Welcome back to COSAS, Santa Ana's bi-monthly newsletter. Scroll down to read about what we're doing to address environmental justice, to watch a great documentary about the Santa Ana Zoo's history, to find out about the upcoming reopening of the Newhope Library, how to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and much more!
Together in Solitude
Photo Credit: Joseph C.
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Getting Vaccines to our Most Vulnerable Residents
We received some great news about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout this week. Santa Ana residents ages 16 and older who live in ZIP codes 92701 or 92703 can make an appointment to receive the vaccine now! These ZIP codes were identified by the State as some of those most vulnerable to the virus.
Even if you don’t live in either of those ZIP codes, anyone over age 50 in Orange County can now get vaccinated, and starting on April 15, anyone 16 or older can get the vaccine.
The City also last month partnered with MemorialCare Medical Group to host two vaccine clinics at the Southwest Senior Center where over 1,000 Santa Ana residents got vaccinated.
Orange is the New Tier
Of course, getting everyone vaccinated doesn’t just save lives and protect public health. This week, Orange County moved to the Orange Tier of the State’s pandemic reopening guidelines. This means more local businesses and activities are allowed either to expand capacity or resume operations.
Case rates and deaths are significantly down, and if this trend continues, we could be dropping to the next tier before long. However, we want to reopen safely, so please continue to wear a mask and get vaccinated when it’s your turn so that we can all get back to normal.
$143 Million from Federal Stimulus
Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the City of Santa Ana is expecting to receive $142.9 million. With this funding, we are planning to launch Revive Santa Ana, a comprehensive pandemic recovery program that will allow the City to reimagine the services it provides. The City Council and I have many ideas about how this money can be used, but we want to hear from you about what programs, services and investments you think the community needs most.
Soon we will be rolling out a community survey, and we will have a town hall to discuss this funding, to answer questions and to get feedback. We already had one virtual public forum during the Com-Link meeting last month. You can see the presentation and watch the full meeting at the video link below.
March 25 Com-Link Meeting
Last week, the Budget Office participated in a meeting with the Communications Linkage (Com-Link) forum, a coalition of neighborhood associations, to discuss the budget for the next fiscal year and the Revive Santa Ana stimulus funding plan. If you missed it, don't worry. You can still be a part of the conversation. You can watch the Com-Link meeting on our YouTube channel, submit your written comments to the Budget Office at email@example.com, and address the City Council directly at an upcoming City Council meeting. Here's the meeting video:
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Sadly, we have lost many lives during this pandemic. Families who are grieving shouldn’t have to struggle to pay for funeral expenses, too. Thankfully, new federal laws are offering help with this. FEMA will now provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
Applications will be accepted beginning on April 12, 2021.
More help for businesses is also on the way. The U.S. Small Business Administration is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
Venue Operators Grant
Some of the businesses most hurt by the pandemic have been event venues, which by their nature depend on having large gatherings and crowds. Now, the SBA has a new grant program to assist shuttered venue operators. It will begin taking applications on April 8, 2021
The City of Santa Ana has been working diligently to curb the impacts of homeless encampments and activities in our community and is pleased to announce its latest effort to address this issue.
In response to concerns from residents and business owners, the City of Santa Ana and Union Pacific have agreed to additional protocols for the routine maintenance of the railroad right-of-way operated by Union Pacific in the City. These efforts are expected to result in a higher degree of cleanliness and order along the tracks. They include additional policing, security, and fencing where appropriate. With this mutual spirit of partnership, coordination and cooperation, the City is encouraged by Union Pacific’s strengthened commitment to its operations in Santa Ana. The parties will continue to take steps where necessary to alleviate any deteriorating conditions along the tracks.
We are hopeful that this agreement will provide relief to neighboring residences and businesses by helping to keep our community clean and safe.
As part of the City’s comprehensive General Plan update, City staff is reaching out to Santa Ana’s communities that may be experiencing higher levels of pollution and associated health risks. These are known as Environmental Justice, or EJ, communities (areas shown in color on the map.)
In addition to a series of virtual meetings for these neighborhoods (see Events below), we are asking residents to respond to an online Environmental Justice Survey. We especially want to reach our EJ neighborhoods. Environmental justice seeks to reduce pollution and increase public investments in these communities, while ensuring their input is considered in decisions that affect them.
Complete the survey for a chance to win a $100 gift card.
