Michelle Steel Statement on John Wayne Airport

John Wayne led the movement to make Orange County home to Vietnamese refugees, he was an ardent supporter of our men and women in uniform, and his family foundation has been a national leader in cancer research.

As an immigrant to our country, I am extremely sensitive to the actions and statements of people who perpetuate and make racist statements. The comments by John Wayne from 50 years ago are wrong and sad from someone who so many people across America hold in high regard. 

While I have experienced racism first-hand, I do believe that a person should be judged on the totality of their actions and contributions to society which is why I support keeping the name John Wayne Airport. 

John Wayne’s contributions to families in Southern California and across America live on to this day. He personally worked to assist Vietnamese refugees resettle in America, many of whom still live here in Orange County. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s investments in research have resulted in groundbreaking treatments and the establishment of a cancer institute in Santa Monica. Because of his dedication to our military and country, Mr. Wayne received both the Naval Heritage Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

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First elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2014, Michelle Steel represents the residents of the Second District, which includes, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Stanton, the unincorporated area of Rossmoor, and portions of Buena Park and Fountain Valley. Steel, a successful businesswoman and renowned taxpayer advocate, previously served as Vice Chair of the State Board of Equalization where she represented more than eight million people in Southern California, including all of Orange County, as one of the state’s 12 constitutional officers.