COSAS: City Manager’s newsletter for March 11, 2022

Posted on March 11, 2022

An aerial image of the Santa Ana Civic Center, focusing around the old court house, with white text over laid, reading: COSAS CITY OF SANTA ANA STORIES. There is a blue bar at the bottom with white text which reads, "A NEWSLETTER FROM THE DESK OF CITY MANAGER KRISTINE RIDGE"

In this edition of COSAS, learn about all of the great new Revive Santa Ana programs, zoo and urban greening projects, grants for businesses and artists, educational library classes and activities, fun events, and more!

Spotlight photo

A little boy in a black and red Adidas sweatshirt and a black beanie with almost shoulder-length curly brown hair eats a chocolate ice cream cone in front of the Virgin Mary mural and paper flags downtown

Shopping and ice cream in DTSA

Photo Credit: Silvano R. @mad.elephant

City Manager’s highlights

Revive Santa Ana Programs Rolling Out

An image of the Revive Santa Ana logo

Last year, the Santa Ana City Council approved the first half – $80 million – of the Revive Santa Ana pandemic recovery initiative funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Since then, City staff has been working hard to roll out many new and exciting programs. We distributed $300 gift cards to 15,000 households in need through the $6 million Resident Stimulus Program. Our library has created new technology and digital literacy programs and added dozens of new events (read about these below), and the Police Athletic & Activity League (PAAL) has started youth softball and baseball teams and a running club.

We also have created a digital marketing seminar with a $1,000 grant for local businesses and are funding our Investing in the Artist Grant Program (read more about these below and apply today!) This month, the City Council approved up to $900,000 for agreements with five local nonprofits to provide food distributions in Santa Ana. I’m proud of the work we have done so far, and much more is still to come!

Helping out downtown businesses

A picture of a street under construction with buildings and cars on the street

As work on the OC Streetcar continues on 4th Street, the City is working with the project manager, OCTA, and taking its own steps to support local businesses that are being impacted. This is a high priority for the City Council, which this month approved $1.5 million in grants to help the affected businesses. We’ve also extended our parking assistance, not only providing free parking from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at four City-owned parking structures, but also adding two hours of free parking after 5 p.m. and on the weekends. Please help out these local businesses by eating, shopping and playing in downtown Santa Ana!

Homelessness update

You can watch my March 1 homelessness update to the City Council in this video. The City of Santa Ana continues to proactively address the challenges and impacts of homelessness on our neighborhoods and businesses while taking a compassionate approach to helping unhoused individuals.


Zoo receives $2 million present for 70th birthday

A picture of a group of elected officials holding a check of 2 millions for Santa Ana Zoo

A picture of a group of people holding a banner that said Happy 70th birthday Santa Ana zoo

The Santa Ana Zoo had an extremely happy 70th birthday this week! State Sen. Thomas J. Umberg presented a check for $2 million to the Zoo and our Mayor and City Councilmembers for design and construction of a new Education Hub building. The new environmentally sustainable facility will include a flex space, classrooms, and a hub for community volunteers and education coordinators.

The Education Hub, nicknamed “the Hive” because it will be buzzing with activity, was conceptualized as a part of the 20-year Master Plan for the Santa Ana Zoo approved by the City Council in 2018. Other components of the Zoo’s planned transformation include the giant river otter exhibit now under construction, farm improvements, and the planned primate forest.

$1.5 million grant for King Street Urban Greening Project

A picture of an empty lot with wall and trees

The Public Works Agency was recently awarded a $1.49 million grant from the Caltrans Clean California Local Grant Program (CCLGP) for the King Street Urban Greening Project. The goal of the program is to beautify and improve local streets and roads, tribal lands, parks, pathways, and transit centers to clean and enhance public spaces.

The King Street Urban Greening Project features the transformation of unused public space into a beautiful urban green space near the intersection of King and 10th streets. The Project includes the removal of old asphalt paving and installation of drought tolerant landscaping, public art, seating areas, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, lighting, decorative boulders, shade trees, waste receptacles, interpretive signage, and a stormwater infiltration system.

In addition to beautifying the neighborhood, this innovative project will also improve the environment by infiltrating stormwater runoff back into the ground and reducing pollutant loads flowing into our watershed and water supplies. Construction of the project is anticipated to start in early 2023 and be completed in fall 2023.

Learn about our storm water program:

City wins sewer services award

A picture of a group of people standing in front of a white big truck with a big tank

The Public Works Agency’s Sewer Services is the winner of the 2021 Medium Collection System of the Year Award for the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) Santa Ana River Basin Section (SARBS). The Collection System of the Year Award is given in recognition of outstanding maintenance programs, regulatory compliance and safety and training procedures.

The CWEA Awards Program starts at the local level, and the winners of the SARBS awards then compete for the CWEA State level awards.

