Ward 1 Quarterly News: Summer 2021

Date: July, 23 2021 Category: Ward 1

This past quarter has definitely been a busy, but fulfilling, one! I am most proud of the work we did with the 2021-2022 Budget and the Revive Santa Ana funds. Some of the biggest challenges included figuring out how to best fund important programs like youth services, the arts, and community engagement while also making sure we funded critical infrastructure and improved residents’ quality of life. It was also paramount that we allocate the Revive Santa Ana funds in a way to help families recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19 and kickstart Santa Ana’s revival. I believe that thanks to all the incredible input and feedback from the public and staff’s tireless work, we have been able to balance all these essential needs. 

I am looking forward to a summer filled with family time (I’m taking a family vacation Aug. 10-24) and hoping you will be able to enjoy this time with your friends and family, too. Importantly, I encourage you all to stay vigilant, wear masks in crowded places, and ask your friends and family to get vaccinated! We will only get through the pandemic if we do it together!

As always, please don't hesitate to call me at (714) 647-6900 or email me at TPhan@Santa-Ana.org if you want to discuss an issue or share an idea! My office hours are Fridays from 1-5pm, and I am happy to meet with residents who make an appointment.

Yours Truly,

Thai Viet Phan, Councilmember - Ward 1

In This Issue...

  • 2021-2022 Budget and Revive Santa Ana Approved
  • Get 100% of past-due rent paid!
  • Summer Jobs in Santa Ana
  • Movies in the Park returns



2021-2022 Budget Approved

The Santa Ana City Council approved a $717.1 million budget on June 15 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year that will improve service levels for residents despite the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Items approved in the budget include:

  • Increases the Legal Defense Fund for residents facing deportation to $300,000
  • $100,000 for arts and culture events
  • Ends a hiring freeze and restores recreation programs as well as adds recreation facility staff.
  • $150,000 for a Vietnamese Community Liaison (VCL)

I worked hard to ensure that the police budget wasn’t increased beyond contractual obligations, and pushed for more youth and recreation programs, as well as pushed for a VCL. I am excited to say all of these have been added to the new budget! Asian-American residents in the City of Santa Ana are tired of being invisible, left out, and ignored by the City. I am grateful to be here to represent the tens of thousands of Asian-Americans in the City, of which the majority are Vietnamese. Staff is now working on the complete job description to determine the duties, hours, and pay for the VCL. Having a VCL will help bridge the gap and make sure our community is included and considered. 

Read more about the budget: https://www.santa-ana.org/latest-news/santa-ana-city-council-approves-2021-2022-budget

Share Your Opinion on Police Oversight

The City of Santa Ana is working to improve trust between our local law enforcement and the community by ensuring public confidence in the Santa Ana Police Department through accountability and transparency. Our goal is to deliver the most professional and effective public safety services possible.

The City Council is exploring options for police oversight mechanisms in Santa Ana, such as through a Police Oversight Commission. Currently, the City of Santa Ana does not have a civilian police oversight mechanism.

We invite you to share your thoughts on police oversight by taking the survey at the link below.


Public Works Agency Solid Waste Contract Info

Public Works Agency Executive Director Nabil Saba wants to present at your next Neighborhood Association meeting on the options of the four different proposals for a new waste contract with the city. The presentation would cover key services for the solid waste program, the contract terms, the requests from the Ad Hoc committees, other special services, and the Clean City Initiative. To schedule the presentation at your next neighborhood meeting on or before Aug. 16, please reach out to Margarita Macedonio with the City’s Neighborhood Initiatives Program at mmacedonio@santa-ana.org.

Largest Cannabis Dispensary in State Opens in California

Planet 13, the largest dispensary in California, is opening in our Ward! Planet 13 has all sorts of awesome art, and the revenue that the dispensary brings the City is invaluable. Taxes and fees from legal recreational cannabis helps fund youth programs, parks, libraries and other services. I got to go to the grand opening with my mom and her friend, and we had such a nice time getting to see the high-tech, artistic space.


