Ward 1 newsletter: April 2024

Posted on April 9, 2024

2024 Mayor Pro Tem Header

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Dear Ward 1 Residents,

Happy Year of the Dragon! Yes, I know Tet/Lunar New Year was in February, but the first quarter of 2024 has been a whirlwind of activity throughout Ward 1 and Orange County. From celebrating Santa Ana’s first-ever City-sponsored Tet/Lunar New Year Festival to installing new restrooms in Windsor Park, I’m proud to say that your Ward 1 Team has been delivering for residents.

Honoring all of our histories, cultures, and traditions is important to me. I believe that acknowledging our different backgrounds ensures that we cultivate better understanding with our neighbors and fosters collaboration. It’s why it was an honor of a lifetime to fight for and unveil our reconstructed Little Saigon sign at the intersection of First Street and Harbor Boulevard over 15 years after it was destroyed. There are no words to describe how amazing it felt to invite the community out to recognize this wonderful occasion.

I’ll also have to say that this Q1 was the first time we’ve engaged lots of high school volunteers, and the amazing students at Los Amigos High School delivered! They signed up and were so enthusiastic about sharing resources with community members at the UVSA Tet Festival! We had the adults “supervise,” but I’ll be honest — the students were keeping each other accountable! As a Lobo myself, it was really rewarding to be able to give back to my alma mater and get students to come out of their shell to help out!

Now that spring has sprung (at least that’s what my clock tells me), we’re bringing even more resources and services to Ward 1 residents in Q2! In collaboration with Supervisor Sarmiento’s Office, Cal-Optima, the Orange County Social Services Agency, and many community partners, we’ll be bringing a health fair to residents on Saturday April 13th at Centennial Park from 9-1. I’ve seen first-hand how lack of dental and vision care has hurt our community, so I’m particularly excited for the free screenings provided by Lestonnac Free Clinic and Smile California! We’ll also be distributing food and signing residents up for Medi-Cal and Cal-Fresh. We’ll also be holding a free legal clinic, a Youth Town Hall at Los Amigos High School, and a law school panel in partnership with Santa Ana College to name a few upcoming events. Your Ward 1 Team and I are excited to work on this programming to ensure Ward 1 residents are no longer forgotten and that all Santa Ana residents receive the services they deserve.

I’ll also be busy working with our professional staff to develop a balanced budget, given the looming changes to the Measure X tax measure. It’s a scary thing, knowing that the City is facing a big structural deficit once Measure X decreases then finally sunsets. However, I’m focused on economic development in the city and pursuing reasonable measures to protect the services that make positive changes for our quality of life. That’s why you’ll hear more from me about a potential Parks, Libraries, and Zoo Bond to pay for maintenance, safety, upgrades, infrastructure, and so much more specifically for our parks and trails, libraries and bookmobile, and the Santa Ana Zoo. I want to explore this avenue because we have to be realistic about what we can afford and what we’re willing to lose. We’ve come so far with improving and maintaining our parks, libraries, and the zoo; I don’t want to lose all of that progress.

If you have any ideas for future events or ideas on balancing our budget, we’d love to hear from you. And if you’re interested in volunteering or joining a commission, even better! Reach out to us to find out how you can be a part of making Ward 1 a better place to live for all residents!

Mayor Pro Tem

Yours Truly,

Thai Viet Phan, Mayor Pro Tem – Ward 1

In This Issue…

  • Little Saigon Monument unveiled
  • 2024 Tết Lunar New Year
  • Share your ideas on the City budget
  • Join hiring and health fairs

Know Your Ward & City

Community input on Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Budget

Budget survey

The City of Santa Ana is beginning the process for the annual City budget and we want to hear from residents like you! Providing your input will allow for a more transparent process and you will also send a message as to what City programs matter most to you. Your opinion matters and it’s important that you share it with us. Watch this video to learn more about the City budget.