The City of Santa Ana Public Works Agency is pleased to launch its annual Neighborhood Block Beautification Contest (NBBC). The contest is designed to encourage and promote community involvement in keeping Santa Ana a beautiful place to live, work and play. The NBBC will recognize and reward winning neighborhood blocks that have made aesthetically pleasing improvements.
No more than three blocks per Ward will be chosen. Each winning block will receive two elegantly designed, Santa Ana signs. Each participating property of a winning block will receive one $100 gift card. A special unveiling of the signs and presentation of gift certificates will be made by the City Councilmember, City Manager and Executive Director of Public Works.
The application deadline is May 21, 2021.
Warner Avenue is a regionally significant arterial roadway, providing east-west travel through the City. To enhance safety, mobility and overall quality of life in the neighborhood, the City proposes to improve and widen the 1-mile segment of Warner Avenue from Main Street to Grand Avenue from four to six lanes. When completed, the proposed improvements will improve pedestrian and bicycle mobility and safety while creating a consistent major arterial facility as designated in the City’s General Plan Circulation Element and in the County of Orange’s Master Plan of Arterial Highways (MPAH). The recommended alignment was selected to maximize benefits while minimizing overall impacts to the community.
One lane in each direction has been closed on Fairview Street between Civic Center Drive and 5th Street. We recommend using alternate routes and planning for possible delays. The closure will be in place for the duration of the work necessary for the OC Streetcar construction. Construction schedules may change and depend on weather conditions.
For any questions about the OC Streetcar project, please contact OCstreetcar@octa.net or (844) 746-6272.
LEARN MORE https://www.santa-ana.org/pw/oc-streetcar
As the weather begins to warm up and we spend more time outside (while practicing social distancing, of course!), it’s important to keep in mind how to be safe around barbecue grills and swimming pools. Below are some safety tips from the Orange County Fire Authority.
Barbecue Grill Safety
In collaboration with the City IT department, the Santa Ana Public Library will launch the outdoor Express Computer Center at the Main Library on April 9, 2021. The Express Computer Center will offer the following services free of charge for Santa Ana library cardholders: Computer access, printing, scanning, and copying service. You will be able to find more information at the link below, or contact the Main Library at (714) 647-5250.
Local nonprofit Chicano Mentoring Association has created a wonderful new documentary about the Santa Ana Zoo that you can watch above on YouTube. This youth-created film is part of the organization’s “Cinta Project,” which is dedicated to the art, development and preparation of film making.
The Santa Ana Zoo, through fun, adventure, and learning, empowers the community to save wildlife and wild spaces. Officially named “The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park,” the zoo has been known as "a jewel of Orange County" since its opening in 1952. Today, this small zoo is an oasis in the city where families can play, learn, and spend time connecting with nature together. Featuring plants and animals of the world, the Santa Ana Zoo is home to many species of primates and a variety of endangered species. Check out this video to learn more about the zoo’s history (and shout-out to the Chicano Mentoring Association for their great work!)
At the March 16, 2021, meeting, the Santa Ana City Council …
City Council meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5 p.m. Our meetings 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, or join the Zoom webinar online or by phone.
Residents of the Delhi and Santa Ana Memorial Park neighborhoods are invited to a virtual discussion about Environmental Justice in the City’s General Plan Update. The Santa Ana General Plan communicates the City’s long-range policies that reflect the vision and values of the community, to guide the physical, economic, social, and environmental programs administered by the City.
Ten virtual community meetings will be held through May 2021, inviting residents to share their experiences and provide additional feedback on improving the environmental health and quality of life in their neighborhoods. These are important conversations, and I hope you will join us!
The next Environmental Justice Neighborhood meeting is scheduled for the Delhi and Santa Ana Memorial Park Neighborhoods on April 5, 2021, at 6 p.m. on Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/99430094817. To connect by phone, please call 669-900-9128 and enter ID:994 3009 4817# .
On April 9, 2021, the Newhope Public Library will be reopening to the public with expanded hours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Newhope Library has been busy receiving a variety of great upgrades and improvements that youth and residents of all ages will be sure to enjoy. Click below for more information on Newhope and services during COVID-19.
The NALEO Educational Fund is offering free legal review for N-400 Applications for Naturalization. NALEO’s legal partners at Loyola Marymount will be heading the legal review portion and will meet one-on-one with folks virtually during the event. This virtual workshop is open to the public.
What is the process?
If you have any questions, please call Darlene Moreno at (949) 330-8980.