Ward 1 newsletter: December 2023

Posted on December 20, 2023

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Dear Ward 1 Residents,

As we start to close out another year, I can’t help but express how honored I am to be your Councilmember. 2023 has been a tough year, but instead of letting the challenges beat us down, it only strengthened our resolve! 

I have continued to work with our neighborhood associations, local businesses, and Ward 1 schools to bring more civic engagement to the Westside, to increase funding for parks and events, and to support our local economy. It’s the kind of thing I always wished our previous representatives did when I was growing up. So, I’m excited that we’re investing over $1M in the Newhope Library, over $3M to build a new community center, pool, and police substation at Santa Anita Park, and ringing in Santa Ana’s first Tet Celebration! 

The City Council also adopted resolutions placing two ballot measures on the November 2024 election. Santa Ana voters will get the chance to decide: (1) whether you want to enshrine the Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance in our Charter, and (2) whether you want the City of Santa Ana to allow non-citizen voting for municipal elections (e.g., Mayor, City Council, local ballot measures).

Sometimes politics can be a bit crazy, but I’m constantly reminded of how much good we can do when we really commit ourselves to serving others. I am proud to be your Ward 1 Councilmember, and I truly look forward to a brighter, even more exciting 2024!

I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season with lots of love, warmth, and peace. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Yours Truly,

Thai Viet Phan, Councilmember – Ward 1

In This Issue…

  • City investing $10 million in affordable homeownership programs
  • Apply now for Crossroads at Washington affordable housing
  • Santa Ana Winter Village
  • Inaugural Tet Lunar New Year celebration

Know Your Ward & City

Shop Local, Shop Santa Ana

Shop Santa Ana Logo

Our Economic Development Division is excited to continue the Shop Local, Shop Santa Ana campaign to highlight the small businesses that make Santa Ana the unique and vibrant community it is. The campaign kicked off on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 and runs through the end of the year.

Santa Ana small business owners can actively participate in this campaign by subscribing to the business registry. Your businesses will be featured on the City’s Shop Local webpage, receive marketing material, and may also be featured via social media.

Shoppers are encouraged to participate by using the hashtag #shopsantaana and tagging @santaanadoesbusiness on Instagram with their local purchases for a chance to win prizes. Visit the Shop Local webpage for more information and to participate.

City investing $10 million in affordable homeownership programs

A teenage boy, a woman, and a man holding a young girl stand outside on a porch with a water tower in the background.

The City of Santa Ana is making a historic $10 million investment in affordable homeownership opportunities to help residents achieve their dream of becoming a homeowner.
On October 17th, the Santa Ana City Council approved funding for the City’s largest single investment in affordable homeownership. The $10 million includes $7.7 million for the development of new affordable homeownership projects and $2.3 million for down payment assistance for new homebuyers.
The City is seeking proposals from qualified firms and organizations to develop affordable homeownership opportunities. Interested developers can submit proposals here. The My First Home Program, which allows residents to apply for 0% interest down payment assistance loans of up to $120,000 to purchase their first home.

Take our residential parking survey

Parking Survey

The Public Works Agency is revamping the permit-parking program and we are seeking your input, comments, and suggestions that will define the new Residential Permit Parking Program for years to come. Take our residential parking survey at the link below. The survey is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese

Parking data collection

Project-Based Voucher rental assistance waitlist now open

Crossroads Apartment Andalucia Apartment

The City of Santa Ana Housing Authority has opened the waitlist for the Project-Based Voucher Program (PBV), which provides rental vouchers to help low-income families pay their rent at specific housing locations. Currently, the Housing Authority is accepting applications for two apartment projects, Andalucía and Crossroads at Washington, both reserved for large, low-income families.

PBV waiting lists are open for those who live or work in Santa Ana. Persons who live in unincorporated areas do not qualify for the live or work preference.

Project-Based Voucher Information

Build extra housing with the Affordable ADU Loan Program

ADU Loan

The Affordable ADU Loan Program is now available from the Orange County Housing Finance Trust. Homeowners who are considering building a rental Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) shouldn’t miss this opportunity to receive a low-interest loan of up to $100,000 to assist with the cost of construction and to be part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis in our community. The City of Santa Ana is proud to be a member of the Trust as part of our long-term commitment to meeting the housing needs of our residents.

