Her campaign for Victorville City Council, Leslie Irving said, is an outgrowth of her commitment “to public service and our City of Victorville and its future. As our city continues to experience rapid residential and business growth, I see an opportunity to use my experience and commitment to assist our city in realizing its potential to become the hub of economic, educational and social prosperity in the High Desert.”
She possess, Irving said, “the education and experience to serve as a strong steward for our city. I have previously served in elected office, as a former school board member and college board member. I have first-hand knowledge and experience of how to work together with other committed persons to accomplish our community’s mission. I will bring that knowledge and experience to our city to enable it to become the great city that it can become.”
In 2003, while she was then living in Los Angeles County, Irving was elected and served as a member of the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees. In 2013, she served as a member of the Compton College Board of Trustees. She moved to Victorville two years ago after purchasing a home for her primary residence.
“During my tenure as a school board member, I experienced the complexities of leading the school district out of receivership and fiscal insolvency and to restoration of local control,” Irving said. “With sound knowledge of processes and systems, perseverance to stay the course and solid leadership skills, my former colleagues and I demonstrated a style of governance that made community control of the school district a viable and sensible reality.”
Irving said, “The major challenges facing our city relate to jobs creation, developing our infrastructure to accommodate our growing population, addressing our homeless population and providing more services for our youth and seniors.”
She said, “To address the issues facing our city, a comprehensive plan is required, and such a comprehensive plan calls for partnerships. We can partner with Victor Valley College and local high schools to bring more vocational training programs to our city, create career pathways and establish a Victorville promise program. This partnership will result in the creation of more local jobs and small business development.”
The California Promise Program, which is limited to students who are residents of California, enables entering first-time students who commit to completing a baccalaureate degree in four years to have guaranteed admission to one of several specific campuses of the California State University system.
“We can continue to develop and expand our partnerships with the California State University system,” Irving said. “A more developed partnership with CSU can potentially result in the establishment of our own four-year university within the City of Victorville.”
Additionally, Irving said, “There is the possible partnership to enhance the streetscape and lighting in Old Town. This partnership would include the creation of an economic development agency just for Old Town.”
She said, “Addressing homelessness within our city is a real opportunity for civic engagement and partnership. Together, we can partner to develop a coherent and coordinated plan to address this issue. This plan will require a commitment from all of us within our city’s community. Feeding homeless persons alone is not a coherent and coordinated plan. Short-term and long-term housing are critical components for the sustainable plan. If this plan is coordinated and developed with an entire committed community spirit, it allows us an opportunity to galvanize our city into action to develop a strategy to a problem that plagues other cities. It becomes an opportunity for us to realize an inclusive vision for our city to become an All-American City.”
Irving said, “As our population grows, we are moving from a retirement city to a city of young families. Our city services must reflect this demographic shift, and those services must take into consideration affordable housing, quality job opportunities, and strong educational services. Let us consider together the building of a public library on the west side of our city and a senior center. These types of developments engage all of our city residents and foster activities that increase their quality of life.”
Prudent financial management is crucial to the city, its future and its residents, Irving said. “I understand that there is one financial pie and we must prioritize how we will spend our dollars, she said. “We must be creative and responsible about identifying and pursuing potential funding programs, e.g., federal and state grants and private funding sources. Yes, the recession had an adverse impact on us; however, we are on the move again and we must seize the opportunities presented to us and created by us.”
Irving said, “While I did not attend a local high school – I attended Valley Christian High School in Los Cerritos – I am committed to education and making our city schools the best in the High Desert. I studied at the University of Southern California, and I was graduated with a bachelor of arts from California State University at Dominguez Hills in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in American Studies. I hold a master of science degree from National University in education administration, and next year, I will graduate from California State University at Dominguez Hills with a master of science degree in public administration with an emphasis in public management.”
Irving is employed full-time as a special education teacher with San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. She is not presently married and has one adult son, Ian.