Ward 3 Quarterly News: Winter 2021

Date: December, 30 2021 Category: City Council, Ward 3

 

Image reads: Santa Ana Councilmember Jessie Lopez Ward 3 Quarterly Newsletter. Image contains an image of Jessie Lopez and the logo for the City of Santa Ana

Dear Ward 3 families,

As we make our way into the winter season and head into 2022, I want to wish you happy holidays and a happy new year! The last several months have indeed been busy for all of us. Despite the frenzy that has been 2021, I hope you have had time to practice self-care, and spend time with family and friends.

I wanted to end the year by sharing a few quick updates on what’s happening at City Hall and in the community. Of note, this newsletter highlights initiatives such as the Santa Ana Resident Stimulus Program, holiday programming—including the Santa Ana Winter Village, and tips such as how to get a COVID-19 test. 

As always, thank you for taking the time to connect with me by simply taking the time to read this newsletter. If you require assistance or would like to request a meeting with me, please email me at jessielopez@santa-ana.org or call (714) 647-6900.

Best wishes,

Jessie Lopez
Councilmember - Ward 3

 In This Issue...

  • Local Updates:
    • New Fitness Court at Cabrillo Park
    • Protecting Our Waterways
  • Loans for First-Time Homebuyers
  • Internet and Utility Assistance
  • How to report issues using the mySantaAna app

Local News & Updates

New Fitness Court at Cabrillo Park

A group of City officials and residents stand at the Cabrillo fitness court as the ribbon falls.A group of City officials and residents stand at the Cabrillo fitness court as Councilmember Lopez and Mayor Sarmiento get ready to cut the ribbon.Santa Ana’s newest Fitness Courts officially opened in November with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Cabrillo Park and Lillie King Park.

The Fitness Court is an outdoor bodyweight circuit training system that supports 28 simultaneous users on 30 separate pieces of equipment that are grouped into seven stations. The 7-movement, 7-minute system provides a full-body workout to people of all ability levels. Additionally, each court is wrapped in murals by local artists and will soon have shade structures installed to provide a more comfortable workout experience.

Gene Jimenez is the artist for the Cabrillo Park Fitness Court mural titled “Together We Go.” Community and togetherness is a supportive aspect to any commitment, including health.

Find More Parks Programs: https://www.santa-ana.org/parks

Stormwater Outlet Gates Protect Our Waterways

A photo of a large outlet and a small outlet of a storm drain, covered by nice new metal gates.

Our Public Works Agency has installed gates at the stormwater outlets at Santiago Creek to help reduce the trash that ends up in the ocean. Did you know that storm drains lead directly to our ocean? Water and debris that end up in the storm drains do not get treated, they flow into our creeks and rivers and then right out to the ocean. Keep our city and ocean clean and make sure to put trash in its place! 

An infographic depicting the difference between sewer and storm drains. Water from the sewer, aka anything that goes down an indoor drain, is sent to a wastewater treatment plant where contaminants are removed from the water before the water is returned to the ocean. Storm drains, which are drains that run along streets and catch basins, flow directly into local waterways, such as the Santa Ana River, before flowing into the ocean. Water that goes down a storm drain is not treated, so any debris that the water sweeps into the storm drain is led directly to the ocean.

County Redistricting Creates New District Boundaries

A map of Orange County showing the old districts: 1) some of Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove; 2) Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Westminster, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Cypress; 3) Anaheim, Orange, Villa Park, Tustin, some of Santa Ana, Yorba Linda, probably some of Costa Mesa; 4) La Habra, Brea, Fullerton, Placentia, some of Anaheim, Buena Park; and 5) all of South County, Irvine, some of Newport, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna, etc.The updated County District map, with some very different wards: 1) Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Cypress, some of Garden Grove. 2) Santa Ana, some of Garden Grove, some of Orange, some of Anaheim; 3) Some of Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, most of unincorporated OC, Orange, some of Anaheim, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Tustin, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo; 4) Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, Buena Park, some of Anaheim, Stanton; 5) Newport, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, dana Point, San Juan Cap, San Clemente, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita.