Affordable ADU Loan Program

Know Our Events & Meetings

Santa Ana Winter Village – December 2-31

Winter Village

I’m excited to welcome the third annual Santa Ana Winter Village! This month-long event includes family friendly events and activities including ice skating, a light show, and photo opportunities with Santa Ana Claus. The Winter Village runs through Dec. 31 at Civic Center Plaza, 717 W. Santa Ana Blvd., behind City Hall. You can buy ice-skating tickets online now!

Santa Ana Winter Village

Free Resident Day at the Zoo – December 17

Santa Ana Zoo Resident Free Day

Santa Ana residents receive free admission to the Zoo on the third Sunday of every month. Proof of residency (such as ID or a utility bill) is required.

  • Sunday, Dec. 17
  • 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last admission is at 4 p.m.)
  • Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 E. Chestnut Ave.

Santa Ana Zoo

Tet Lunar New Year in Santa Ana – February 3, 2024

Tet Lunar New Year

I’m so proud to be part of the inaugural Santa Ana Tết Festival, hosted by our Parks, Recreation & Community Services Agency and the Santa Ana Public Library. This family-friendly event will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at Centennial Park and is open to all residents and non-residents. Get ready to enjoy a day of cultural celebration featuring spectacular lion and dragon dances and fireworks!
  • Saturday, February 3
  • 2-7 p.m.
  • Centennial Park, 3000 W. Edinger Ave.

Tet Lunar New Year Festival in Santa Ana

UVSA Tet Festival at OC Fair & Event Center – February 9 – 11, 2024

UVSA Lunar New Year 2024

Happy New Year “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” – Year of the Dragon
Tết /Lunar New Year is February 10 this year, 2024 (it changes every calendar year because it’s based on the phases of the moon). And it’s almost the Year of the Wood Dragon.
I’m looking forward to welcoming you to my booth at the UVSA Tet Festival and wishing you a very Happy New Year – Chúc Mừng Năm Mới.
  • OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
  • Friday, February 9
  • 4 – 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 10
  • 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 11
  • 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

UVSA Tet Festival Information

Tet Parade – February 10, 2024

Tet parade in Westminster

It’s the most important holiday of the year: Tết Nguyên Đán. I’m so excited to join the 2024 Tết Parade – Year of the Dragon in Little Saigon. Can’t wait to wish you all a “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới.”
  • Saturday, February 10
  • Opening Ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m.; parade begins at 9:30 a.m.
  • The parade is in Westminster, beginning at the intersection of Bolsa Avenue and Magnolia Street, and heading eastbound on Bolsa Avenue.

Tet Parade

EGG-cellent Adventure – March 30, 2024

Egg hunt event

Ready to hop into an egg-stra special day? Join us for this second annual holiday attraction, right in the heart of Santa Ana. We will be hosting an egg hunting adventure, perfect for the whole family. Bring the kids for a day of colorful egg hunts, inflatables, a petting zoo, train rides, and much more!
  • Saturday, March 30
  • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Centennial Park, 3000 W. Edinger Ave.

EGG-cellent Adventure

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/)

Know Thai’s Projects

Supported and Passed Home Act (Assembly Bill 1306)

Home Act

I am so proud that the Santa Ana City Council adopted a resolution in support of the passage of the Home Act (Assembly Bill 1306)!

California is a Sanctuary State and prohibits local jails from collaborating with or transferring individuals to ICE unless there is a valid judicial warrant. The HOME Act would continue California’s pro-immigrant policies and prohibit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from collaborating with ICE (unless there is a valid judicial warrant) in cases in which an individual has been determined eligible for limited types of parole, including elderly parole, humanitarian parole, and juvenile parole as well as parole in cases in which the individual was a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence.

As the only immigrant currently serving on the City Council dais, these issues are near and dear to my heart. I believe people deserve second chances, and when a duly appointed body of experts determines proactively that an individual is eligible for parole, they should have the opportunity to return home to their community.

