Councilmember David Penaloza – Ward 6

Headshot of David PenalozaCouncilmember David Penaloza, a proud native of Santa Ana, has deep roots as a lifelong resident of the city. Educated within the Santa Ana Unified School District, he attended Washington Elementary (1999), MacArthur Fundamental (2002), and Saddleback High School (2006). After a brief stint at Santa Ana College, he furthered his education at California State University, Los Angeles, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 2011. Councilmember Penaloza remains actively involved in his community, particularly through his dedication to supporting Santa Ana's youth in various capacities, including various volunteer work throughout the city.

Throughout his college journey, Councilmember Penaloza faced and triumphed over numerous challenges, including shouldering some of the financial responsibilities of tuition and supporting his mother. His college years also saw him explore acting as a hobby, leading to appearances in numerous national commercials and eventual membership in SAG-AFTRA, the esteemed performers' union (Currently Inactive). In 2008, he contributed as a part-time office clerk at Color Science, Inc., a local Santa Ana company specializing in compounding raw materials and resins for plastic production. His pivotal role in the ISO accreditation process propelled him to his current position as Senior Regulatory Manager.

Motivated by the students he tutored and the firsthand neglect he observed in Santa Ana, Councilmember Penaloza felt a strong calling to give back to his hometown. This conviction led him to run for Santa Ana City Council in 2018. Engaging personally with the community by knocking on over 6,000 doors, he secured 27 percent of the vote in a competitive field of six candidates, earning a seat on the Santa Ana City Council to represent Ward 2. Sworn in on December 11, 2018, he continued his dedicated service and, after the 2020 Census redistricting, now represents Ward 6. In November of 2022, he secured re-election to a second term with nearly a 10-percentage-point margin over his opponent.

Councilmember Penaloza is tirelessly dedicated to propelling Santa Ana into a realm of growth and distinction. His appointment to the Transportation Corridor Agencies in 2018 underscores his commitment to managing and operating Orange County's toll roads and overall mobility throughout the region . He staunchly advocates for the repair of neglected infrastructure and increased access to Santa Ana's parks and open spaces. In 2020, with unwavering support for public safety and a commitment to rebuilding trust in the police department, he brought forward a Police Oversight Commission that has received unanimous support from his council colleagues ever since. His priorities for Santa Ana's future encompass the restoration of parks, streets, neighborhood associations, economic improvement, and an elevated overall quality of life. He has successfully introduced and passed ordinances prohibiting needle exchange programs, street takeovers, as well as other forms of vagrancy related crime. He has fought and voted against water rate increases and bureaucratic waste, and also successfully brought forward one of the most expansive Community Workforce Agreements in the county to ensure that jobs remain local and guarantee access to prevailing and competitive wages. While on the city council, he's served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2021, and currently as the city's representative on the League of California Cities. In 2023, he was elected by his regional colleagues as the 2nd Vice President for the League of California Cities' Orange County Division.

The youngest of three children born to Mexican immigrant parents, Penaloza's resilience is rooted in his upbringing in the Memorial Park neighborhood, where he and his brothers were raised by their mother after the loss of their father in a 1991 car accident. In 2023, he embraced a new chapter in life by marrying his better half, Kim Bernice Nguyen. During their leisure time, the couple enjoys exploring Orange County's diverse food scene, spending the evening at Disneyland, and going on runs or hikes with their dogs Jax and Ein.

Ward map

map of Santa Ana with new ward boundaries as of April 2022

About Ward 6

Ward 6 map boundary

Ward 6 is roughly located in the central and eastern portions of the city. Ward 6 stretches as far north as 17th Street, south to Dyer Road, west to Bristol Street, and East to California SR-55. Use this tool to find out which ward you live in.

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