Every ten years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. Just like how the City of Santa Ana is in the process of creating new ward boundaries for our six wards using the new 2020 Census data, the County of Orange has also done so--having recently completed this process. Santa Ana's city boundaries (along with portions of Garden Grove, Anaheim, Orange, Tustin, and unincorporated Orange County) now fall in the new District 2.

Learn More About the Redistricting: https://cob.ocgov.com/sites/cob/files/2021-11/Proposal_05A_Rev_1_OCBOS_2021_w_techcorr.pdf 

Homeless Update from City Manager

I’m proud of the City of Santa Ana’s leadership in Orange County in addressing homelessness. The City works to support unhoused residents with compassion, services and shelter, while also addressing health and safety concerns in our neighborhoods. The City Manager provides a monthly update on these efforts at our City Council meetings. Here are some highlights of this month’s report:

  • In January 2022, the County will have its first point-in-time count since the pandemic began, where volunteers will reach out to known homeless communities and distribute supplies while getting a headcount of unhoused individuals.
  • Quality of Life Team (QOLT)
    • The QOLT addresses homelessness-related issues, working with city departments and county resources to address unauthorized encampments and abandoned property and providing outreach, including shelter and mental health services, to those experiencing homelessness
    • In November, the QOLT:
      • Contacted 222 individuals experiencing homelessness, providing outreach services as well as enforcement action when necessary
      • Conducted 189 large-scale clean-ups.
      • Issued 81 citations for various misdemeanor offenses
      • Placed or assisted in the placement of 62 individuals into shelter
  • The City has launched the Santa Ana Multi-disciplinary Response Team (SMART), which redirects non-criminal or non-emergency 911 calls related to homeless situations to specially trained response teams, who will be dispatched to engage with the homeless population.

Councilmember’s Projects

Revive Santa Ana Stimulus Card Distribution 

A photograph of Councilmember Lopez knocking on a door. She's wearing a Santa Ana polo, mask, and her hair is in a ponytail.A group of staff members who went door-to-door handing out stimulus cards.

This month, I joined City staff who worked through their weekends going door-to-door to hand out stimulus cards worth $300 each to neighborhoods with the greatest need for the Revive Santa Ana Resident Stimulus Program. We made over 20,000 direct contacts in just three weeks, including almost 18,000 rental housing units, senior apartments and mobile homes. Nearly 12,000 cards valued at over $3.5 million dollars were distributed to residents before the holiday season as the City continued working toward the full $6 million goal.

The Resident Stimulus Program was approved by the City Council as part of the $160 million Revive Santa Ana pandemic recovery initiative, which is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

I was able to join our distribution team a few times, and it was such a meaningful experience. I know how much of a difference the $300 cards can make, especially during the holidays. 

Learn More About the Program: https://www.santa-ana.org/revive/resident-stimulus

Recognizing Santa Ana Pony Baseball

A group of young baseball players, all in their SA tshirts and baseball caps, pose in the council chamber with their coaches and councilmember lopez

At the Dec. 21 City Council meeting, I recognized the 12U Santa Ana Pony Baseball team. Santa Ana Pony Baseball is a local non-profit who provides youth baseball players the opportunity to play ball, preparing them for high school, and possibly even college-level, sports. The 12U baseball team has been together for three years, since Spring 2018. During this time, they have participated in tournaments in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and internationally.

Dedication from both the coaching staff and parents has led the team to form a bond both on and off the field. They are truly the definition of team spirit. We are proud to have them represent Santa Ana in a tournament next June in Cooperstown, NY. We wish you all the best, and congratulations for your incredible athletic achievements!

Recognizing Navy Junior ROTC for Outstanding Contributions to Education

Councilmember Lopez poses with three people associated with the JROTC

It was my pleasure to present a certificate of recognition to the Santa Ana High School District’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps for Outstanding Contributions to Education. The NJROTC was established 50 years ago this November, and for the last 22 years they have been in the top 10% of units nationally. The NJROTC program helps develop young leaders and teaches high school students invaluable skills they can use for the rest of their lives. The group is run by three retired military veterans (2 Marines, 1 Navy), totaling about 100 years’ experience! This is the only unit in the City of Santa Ana, and they serve all of Santa Ana, not just Santa Ana High School.