Take the Budget Priorities Survey in English

Take the Budget Priorities Survey – Vietnamese

Prefab restrooms delivered to Windsor Park

Windsor Park new restroom Windsor Park new restroom

On February 14, prefabricated restrooms, a $5.1 million project funded by Revive Santa Ana, were delivered at Windsor Park. In 2023, the City completed restrooms at Memorial Park, Campesino Park and Madison Park with site improvements to provide accessible paths to these facilities. New restrooms are coming soon to Angels Park, Heritage Park and Riverview Park. Local Jackson Elementary students were also invited to learn about engineering, construction, and local government processes.

Santa Ana economy is growing strong

Recently, the 2024 Santa Ana GROW Conference, hosted by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and the City of Santa Ana, highlighted Santa Ana’s new businesses, major developments, the growth in our travel and tourism industry, and our strong economic outlook.

A couple of highlights: in 2023, the valuation of building permits issued by the city reached an all-time high of $772 million, with over 9,500 building permits issued, and we’ve already achieved 74% of our state goal for building new housing units from 2021 to 2029. Watch the video above spotlighting three major projects.

Republic Services annual summer internship program

Republic Services internship program

Republic Services is working with the City of Santa Ana to help high school and college-aged (18 and older) students who are Santa Ana residents to become educated in the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. As part of the effort to make recycling second nature to all City of Santa Ana residents and students, Republic Services is proud to announce the first annual Summer Internship Program.

Upon completion of the program, interns will receive a $1,000 scholarship in addition to gaining tangible work experience. Applications are due by Monday, April 29, 2024.

Republic Services Summer Internship Program

Inaugural Tết (Lunar New Year) Festival a cultural celebration

Tet Lunar New Year celebration

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Tết (Lunar New Year) Festival! This special event was held in collaboration between Santa Ana Parks and Recreation and Santa Ana Public Library to celebrate the year of the dragon!

Lunar new year Lunar new year

Thousands of community members were able to come together and enjoy the Lunar New Year. From live performances, music, delicious food, engaging booths and fireworks, this event had something for everyone.

We can’t wait to see you all at next year’s event!

Free Santa Ana Summer at Bowers Museum

This is an exciting opportunity to enjoy a Santa Ana treasure! Bowers Museum is expanding its free Sundays for Santa Ana residents, offering free museum general admission to all residents every day from March 9 to September 8 during its new exhibition, Asian Comics: Evolution of an Art Form. Tickets to the special exhibition are $10.

Bowers Museum Free Santa Ana Summer

We have the best-tasting water in the world!

An image of a glass bottle of water 

For the third time, the City of Santa Ana has won a gold medal for having the best-tasting tap water in the world. We took first place in the municipal water category at the prestigious Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition last month. Judges from around the world evaluated waters sourced from 16 states and 18 foreign countries. The City works closely with the Orange County Water District (OCWD), which manages the groundwater basin, to ensure water is not only high in quality but a reliable and plentiful source. Congratulations to our Water Resources Division for their commitment to providing our residents the best-tasting and highest-quality tap water around!

Read more about our award-winning water

Know Our Events & Meetings

Community Health and Resource Fair – April 13

Health and Resource Fair  Health and Resource Fair

I am excited to invite you all to our Community Health and Resource fair at Centennial Park on April 13! This event is in partnership with Supervisor Sarmiento’s office and OC Social Services Agency. There will be over 30 organizations present and residents will have a chance to sign up for Medi-Cal and CalFresh. There will also be food distribution, dental and vision screenings, and an area for kids to have fun and play. We encourage all residents who are in need of services like these to come out and take advantage of this opportunity.

  • Saturday, April 13
  • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Centennial Park, 3000 W. Edinger Ave.

Parks and Rec summer job hiring fairs – April 10

Looking to join the Santa Ana Parks, Recreation, and Community Services team? The Santa Ana Parks, Recreation & Community Services Agency (PRCSA) will be hosting an in-person hiring fair on Wednesday, April 3, for various summer part-time positions ranging from camp counselors, life guards, swim instructors, cashiers, and pool managers, to name a few.

