Steven Choi was elected to the California State Assembly in 2016 to represent the 68th District. He was previously elected Mayor of Irvine in 2012 and re-elected in 2014. He was elected to the City Council for the first time in 2004 and re-elected to a second term in 2008. Previously, he was elected as a Trustee of the Irvine Unified School District in 1998 and re-elected in 2002.
Steven is a passionate and experienced educator. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, he immigrated to the United States as a Peace Corps language instructor for the State Department in August, 1968. He then continued his post-graduate studies, earning his master’s degree in Library Science from Louisiana State University, and his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Since then, he resumed his teaching career, primarily in higher education at several universities and colleges including USC, UCI, California State University, Los Angeles, Henderson State University in Arkansas, Saddleback College, and most recently, Coastline Community College.
In many ways, Steven’s vision for California and Orange County is to improve the quality of life for its citizens by assuring responsible growth, effectively managing traffic, using his experience leading one of America’s safest cities to improve public safety throughout the state and Orange County, and providing quality education for our children, while bringing fiscal stability and growth to the State.
Orange County’s cultural and ethnic diversity and harmony serves as a very important role on Steven’s agenda. Enthusiastic about expanding Orange County’s cultural diversity, he has organized and participated in many large scale regional events such as the Global Village Festival and Korean American Day Festival. He also values Orange County’s wonderful assets comprising of its natural beauty, high standard of living, and high intellectual standards. Most importantly, he is strongly aware of the importance of listening to the voices of Orange County residents.
As an Assemblyman, he sends out legislative news highlights via his eNewsletter on a steady basis, encouraging residents to get involved by asking for their opinions on particular issues and legislative proposals discussed in the State Assembly.
Hoping to provide a sufficient educational and desirable experience for Orange County residents, he is exceptionally committed to supporting programs for children and senior citizens. Steven contributed to Orange County’s education as the founder and director of highly academically successful Dr. Choi’s Academy. For more than a dozen years, the Academy focused on providing tutoring and academic enrichment programs for students. Alongside Steven, his wife, Janie, has also been serving Orange County children since 1990 with Kumon Math and Reading academic program.
Steven brings his wide breadth of experience to the State Assembly, having served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Orange County Sanitation District. He also served on several other important boards, including: Orange County Great Park, Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), Orange County Vector Control District (OCVCD), Orange County Public Library Advisory Board, the President’s Advisory Council at Concordia University, and the President’s Advisory Council of George Mason University-Korea.
He and his wife Janie have lived in Irvine since 1993, where they raised their children Daniel, now an anesthesiologist, and Michelle, an attorney.