New Housing for Homeless Veterans

Heroes Landing is Orange County’s largest veteran-only housing development. The City of Santa Ana partnered with Jamboree Housing and the Department of Veterans Affairs to build this permanent supportive housing project, providing low-income housing to formerly unhoused veterans. This innovative development serves as a sanctuary of stability and a hub of hope for some of Orange County’s most vulnerable veterans.

Learn More about Heroes Landing: https://www.santa-ana.org/latest-news/city-santa-ana-awarded-ocbcs-10th-annual-turning-red-tape-red-carpet-award-heroes

Santa Anita Park Upgrades

As a part of California’s park rehabilitation program and with funding from the Cannabis Public Benefit funds, our own Santa Anita park is getting some major improvements:

  • Expansion of the existing parking lot to the east to provide parking for the new synthetic turf soccer field.
  • Removal of the handball court, basketball court, east play equipment area and landscaping.
  • Construction of a new basketball court, south of the new parking lot
  • Enlargement of the existing west play equipment area to accommodate the relocation of the east play equipment.


Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The City of Santa Ana can now cover 100% of past-due rent for low-income Santa Ana residents who have been financially impacted by the pandemic and who owe past-due rent. Our emergency rental assistance program will pay all of your past-due rent back to April 1, 2020. 

We encourage anyone who qualifies to apply, and to share the news with any neighbors, family and friends who might be in need. Scroll down to events for details on an upcoming rental assistance Q&A workshop.

More Info: https://www.santa-ana.org/latest-news/rental-assistance-program-pays-100-past-due-rent

Parks and Rec is Hiring!


Work in the city where you live and that you love!

The City of Santa Ana Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Agency has just reopened its senior centers and is gearing up to open its recreation centers. 

The agency is actively hiring folks interested in public service and who love the recreation field and working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Anyone over the age of 18 is encouraged to apply for the various open positions!

Apply today to join the fun and make a difference in the lives of others by working with the Parks and Recreation Agency!

There are also other full-time positions in various departments across the city.

See Open Positions: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/santaana

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Low-income residents can get a discount on internet services through the FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer

Apply at GetEmergencyBroadband.org or call 833-511-0311 or contact your internet provider directly.

GetEmergencyBroadband.org: https://www.getemergencybroadband.org 

OC Veterans: Driven for Success

Orange County Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the County of Orange, is offering a new hiring initiative with OC Driven for Success. Through this initiative, interested individuals have access to career opportunities with over 120 franchised vehicle dealers in Orange County. Training time could be as little as one year for someone with four or more years of military vehicle repair experience. Earn a minimum of $28 per hour upon completion of training and promotion.

More Info about OC Driven For Success: https://www.oconestop.com/oc-driven-for-success


City Council Recognizes June 2021 as Immigrant Heritage Month

Everyone should celebrate where they came from, even people who don’t live where they were born. We wanted to recognize the immigrants who make this country great and are part of this community, since over 40% of Santa Ana’s residents are foreign-born. As such, Councilmember Nelida Mendoza and I brought forward this proclamation to recognize June as Immigrant Heritage Month.We presented this proclamation to the Orange County Justice Fund, which supports immigrants in their fight for citizenship and against deportation by providing legal services at no cost to them.

OC Justice Fund was founded in 2017 to ensure that no Orange County resident is forced to defend themself from deportation without an attorney, and to provide support so that those individuals eligible to be released from detention can do so without being financially devastated.

Learn more about OC Justice Fund: https://www.ocjusticefund.org/

Proclaiming May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In May I presented a proclamation recognizing May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA). 

Learn more about VAALA http://vaala.org/

Visit to Orange Youth Soccer League



I was invited to Fitz Intermediate to participate in our Orange Youth Soccer league’s grand opening! I had so much fun kicking the ball around with some of the players. 

Vaccine Awareness

There are huge discrepancies in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and many of our most vulnerable populations are left unvaccinated, despite many no-cost doses being available. As such, we have been working on outreach to get our neighborhoods vaccinated! I was able to join two different vaccine clinics to help promote and encourage people to get their vaccines. There are many vaccine clinics around the City, and most do not require ID or health insurance. I got my shots, have you? 