Paying it Forward at the Boys & Girls Club

Councilmember Lopez poses with LA Chargers player Derwin James at the Boys and Girls Club FriendsgivingCouncilmember Lopez serves food at the Boys and Girls Club FriendsgivingA picture of the gymnasium, filled with tables and people eating, at the Boys and Girls Club Friendsgiving

I had a wonderful time volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana. It was my home away from home as a kid, and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to come back and help pay it forward. P.S. I also got to meet Derwin James from the L.A. Chargers!

Santa Ana High School Booster Club Friendsgiving

A group of students pose with certificates at Booster Club FriendsgivingA group of students pose with certificates at the Booster Club Friendsgiving

Many thanks to Herminia Sosa and the Parent Booster Club at Santa Ana High School for hosting the SAHS Band Friendsgiving dinner. This year, the color guard and marching band were recognized by Dr. Alfonso Alvarez for their hard work. The dinner is also a special opportunity to provide SAHS students a family style meal. Many thanks to the parent booster club and alumni who help make this happen. 

Health Center Champion Award from Share Our Selves

Earlier this year, Share Our Selves (SOS), a regional health center that serves the Orange County community, awarded me with their Health Center Champion Award. This award is given to individuals who engage in advocacy for health centers to achieve equitable health outcomes. You can learn more about SOS and their work by visiting their website.

More information: https://www.shareourselves.org/ 

Lighting the Tree at Plaza Navideña

A group of choir students pose at Plaza Navideña

We have so many fun holiday events in Santa Ana! In November, I joined the tree lighting at Plaza Navideña, where I rode in on an antique fire truck with Santa Claus and enjoyed the performances of local student musicians, singers and dancers. It was an amazing event, and you can still go downtown to Calle Cuatro to see the beautiful tree all lit up. Watch the video below to see highlights of the event!

Winter Village Grand Opening

Councilmember Lopez and Phan pose on the ice at the winter village

On Thursday, Dec. 9, my colleagues and I participated in the grand opening ceremony for the Santa Ana Winter Village! There were performances by professional ice skaters, the Ducks mascot and slapshot crew were there, and I got to see so many of you there, too! It was such a lovely evening. This month-long attraction includes the City’s first public ice-skating rink and many other holiday activities for families. It also activates our Civic Center Plaza and brings residents and visitors downtown to enjoy our wonderful local businesses. 

The Winter Village is open through Jan. 2. Be sure to head down to City Hall to enjoy the festivities! Get your ice-skating tickets online.

Visit the Winter Village: https://www.santa-ana.org/winter-village

Health Center Champion Award

Earlier this year, Share Our Selves (SOS), a regional health center that serves the Orange County community, awarded me with their Health Center Champion Award. This award is given to individuals who engage in advocacy for health centers to achieve equitable health outcomes. You can learn more about SOS and their work by visiting their website.

More information: https://www.shareourselves.org/ 


Resources

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines

With the holiday season in full swing and the increased likelihood of in-person gatherings to celebrate, it's important to remember to keep yourselves and others safe when it comes to COVID-19. In addition to practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and avoiding large gatherings, be alert for COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, and more). If you think you need a COVID-19 test, you can visit the Orange County Health Care Agency's website call their COVID-19 hotline at (714) 834-2000.

More information: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing 

Illegal Dumping? Report it with the mySantaAna app!

A photo of a driveway filled with trashA photo of a driveway after the trash has been removed

A photo of a sidewalk with a giant pile of trashA photo of the same sidewalk after all trash has been removed.

