In the 2018 Irvine, California election, sex SLAVERY is an issue. You may have heard it called “Human Trafficking” or “HT”… which is a sanitized way to say sex slavery.

In 2015 my family and I relocated to Irvine for the best “safe” schools. Almost immediately I noticed safety issues at my kid’s elementary school and I got involved speaking to parents, teachers, principals, and the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) Board. I begged them to fix issues. Simple issues like getting them to close/lock kindergarten class doors, train teachers, and upgrade facilities. I was met with hard resistance at every turn and at every level in
 IUSD. IUSD Board members wouldn’t even entertain the common-sense idea of crossing guards having radios to talk to each other. I tried to articulate to IUSD about crossing guards who watch traffic all day. They could use radios for emergency situations and/or speak to each other through open-channel radios to report sexual predators who may be stalking our schools, and driving from one school to the next to find easy prey.

In 2016 I had a tragedy in my family that affected me so much, it motivated me to run for IUSD Board. Child Safety was the focal point of my campaign. During that campaign, I took a hard line on school safety. I was ridiculed, mocked, and politically attacked by big money professional political hitmen. I campaigned hard and nearly won with no money, no resources and no campaign support… all at the last minute with me as my only campaign worker.

In 2017, I was proven right. Very bad people exist in our world and they exist right here in Irvine. There was a bust of a massive International sex slavery in Irvine… “the safest city in the America”. The crown jewel of safe cities! Law enforcement called it the “Uber” of sex trafficking … describing it as a very sophisticated operation that stretched from China to 29 US states.

After serving over 20 years in the US Army in many roles, combat, law enforcement, and anti-terrorism, I’ve concluded that bad people exist all over…not just in the movies. Actually, reality is far worse.

Irvine has a bad reputation for politicians being extremely nasty to each other. It is disturbing that while our elected “leaders” were too busy bickering about political vendettas and similar nonsense, children were being trafficked out of Irvine. This is an embarrassment. I have been talking to residents and I am sad to learn that a lot of people don’t know this happened in 2017.

Recently, the world learned about the 300 or more Catholic priests that were involved in trafficking thousands of children, proving yet again, this is a big issue and makes me wonder if leadership even cares.

Before we can address the known issues in Irvine like traffic management, overcrowded schools, and overdevelopment, etc., we must also admit we have a slavery problem. If Irvine wants to continue to be a destination for families seeking good schools and a safe community, we must come together and stop slavery and anyone who engages/supports slavery.

As I move forward in my campaign for Irvine City Council, I wear the political attacks like a badge of honor and I question why anyone would oppose someone fighting slavery instead of helping! After all my years of Military service and heartache in Irvine politics, I am not afraid! Win or lose in November, I will fight on.  As a father and a human being, it is my responsibility to do something about this.

Mark Newgent is running for Irvine City Council. He has served 20 years in the US Army as Captain, Commander, Anti-Terrorism Officer and Security Adviser in the Pacific Region. Mark is married with two children that attend Irvine schools. 

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