Learn about sewer services:

Vote to help Santa Ana water win Smart City award

A picture with multicolor blue back ground that said the City of Santa Ana CA has been selected as a finalist for Smart Water IDC Smart Cities North America Awards

The City of Santa Ana has been named a finalist in IDC Government Insights’ fifth annual Smart Cities North America Awards (SCNAA) in the Smart Water category. Our Water Resources Division was recognized for unprecedented progress in creating and sustaining smart city projects in the Smart Water category for its Water System Mobile Field Data Management and Mapping project. This project provided new data and mapping tools that help our staff more quickly and efficiently manage water system maintenance and repairs.

As a next step in the nomination process, IDC invites the public to vote on the named finalists online. Voting will be open through 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 13. Winners will be honored at Smart Cities Connect being held April 4-7 in Columbus, Ohio.

Vote for Santa Ana’s Smart City award:

Deadline near for business marketing classes with $1,000 grant

A graphic of a laptop with the wording about $1000 Marketing grants and the logo of Revive Santa Ana and City of Santa Ana and SBDC

Calling all Santa Ana small business owners! The City of Santa Ana and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are offering a 5-week program teaching all aspects of digital marketing to foster small business growth and drive revenue. This course will be taught through weekly webinars by SBDC experts and is offered in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. This is funded through Revive Santa Ana.

The City will provide the participants a $1,000 grant upon the completion of the 5-week course. The application is available online until Sunday, March 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

The dates of these seminars are:

  • English: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. (March 22, 29, April 6, 13, 20)
  • Spanish: Wednesdays at 10 a.m. (March 23, 30, April 7, 14, 21)
  • Vietnamese: Thursdays at 5 p.m. (March 24, 31, April 8, 15, 22)

Apply for Digital Marketing Seminars:

Learn More About Business Programs:

Apply now for Investing in the Artist grants

A pictures of a group of children on stage and on the ground holding balloons

ALBI (Active, Learning, Believe & Inspire) conducted dance, visual arts, and poetry lessons for students at Hoover Elementary using a previous artist grant.

Our annual Investing in the Artist Grant Program is back as part of our federally funded Revive Santa Ana pandemic recovery initiative. We have $300,000 available to disperse among qualified individual artists and nonprofit organizations for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Applications are available now!

You can also apply to be on the Review Panel to score the applications. This is a great program that supports our local arts community and creates beautiful public art for everyone to enjoy.

Apply for Investing in the Artist Grant:

Revive Santa Ana funds new digital library programs

A picture of computer screens that said Fundamentos De Computacion

As part of Revive Santa Ana, the Santa Ana Public Library has created nine programming initiatives focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning to support youth and their families in developing skills to live, learn, and work in a technologically advanced society.

These programs will increase physical access to cutting-edge tools, improve and enhance early childhood development and literacy, support positive educational outcomes for youth, and prepare our community’s present and future workforce. Programs include computer skills classes in Spanish and other technology workshops, building and programming robots, a media lab, and much more!

Technology Skills and Digital Literacy Programs:

Chief Valentin elected President of OC Association

A picture of a man in black uniform next to the American flag

I’m proud to share that our own Chief David Valentin of the Santa Ana Police Department has been elected president of the Orange County Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs Association (OCCOPSA). Chief Valentin was nominated and unanimously confirmed this month to serve in the position for 2022-2023.

This is a great honor for Chief Valentin and an important role in addressing public safety throughout Orange County. I’m certain Chief Valentin’s strong leadership in Santa Ana and his department’s role at the forefront of community policing will be a great benefit to other local law enforcement agencies.

Fire safety tips from the Orange County Fire Authority

A picture of a burning pan and someone holding a lid and a fire extinguisher in the corner that said Keep a lid or fire extinguisher nearby when cooking 

An image of an oscillating tower heater that said Keep home heating devices at least 3 feet from anything that can burn

Our friends at Orange County Fire Authority have shared several important fire safety tips that we should all remember.

  • Clean the filter in your dryer after every use.
  • Keep a lid or fire extinguisher nearby when cooking.
  • Do not overload power strips.
  • Keep your home clutter free.
  • Keep heating devices such as space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Keep flammable liquids away from heat sources and open flames.

Find More OCFA Safety Flyers:

Tales of the City

New sponsorships support arts and culture events

A picture of a group of dancers on stage in white dress and the backdrop said Santa Ana

An image of colorful artwork on the wall

A picture of a group of people observing the artworks on the walk and a car with the colors yellow and purple in the center of the room

From the iconic Boca de Oro festival, to art classes and mural slams, to neighborhood art walks and a Día de los Niños celebration, many local events are benefitting from the City’s new Arts and Culture Special Events Sponsorship program.

This first special event sponsorship program administered through the Arts & Culture Commission was a huge success, awarding $100,000 to 31 recipients with amounts ranging from $177 to $8,543. The equitable and inclusive process allowed for more artists and organizations to submit applications, with 70 total applications submitted. This program was created at the direction of the City Council, who set aside the funding to support more local arts events.

We were happy to see both established groups and many new ones benefit from these grants. Among the highlights:

  • 55% (17) of the sponsorship recipients had never received any City funding prior to this sponsorship.
  • 35% (11) of the sponsorship recipients were artists and organizations participating in the Downtown Artwalk.
  • 5 Neighborhood Associations from 4 different wards applied and were all awarded funding.
  • The program partnered with the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency, which waived permit fees or charged minimal fees so that recipients could spend their limited funding on the events themselves.