Get Vaccinated: https://www.santa-ana.org/covid19/vaccine

Welcome Governor Sarwar!

Santa Ana is home to the Sikh Center of Orange County, and on May 30 I was invited to welcome the governor of Punjab, Pakistan, to our lovely Sikh Center! I presented the Honorable Muhammad Sarwar with a Certificate of Recognition on the occasion of his visit.


The state VISION Act would protect community members who have already been deemed eligible for release from being transferred by local jails and our state prison system to immigration detention. The VISION Act takes urgent and necessary strides toward ensuring that our local and state tax dollars are not used to funnel immigrants into dangerous health conditions in immigration detention, violate Constitutional protections, and separate immigrant families and communities. What that all means: the VISION Act would prevent residents who have served their time from being transferred to ICE upon their release from prison.

I support the VISION Act and am actively taking steps to ensure these necessary protections for all immigrants!

Know Our Meetings and Events

Boards and Commission Meetings: https://www.santa-ana.org/cc/city-meetings

Connect with me! Email Yesenia to schedule an appointment at ycruz5@santa-ana.org.

Back to School Fest

Get ready to head back to school with Advance OC’s Back to School Fest! Together with dozens of community partners, Advance OC will be providing free health screenings, distributing school supplies, and connecting residents with other awesome community organizations. Registration required, visit https://www.advanceoc.com/Back-To-School-Fest-2021/ for all the details and registration information.

MASA Producers Academy

Free youth media arts classes for Santa Ana residents!

Register for Media Arts Santa Ana classes: https://masamedia.org/index.php/programs/2021-milpa-free-santa-ana-classes

Bici Basics

Join Santa Ana Active Streets (SAAS) and learn some bike basics through this two-part course. Register for Bici Basics: https://bit.ly/3jFyecN 

Landscaping Webinars

The City’s Public Works Water Resources Division invites you to learn about water wise gardening for your home through a series of online workshops offered through Metropolitan Water District, now offered in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Register for a Landscaping Webinar: https://greengardensgroup.com/turf-transformation/

Movies in the Park

The Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Agency has brought back Movies in the Park this summer! Every Wednesday and Friday evening from July 14 until Aug. 27 there will be a movie played at dusk at a different City park, three of which are in our Ward. Two of the Ward 1 Movie Nights have happened already, Cesar Chavez Campesino Park and Rosita Park, both pictured below.

Movies in the Park: https://www.santa-ana.org/moviesinthepark



Local Events:

Resident Days at the Zoo • Third Sunday of each Month

Bowers Museum free Sundays • Santa Ana residents are free each Sunday (http://bowers.org/images/pdf/Bowers_Museum_Free_Programs.pdf

Discovery Cube Waste Free Days • Santa Ana residents get free admission to the Discovery Cube on the first Tuesday of the month (https://www.discoverycube.org/promotions/

Because of the pandemic, the City was canceling all of its special events through the end of 2021, but the rest of the City Council and I decided our community needs a chance to celebrate. We pushed to have two special events this year, and I can’t wait to see you there!

  • Oct. 23 - Santa Ana 5K Run
  • Nov. 20 - Plaza Navideña holiday celebration

COVID-19 Vaccine

Everyone age 12 and up is eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine!

More Info: https://www.santa-ana.org/vaccine

FREE Food Distribution Events

Weekly Food Distributions! 



Parking Tickets: https://www.santa-ana.org/pd/parking-enforcement-and-ticket-information

Public Works: https://www.santa-ana.org/pw

Neighborhood Initiatives: https://www.santa-ana.org/neighborhood-initiatives

Utility Services: https://www.santa-ana.org/finance/municipal-utility-services

Schedule a bulky item pickup: Call Waste Management (714) 558-7761

Police Non-Emergency Line: (714) 245-8665

Emergency Water Services: (714) 953-8026

Who Do I Call?  https://www.santa-ana.org/who-do-i-call