  • Wednesday, April 10
  • 1-7 p.m.
  • Santa Ana City Hall Civic Center Plaza, Outside Courtyard by the City Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza

To learn more about the hiring fair and what forms of identification documents are accepted, call 714-571-4200 or visit the link below.

Parks and Rec hiring fair

Me Encanta Santa Ana – April 20

Me Encanta Santa Ana instagram image

Join City staff and other residents on April 20 to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up Santa Ana! This is a special project to improve Santa Ana Parks and bring community members together. This volunteer opportunity is open to everyone, but we encourage anyone who is interested to register, as transportation will be provided.

  • Saturday, April 20
  • 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Jerome Park, 2115 W. McFadden Ave.

Me Encanta Santa Ana

Fun Run – April 27

Fun run registration

On your marks, get set, get fit! Mark your calendars, and start preparing for the Santa Ana Fun Run. This year’s Fun Run will be themed around the 80’s and we invite all participants to bring their best 80’s gear. The community can look forward to a free walk/run 5k and kids dash, spots are limited and pre-registration is required to participate. The 10k will be offered at $25 per participant and include a free 2024 Santa Ana Fun Run t-shirt. The public can also enjoy a beer garden, food trucks, and a resource fair.

  • Saturday, April 27
  • 6 a.m.- 1 p.m.
  • Santa Ana Stadium, 900 W. Civic Center Drive

2024 Fun Run

Día de los Niños, Día de Los Libros – April 27

kids and parents standing in event with words Dia de Los Ninos, Dia de los libros in the center

The Santa Ana Public Library will hold its 16th annual Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros (Children’s Day, Book Day) celebration at the Main Library.

This family-friendly event celebrates the importance of children, literacy and families. The free festivities will include live performances, a book giveaway for children, train rides, Bubble Fun Zone, Craft Zone, and face painting. There will be a special visit by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang, author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Grumpy Monkey books, as well as exhibitors from City departments and community organizations.

  • Saturday, April 27
  • 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.
  • Santa Ana Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza

Día de los Niños, Día de Los Libros

Local Events

Resident Days at the Zoo • Third Sunday of each Month

Bowers Museum resident free days • Normally only on Sundays, Santa Ana residents can now get free daily admission through Sept. 8, 2024.

Discovery Cube Waste Free Days • Santa Ana residents get free admission to the Discovery Cube on the first Tuesday of the month

Know Thai’s Projects

Unveiling of reconstruction of the Little Saigon monument in Santa Ana

Little Saigon monument Little Saigon monument

In late January, the City of Santa Ana unveiled the reconstructed Little Saigon sign. The sign was destroyed in 2008 after a vehicle damaged it, and now after 16 years we were able to unveil a new one. The timing of the unveiling was a perfect way to kick off Tet celebrations and the City’s first Tet Festival.

Thank you to the City Councilmembers who helped approve this project and to the Public Works staff who worked hard on this. This Little Saigon sign is much more than just an unveiling, as it serves as a symbol of hope and refuge for the Vietnamese American community residing in Santa Ana.

Learn more about the Little Saigon sign

Westminster Tết Parade

Westminster Tet parade

I’m always excited to join the Westminster Tet Parade and celebrate the Lunar New Year with our community here in Little Saigon! It was such a blast to come together for the Year of the Dragon!

UVSA Tết Festival

UVSA Lunar New Year Festival UVSA Lunar New Year Festival

This was our second year participating in the UVSA Tet Festival and we had so much fun doing it! We offered information regarding City resources such as the down payment assistance program and gave Santa Ana goodies away.

