Cyril Yu was born in northern California. He and his sisters attended public schools in Lafayette and learned Chinese every Saturday in San Francisco. His parents were very involved in organizations like Self-Help for the Elderly and this instilled in Cyril a strong value for community service.
In junior high, Cyril’s family moved to southern California. He was fortunate to attend public schools that had strong community support. In high school, Cyril was heavily involved in music and volunteer activities, such as at Community Helpline.
Education And Career
Cyril Yu attended UC Berkeley, majoring in political science, and then obtained his law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. In law school, he volunteered at legal advocacy organizations such as the General Assistance Advocacy Project, Asian Law Caucus (now Asian Americans Advancing Justice / Asian Law Caucus), and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. After law school, he worked briefly in law firms in Fresno and Los Angeles before joining the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 2002. Cyril prosecuted over 90 felony and misdemeanor jury trials, including murder, violent crimes committed by gang members, felony domestic violence, and felony child abuse cases involving traumatic head injuries. Cyril has also served as the chair of Civic Action Committee for the Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys (AOCDDA) since 2015; the Civic Action Committee works on local issues affecting the criminal justice system.
Cyril received the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “2009 Diligent Prosecutor Award.” MADD also recognized Cyril in 2014 and 2015 with the Officer Volunteer Award. In 2015, the Irvine Police Department recognized Cyril for his outstanding service to the Irvine Police Department.
Building A Life In Irvine
In 2009, Cyril and his family moved to Irvine because of Irvine’s excellent public schools. Cyril’s oldest daughter has attended Woodbury Elementary, Turtle Rock Elementary, and Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, and is currently at University High School. His youngest received services through Early Childhood Learning Center, attended Turtle Rock Elementary, and is currently enrolled in the Virtual Academy.
In 2011, Cyril Yu was appointed, as an at-large member, to the City of Irvine’s Green Ribbon Environmental Committee (GREC). In 2013, he served as the chair of GREC.
Also in 2013, Cyril joined the Board of Directors of the South Coast Chinese Cultural Association / Irvine Chinese School. He served as the Chair of the Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016. During his tenure, the Irvine Chinese School became accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and secured foreign language credit for its high school students in the Irvine Unified School District. SCCCA also established annual cultural events such as the Moon Festival and Lantern Festival, partnered with community organizations such as the Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) and Pacific Symphony, and hosted civic events to educate and inform the Chinese community such as Candidate Forums and community meetings with the Irvine Police Department.
In 2014, Cyril Yu was appointed by IUSD Board Member Sharon Wallin to the Finance Committee. One of the Committee’s responsibilities was assisting with and advocating for Measure E, which was a bond measure to ensure that all students in Irvine had access to modern learning environments and technology. Voters eventually passed Measure E in June 2016.
In November 2020, Cyril was elected to the IUSD Board of Trustees for Area 3. His term begins in December 2020.