone: (949) 214-3178 (Ashmon)
Email: [email protected]

Irvine-Concordia University President Kurt Krueger announced today the formation of the Concordia University Center for Civics Education. 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.

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