Help me clean Ward 3 clean. Next time you see a mess, use your smartphone to report it! The mySantaAna app is free and the reports you send with it go direcly to our Public Works Agency dispatch. I submitted this request a few weeks ago, and like magic, the area was soon clean. Thank you Public Works! 

mySantaAna App: https://www.santa-ana.org/residents/mysantaana-app 

Santa Ana Scholarships

Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation is now accepting applications for a wide variety of scholarships available to students in Santa Ana! 

Find Scholarships: http://santaanapublicschoolsfoundation.org/scholarships/

Need Help Paying Your Electric Bill?

There are two programs that may lower your energy bills: California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) reduces energy bills for eligible customers by about 30%. Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) reduces electric bills for qualified households by 18%.

CARE/FERA Discounted Rates: https://www.sce.com/residential/assistance/care-fera

My First Home Program Offers Down Payment Loans

A graphic of three houses in a row, above them is a blue sky-like background and under them is a green grass-like background. Above it reads, My First Home Program, and below it has the City of Santa Ana logo and reads, Down payment funds available now!

The City of Santa Ana is excited to announce a $1.2 million expansion of its down payment assistance program, now called My First Home, to further assist first-time homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership within Santa Ana.

As a result of the additional funding, down payment assistance loan amounts are being increased to promote home buying opportunities to Santa Ana residents. The enhanced program offers a 0% interest rate on deferred payment loans of up to $120,000 for low-income households and up to $80,000 for moderate-income households. My First Home is funded through the City of Santa Ana’s Inclusionary Housing Fund. The City is committed to the livelihood of its residents and provides many opportunities for affordable housing.

My First Home Program: https://www.santa-ana.org/my-first-home

The Cambodian Family is Hiring

A flyer with four positions listed for the Cambodian Family. It reads, We're Hiring! 
Health Navigator/Case Manager (bilingual English/Spanish)
Health Navigator/Case Manager (bilingual English/Khmer)
Youth Counselor/Case Manager (bilingual English/Spanish)
Parents as Teachers Home Visitor (bilingual English/Khmer)
To apply please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@CambodianFamily.org
All positions are based in Santa Ana

The Cambodian Family, a Santa Ana-based nonprofit, is hiring for a variety of positions, including Health Navigators and Youth Counselors. Search “Cambodian Family” on Indeed to see the full listings for these positions.
 

Get Help from Community Legal Aid SoCal

A mural of blind lady liberty holding her scales, draped in an American flag. Behind her is a blue sky with a swirly yellow sun, a family climbing up a wall of papers, and the old Orange County courthouse.Community Legal Aid SoCal helps residents in the substantive legal areas of housing, family law, health,  immigration, seniors, and economic maintenance.

Community Legal Aid SoCal: https://www.communitylegalsocal.org/

Revive Santa Ana: Small Business Grants

GROW YOUR BUSINESS, business seminars, $1,000 grants, 657-383-2176, santa-ana.org/BW

The City’s Economic Development Division is happy to announce the launch of the Revive Santa Ana Business Program funded with ARPA for business assistance funds. To address the negative economic impacts of COVID-19, the program brings technical support seminars to small businesses with the opportunity for $1,000 grants to implement strategies learned during the seminars.

Revive Santa Ana Business Program: https://www.santa-ana.org/BW

Special Event Sponsorship Opportunities

The City’s Community Development Agency has announced its Arts & Culture Special Event Sponsorship Opportunities! These sponsorships are available for special events produced by qualified nonprofit organizations, businesses, and/or City-recognized neighborhood associations whose events and programs support the City’s mission and provide a community benefit.

Learn More About Special Event Sponsorship Opportunities: https://www.santa-ana.org/cd/arts-culture-office


Events

Just for Residents

Resident Days at the Zoo • Third Sunday of each Month https://www.santaanazoo.org/

Bowers Museum free Sundays • Santa Ana residents get in free each Sunday https://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/

FREE Food Distributions

Weekly food distributions are available for those in need.

https://www.santa-ana.org/latest-news/free-food-distributions-santa-ana
 

Emergency food assistance: drive through food distribution. With a graphic of a car with food in the trunk and the logo for the city of Santa Ana