UVSA Lunar New Year Festival  UVSA Lunar New Year Festival

We also had high school students from Los Amigos High School volunteering all weekend to help and make a difference. I love providing students with the opportunity to give back and connect them with resources as well. Thankful to everyone who volunteered and everyone who visited our booth!

UVSA Lunar New Year Festival UVSA Lunar New Year Festival

UVSA Lunar New Year Festival

Celebration of Emperor Quang Trung’s Victory

Quang Trung Emperor celebration

I was honored to present The Friendly Society of Tay Son Binh Dinh for their contributions to the Vietnamese community and upholding Vietnamese values. They are a great organization that also works to educate younger generations about Vietnamese history and culture. This was a wonderful celebration of Emperor Quang Trung’s victory and military achievements.

Celebrating 45 Years of Nguoi Viet Daily News

Nguoi Viet Daily News 45th anniversary

Nguoi Viet Daily News is the oldest and largest Vietnamese-language newspaper in America and I was able to celebrate a big anniversary with them! Freedom and independence of the press is essential to a strong democracy. I’m so glad our residents have a preeminent news source to go to when other local media cannot accommodate the language barrier!

Garden Grove Unified School District State of the District

Garden Grove Unified School District

Most Ward 1 students actually attend the Garden Grove Unified School District like I did, but the City has not historically worked collaboratively with GGUSD very much. But that’s changing! I’m working hard to make sure that anything we do with schools involves our GGUSD schools like Rosita Elementary, Fitz Intermediate, and Los Amigos High School (to name a few) to ensure that all Ward 1 students receive the time and attention they deserve! The student performers were incredibly talented and I can’t wait to attend again next year!

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – Water Trip

Water Trip Water Trip

To start the month of March I hosted a tour with Director Seckel from the Municipal Water District of Orange County to The Grace F. Napolitano Pure Water Southern California Innovation Center and the Weymouth Water Treatment Plant. As Santa Ana’s representative on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, I believe it’s important for residents and the youth to learn about water systems to inspire them to conserve water and create innovative solutions. 

We also stopped by Santa Ana’s Well 40 and learned about Santa Ana’s process in treating PFAS in water. We all enjoyed learning about the process behind Santa Ana’s award-winning water.

Read Across America

Read Across America

For this year’s Read Across America I was invited by Jackson Elementary in Ward 1 to come and read to their students. I read “Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You!” by Justice Sonia Sotomayor to some 3rd- and 4th-grade students. This was a great moment to teach the students about celebrating each other’s differences and the different ways kids like them perceive the world. The students were interested and recalled some of their experiences with being different or knowing someone that is different. Thankful to have been invited and looking forward to coming back in the future.

Rosita Elementary Career Day

Rosita Elementary Career Day Rosita Elementary Career Day

I had such an awesome time participating in Rosita Elementary’s Career Day! I talked about growing up as a 1st gen immigrant in Santa Ana, being the first in my family to go to college, and what it’s like being Mayor Pro Tem and a city attorney. The students had such awesome questions! So excited for Santa Ana’s future!

Rosita Elementary Career Day

Also, the students made posters for each speaker and my student totally researched me and included CJ! I even got to play with SAPD’s resident therapy dog Shadow!

Know Your Resources:

Who do I call at City Hall?

  • Important phone numbers:
    • City Hall main line: (714) 647-5400
    • Code Enforcement: (714) 667-2780
    • Graffiti Hotline: (877) 786-7824
    • Emergency Water Services: (714) 953-8026
    • Public Works dispatch (street sweeping, trees): (714) 647-3380

Utility services

Starting a small business?

Download mySantaAna App to Report Issues

MySantaAna App

The mySantaAna mobile app puts the power of the Santa Ana city government in the palm of your hand! Residents with an iPhone or Android smartphone can now download the mySantaAna application for free allowing them to quickly and easily report issues with photos to the City for clean-up. You can report potholes, downed tree branches, graffiti, trash and much more!

Download the mySantaAna App


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 Republic Services (657) 467-6220

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


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