In Memory of Irvine Champion Mary Ann Gaido

With great sadness Irvine loses a beloved leader, a titan of excellence, and a dedicated public servant whose service spans before Irvine’s incorporation in 1971, Mary Ann Gaido.

As Councilwoman in 1977, Mary Ann directed the City to purchase the Cattle Camp land in Bommer Canyon for public use. If you ever visit or hike Bommer Canyon, you can access this beautiful open space thanks in part to her. Gaido was a leading force behind the approval of Irvine’s General Plan and has worked as Councilmember, Transportation Commissioner, and Planning Commissioner throughout the years. 

Mary Ann is an environmentalist, affordable housing champion, and a humanitarian with a deep reservoir of compassion and concern for those most vulnerable. Not only did she help establish Irvine’s 10,000 acres nationally recognized Open Space Preserve, she helped defeat the County’s proposal to establish an international airport at the Great Park.

Mary Ann is a founding member of the Boards of Irvine Housing Opportunities, Jamboree Housing, the Kennedy Commission of Orange County, the Orange County Community Housing Corporation, and the Orange County Affordable Housing Clearinghouse. Moreover, Gaido was Vice President of Advocacy and Government Relations for St. Joseph Health System. She has served as president of the Irvine Community Land Trust Board of Directors and a board member for the Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Most recently, she received the Ralph Kennedy Award at the 2023 Affordable Housing Breakfast for her unrelenting efforts to increase affordable housing. 

She is a long-time resident of Turtle Rock and until her passing, was an active member of the Orange Coast League of Women Voters and advocated for social justice with the Interfaith Community in Orange County while also serving on the Irvine Planning Commission.

Her stewardship to the City will never be forgotten. Her heart, spirit and soul will forever be with Irvine and its residents.