SANTA ANA, Calif. – Congressman Lou Correa honored City of Santa Ana administrators Maricela Marquez and Mikelle Daily as 2021 Women of the Year at an awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Chapman University in Orange. The ceremony was an opportunity to recognize women who have been on the front lines and behind the scenes keeping our communities healthy and safe throughout the pandemic and beyond.
As a tireless public servant, Maricela Marquez was honored for her work to manage and administer the City of Santa Ana's Emergency Rental Assistance Program designed to assist low-income renters impacted by COVID-19. Maricela, who joined the City of Santa Ana on Sept. 9, 2019, as a Residential Construction Specialist, has managed and administered the City of Santa Ana's emergency rental assistance program called CARES for Tenants since the beginning of the pandemic. Through her work, she has so far provided over $16 million in federally funded assistance to more than 2,791 families impacted by the pandemic.
“She has worked tirelessly to provide emergency rental assistance to ensure that Santa Ana residents remain in their homes,” said Judson Brown, the City’s Housing Division Manager. “She has been a warrior against the impact of COVID-19 on our community.”
As a grant manager and innovator, Mikelle Daily was honored for her work to create and successfully implement the City of Santa Ana's Eviction Prevention Program (the "SAVES" Program) while also implementing each major update to the CARES for Tenants Program. A Community Development Analyst with Santa Ana since Jan. 14, 2019, Mikelle was able to harness and navigate the City’s federal funding to help residents stay in their homes. While many workers were working from home immediately after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Mikelle was in the office designing and preparing the launch of the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program with the first round of funding received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mikelle oversaw the City’s four updates to the program to increase assistance for Santa Ana residents, from providing $1,500 per household in May 2020 to paying off 100% of past-due rent in June 2021 for Santa Ana households. In February 2021, Mikelle launched the SAVES Program to ensure no Santa Ana residents would be evicted due to nonpayment of rent.
“Mikelle combined her creativity and grant management skills with functionality toward solving the most important concern facing our residents,” said Judson Brown, Housing Division Manager.
Rep. Correa said the women honored during the ceremony are some of the most exemplary and effective leaders in combating the pandemic.
“The crisis has highlighted both the importance of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry,” said Congressman Correa.
The 2021 Women of the Year celebration highlighted the women who stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, educators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry. The award recognizes women who have been behind the scenes and on the front lines working to make our homes, schools, hospitals, and our community as a whole, a safe and healthy place to live and thrive.
Congratulations to Maricela, Mikelle and all of the other women who were selected for this honor!
Apply for Rental Assistance and Eviction Prevention
Santa Ana renters who owe past-due rent and need assistance are encouraged to apply immediately before the end of the State’s eviction moratorium on Sept. 30. Applications are available at www.santa-ana.org/cares-for-tenants.
Tenants who are facing eviction can apply for emergency rental assistance at the link above or at www.santa-ana.org/SAVES to receive both rental assistance and free legal and mediation services.