City Council meetings

At their March 1 meeting, the Santa Ana City Council approved …

  • $7.5 million in cannabis funds for a youth fishing program at Centennial Park, Nature Center renovations, movies and concerts in local parks, synthetic soccer field turf, and sports fields maintenance.
  • The first reading of an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in Santa Ana.
  • Agreements for up to $900,000 for 5 nonprofits to operate food distributions as part of the Revive Santa Ana program.
  • $1.5 million for the Santa Ana Business Interruption Fund program to provide financial relief to businesses impacted by the OC Streetcar construction.

City Council meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5 p.m. Meetings now have both in-person and virtual participation and attendance and are live streamed on YouTube and CTV 3 (channel 3 on Spectrum and channel 99 on AT&T TV). If you’d like to provide public comments on agenda and non-agenda items, you can email, attend in person, or join the Zoom webinar online or by phone.

A special meeting on redistricting has been scheduled for today, March 11, at 5:30 p.m. The next regular City Council meeting is on March 15.

March 11 and 15 meeting agendas:


Over 100 library events in March

March is an exciting month at the Santa Ana Public Library, with over 100 events planned at both the Main Library and Newhope Branch Library. Most of these events are funded through Revive Santa Ana. There are talks by local authors, teen movie clubs, children’s story time, technology education programs, and so much more! See featured events below

Library Events and Activities:

Neighborhood association meetings in March

A calendar of upcoming Neighborhood association meetings, all listed in table below.

Santa Ana is home to 64 different neighborhood associations. A neighborhood association is a group of homeowners, renters, apartment dwellers, and representatives from neighborhood businesses, churches, and schools who organize activities and events and work to improve the neighborhood. We would love for you to join the next neighborhood association meeting in your neighborhood!

Learn more about Neighborhood Initiatives:

Women’s Day festival 2022 – March 12

In honor of women’s history month, Conscious Culture will be hosting their 11th annual Woman’s Day Festival in Downtown Santa Ana. Celebrate and honor those who bring life into our world while immersing yourself in a full day of art, culture, music, and workshops! This event was supported by a donation from the City of Santa Ana’s Arts & Culture Special Events Sponsorships.

  • 2-9:30 p.m.
  • Plaza Calle Cuatro, 325 E. 4th St., Santa Ana

Women’s Day Festival:

Bowers Museum Celtic Festival – March 13

A graphic of a group of six people both females and males

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Bowers Museum! Enjoy bagpipes performances by Stephen Wilkinson, dance by O’Connor Kennedy School of Dance, and traditional Irish songs with a little Beatles thrown in by Craic in the Stone.

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana

Bowers Museum Celtic Festival:

Children’s Play and Learn Patio ribbon cutting – March 15

An image in blue and gold that said Ribbon Cutting Play and Learn Children Patio March 15 3pm at Main Library

The City of Santa Ana is excited to open the Play and Learn Children’s Patio at the Santa Ana Main Library. The new patio will bring children and families together from throughout the community to play and learn in a fun and informal setting.

  • 3-5 p.m.
  • Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana

Author Hour with Delilah Snell – March 19

A graphic of a woman next to the kitchen sink and the wording Author Hour Series Delilah Snell

Join Santa Ana Public Library in conversation with local business owner and author of “Beginner’s Guide to Preserving: Safely Can, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Freeze Food.” Learn all the basics of properly preserving some of your favorite food at home. Delilah Snell, the owner of Alta Baja Market, became a Master Preserver in 2009 and has been lecturing and teaching food preservation for several years.

Register for Author Hour:

Free household hazardous waste collection – March 19

The Public Works Agency is sponsoring a household hazardous waste collection that is free to Santa Ana residents. No appointment is required. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to safely dispose of unwanted household chemicals that cannot be disposed of in the regular trash. What can you bring to the household hazardous waste collection? Click the link below to find out what is and isn’t allowed?

  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saddleback High School, 2802 S. Flower St., Santa Ana

Hazardous Waste Collection:

Bowers Museum open house for parents and children – March 20

Open House for Santa Ana residents presented in conjunction with Bowers Museum’s new program, the Parent Support System. Families will enjoy quarterly open houses, which include free general admission for Santa Ana parents and their children under 18, art projects, live performances, and information sessions on how to access free education and art resources that are available on the Bowers Museum website.

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana

Bowers Museum Open House:

Santa Ana Zoo: resident free day – March 20

A banner-style graphic for the Santa Ana Zoo depicting a Blue and Yellow Macaw Parrot on the left side, a Scarlet Ibis Bird, a monkey, and a lemur on the right side. In the center, the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park logo is displayed.

On Resident Free Day, the third Sunday of each month, residents of Santa Ana may visit the Santa Ana Zoo for free. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill) will be required upon arrival. Not valid to schools or business addresses.

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana

Visit Santa Ana Zoo:

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