Welcome to our second quarterly newsletter, where I share news and updates relevant to our Ward and neighborhoods.
Growing up, summer was my favorite season. Summer was a time with no school where my family could go to parks around the city and spend time together. Now that things are opening back up, I'm feeling the childhood joy of summer come back to life! I'm finally able to meet so many of you at neighborhood events and other gatherings, and I can't wait for more.
There are a lot of fun events and activities happening in the next few months. Keep reading to learn about all the things happening in Ward 3 and in our beautiful City this quarter.
I hope you all have a safe and fun summer!
Councilmember, Ward 3
Our City employees strive to make Santa Ana the best it can be! Recently, our Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Agency made some small improvements that made a big difference at Fisher Park by adding a nice decomposed gravel walkway around the information plaque for the park’s cannon.
Public Works has been hard at work repairing our parks! Check out these before and after shots from Cabrillo Park. These improvements were very needed and overdue, and I am so proud that they are done!
Ward 3 is full of beautiful historic homes and buildings, so I want you all to know that the City of Santa Ana is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Historic Preservation Awards! The Historic Preservation Awards are intended to recognize outstanding historic rehabilitation and restoration projects, as well as efforts that have furthered the cause of historic preservation in the City. Any property within the City listed on the Local, State, or National Registers of Historic Places that completed a renovation between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2020, is eligible.
Info about the Historic Preservation Awards: https://www.santa-ana.org/latest-news/nominations-open-2021-historic-preservation-awards
Watch a video about last year's winners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTpCsFR3uiA
Each year, many Santa Ana neighborhood associations nominate three of their most beautiful yards to be put in the city-wide Beautiful Yard contest, hosted by Com-Link and Neighborhood Initiatives. This year, many of our Ward 3 neighborhoods participated: of the 19 winning neighborhoods, nine of them were in our Ward! Here are the winners from our Ward:
Santa Ana Triangle
West Floral Park
To learn more about the contest: https://www.santa-ana.org/sites/default/files/Most%20Beautiful%20Yard%20Tri-Fold%20Brochure%202021%20updated.pdf
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 August 16th, please reach out to Margarita Macedonio with the City’s Neighborhood Initiatives Program at email@example.com.
Looking for a rad way to spend a summer day? DIVERTsessions is now open at the MainPlace Mall! DIVERTsessions is an adventure park with a skatepark, wave machine, snow hill, and creative studio where visitors can learn how to skateboard, surf, boogie board, snowboard, ski, and even learn to create digital music and different types of art.
Visit DIVERTsessions: https://www.divertsessions.com/
THRIVE Santa Ana Community Land Trust has worked with local residents, in partnership with local urban farming cooperative CRECE and nonprofit design company City Fabrick, to create a beautiful design for the Walnut and Daisy Micro-Farm. This is Santa Ana’s first community land project, and will include space for farming, processing and sale of diverse goods, community space for events and gatherings, farmers markets, as well as space for additional local vendors and cooperatives, selling coffee, desserts, traditional ice cream, and other products and crafts. THRIVE is working with these local cooperatives to obtain County permits for food facilities, designing operations and participative governance.
The Walnut and Daisy Site Plan has obtained initial approvals from the City of Santa Ana’s Planning Department and is preparing now to submit for Building Permit approvals. At the same time, THRIVE is searching for contractors (construction) and engineers (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, civil, and structural) to support the construction of the Micro-Farm in the following year.
THRIVE’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thrive-Santa-Ana-CLT-144738633060631/
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.
I 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.
Work in the city where you live and that you love!
The City of Santa Ana Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Agency is gearing up to open its recreation and senior centers this summer. 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. There are also other full-time and part-time positions in various departments across the city.
See Open Positions: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/santaana
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
I joined the Open Garden Day and saw a few of West Floral Park and Fisher Park’s beautiful gardens! Our residents take great pride in their yards, and their hard work paid off. I loved seeing our neighbors’ yards in full bloom!
On Saturday, June 19, the Floral Park neighborhood hosted a dedication of their new butterfly garden in the Sarah Mae Downie Pocket Park. At the event, docents shared about the lifecycle of butterflies, what plants they need to survive, and why they are so important to our ecosystem. Pollinators like butterflies are vital to plants’ reproduction: it’s because of pollinators that our food grows! Plants like milkweed allow butterflies to be safe and thrive.
Since the last newsletter, the City has hosted several “dumpster days,” where we provide a dumpster at a park or in a neighborhood to help make spring cleaning more accessible to all of our residents. A few of them were in our ward: the Mabury Park neighborhood and the Edna Park Neighborhood. It was great to meet those of you who came out!
In June, the City Council supported my proposal to prepare a resolution of the Council condemning anti-Semitic violence. During these troubling times when so many minority groups are facing hate and discrimination, it’s important that we as elected leaders take a stand.
Everyone age 12 and up is eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine! Mayor Sarmiento and I canvassed some of Ward 3 together, spreading awareness and sharing local clinics. The fight for vaccine equity is not over for us! I’ve had my shots, have you?
The Sunshine Ordinance is an amendment of the Santa Ana municipal code that added more government transparency through additions such as requiring meetings between developers and community members, implementing open meeting calendars for elected officials and department heads, and allowing public access to city services contracts and requests for proposals. At the May 4 City Council meeting, I proposed expanding the ordinance to include greater notifications, including notifying residents who are renters, and increasing the area of those who are to be notified from 500 feet around a project to 2,000 feet. I’ve also proposed adding a second hearing to allow more opportunities for public comment, as well as updating lobbyist registries with the clerk, and the continuation of virtual participation options once we transition back to in-person meetings. In the coming City Council meetings, we will discuss these proposed changes further and hopefully bring a little more light to the sunshine ordinance!
At the May 4 City Council meeting, I proclaimed May as Drowning Prevention Awareness Month to help educate our community about the risks of drowning. This is especially important during the summer as families head to beaches and pools. Drowning deaths are easily preventable, yet account for more than 3,500 deaths per year, per the CDC. One in five of those deaths are children under 14.
The month of June is dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices, celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and supporting LGBTQ+ rights. It began with the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969 and now Pride Month is recognized in countries around the world. In a show of support, the City not only raised the Pride Flag at City Hall, but also lit up the Santa Ana water tower with rainbow lights. I’m proud to be a member of such an inclusive city!
Pride Month may be over, but you can still learn about LGBTQ+ issues. The Santa Ana Public Library provided many educational resources for Pride. Find them at https://www.santa-ana.org/library/pride-month.
Learn of the resources offered by the LGBTQ Center OC https://www.lgbtqcenteroc.org/
Visit the Trevor Project, providing support to LGBTQ youth https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
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/
Join your Ward 3 neighbor, Dylan Almendral, at the Bowers Museum on Saturday, July 31, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for part two of the Distilled California Series. Dylan and his cohost, Ryan Freisen, will dive into the world of bootleggers, rum runners and even pharmacists in Orange County’s history. Stories, myths, and legends galore abound in the seedy underworld of Orange County and its legal relationship with booze. The night will also feature a signature cocktail from Santa Ana’s Blinking Owl Distillery! Each ticket includes two cocktails.
Read the July/August Bowers Program: https://www.bowers.org/images/pdf/Program-Guide.pdf
Residents Day at the Zoo • Third Sunday of each Month (https://www.santaanazoo.org/)
Bowers Museum free Sundays • Santa Ana residents get in 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 cancelled 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!
Weekly food distributions are available for those in need.