Michelle Steel will be retiring from her seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors on January 3rd to take office as the Representative for California’s 48th Congressional District. In her tenure representing the 2nd district at the Board of Supervisors, Chairwoman Steel has faced a number of challenges and implemented measures to better the lives of the people of the Orange County. The following is a farewell statement from Chairwoman Steel:
It has been an honor to serve the people of the Second District for the last 6 years on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. In that time, I have had the privilege of serving as Chairwoman in 2017 and 2020. In my six years on the board, I have been faced with many challenges and have always looked to seek solutions for the people of Orange County.
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was likely the biggest challenge I had to face during my time on the board, but my colleagues and I realized the severity of this crisis early and declared a state of emergency in February, before the state did. We quickly and effectively distributed CARES Act funding to cities so that small businesses could be assisted and worked closely with the Orange County Health Care Agency to make sure that Orange County’s healthcare system had everything it needed to face the health crisis. I am proud to know that in my last weeks as Chairwoman, the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed to Orange County’s frontline healthcare workers.
I have been dedicated to easing the burden for taxpayers, especially since we live in such a high tax state. One of my proudest moments was introducing a County charter amendment that would require a two thirds majority for any future special tax proposals.
Modernization of our infrastructure was also a top priority of mine. In my first year on the board, I was happy that my colleagues joined me in expanding the permit process to allow ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft and Wingz to operate at John Wayne Airport, offering passengers more free market options.
Ensuring that our senior citizens are always well taken care of was another major issue I wanted to focus on. Among other measures, I joined my colleagues in implementing the Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program, which provides transpiration to senior citizens for medical appointments and other health related trips.
I also made it a priority to address the homelessness crisis in Orange County and voted for homeless assistance centers, such as the Yale Transitional Center in Santa Ana and the Cameron Lane Navigation Center in Huntington Beach.
During my time on the board, I have also stood by law enforcement and opposing legislation that harms the safety of our communities. I led the county’s opposition to SB54, California’s “Sanctuary” law, and proposed a resolution to direct county counsel to take legal action against the state. During the anti-police riots in 2020, I introduced a law enforcement appreciation day and visited every police department in the second district to let them know that I stand with law enforcement, not violent looters.
In the area of public health, I have always looked for ways to help the people of Orange County. One major accomplishment by the county that I was proud to be a part of was the Be Well OC mental services hub, which provides mental health support services to all Orange County residents.
Veterans issues have also been a major priority of mine and I am proud to have been a part of expanding the Veteran’s Service Office, introduced the Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise and expanded the Veteran’s hiring preference policy, making Orange County the most veteran friendly hiring county in California.
I want to thank my colleagues, all the county departments, federal, state and local partners and of course, my hardworking staff, who, without them, I would not have been able to accomplish as much as I did. Thank you for these 6 wonderful years. I will miss the Board of Supervisors dearly, but my advocacy for the people of Orange County will continue to be my top priority as a Congresswoman. I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
* * * * *
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.