Thank you to Tin Nguyen for sharing his story on double punishment. We need Governor Newsom to pardon Tin so he doesn’t have to continue fearing unjust deportation.

I’m grateful for Assemblymember Avelino Valencia and Senator Tom Umberg’s vote, even if the Governor vetoed the bill.

Sister City visit

Sister City visit

Sister City visit

In September, the City of Santa Ana celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day with our annual Fiestas Patrias festival, the El Grito Ceremony, and a parade. I joined the sister city delegation from Sahuayo, Mexico, for a dinner at Perla’s in DTSA! It is so wonderful to get to know each other better, to exchange gifts, and to break bread. Thank you to all of the wonderful sponsors and hosts. I look forward to building our relationship with our Sister City even more and hopefully visiting one day!

So You Want to Be a Lawyer

Legal event

Legal event

I collaborated with Santa Ana College to host the “So You Want to Be a Lawyer” panel with attorneys from different practice areas who currently live in or are from Santa Ana. The event was a huge success! Students got to see themselves reflected in the panelists, who shared their stories of overcoming hardship, why they chose to become lawyers, and how they give back to the Santa Ana community. Can’t wait to host another one next year!

League of California Cities Conference

League of Cities

I joined many of our local government colleagues at the League of California Cities Conference in Sacramento and was sworn in as the 2nd District representative for the OC Division representing Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Orange, Anaheim, and Tustin! I’m excited to embark on this new endeavor and contribute to our collective vision for a greater, more vibrant OC! It was so invigorating to see everyone’s passion and talk about local government leadership, housing, and public safety!

Rove charging center groundbreaking

Rove charging center groundbreaking

I was honored to welcome Rove and Gelson’s to Santa Ana for a groundbreaking of Southern California’s first 24/7 charging station/rest stop with restrooms, wifi, and healthy and delicious food, along with my colleague Councilmember David Penaloza. Ensuring a clean energy future means making electric car charging convenient, accessible, and affordable. Rove & Gelsons are doing just that! Can’t wait for the ribbon cutting! Thank you to our amazing Economic Development and Planning staff for working on this!

Little Saigon TV Debate on Non-Citizen Voting

Little Saigon Television

I had the pleasure of appearing on Little Saigon TV for a lively discussion regarding the November 2024 noncitizen voting ballot measure! I’m personally proud of myself for doing this program in Vietnamese (there was a little Vietlish though). I grew up speaking Vietnamese, but words involving the law, politics, and policy are hard and something I’m always working to improve.

MOMS Orange County

MOMS Orange County

I had a wonderful time touring MOMS Orange County and learning about the incredible services they provide to Santa Ana parents and babies! They provide in-home check-ins, mental health services, lactation support, child development classes, new father classes, and so much more – in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese!
I’m child free by choice, but healthy babies and healthy families are a public good! So glad to have learned about this program!

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival

The 2nd Annual Santa Ana Mid-Autumn Festival was a huge success!
Thank you to all the residents, volunteers, partners, and staff who made this incredible multicultural event possible! It was filled with family-friendly fun, music, dance, and togetherness. I am just so proud to have been a small part of this amazing event and can’t wait for next year!

9th CALNET Leadership Retreat

CALNET Leadership

I had such an incredible time at the 9th CALNET Leadership Retreat put on by the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation!

I got to talk to so many amazing AANHPI elected officials about issues affecting our communities, including how to support each other and build coalitions with other communities of color. I was particularly excited to hear Attorney General Rob Bonta talk about fighting against Anti-Asian hate and listen to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai speak about the challenges of being an Asian woman in a cabinet level position.

It was also so great to connect (and reconnect) with the AANHPI elected officials throughout the country – so many of them the first of their ethnicity or race! Elected office can sometimes be so crazy and lonely, but I felt reinvigorated by this outstanding group of public servants!

Plaza Navideña Tree Lighting

Plaza Navideña Tree Lighting

The Plaza Navideña tree lighting was a success! It was so fun to see Santa, be around Santa Ana families, enjoy the snow, and eat some churros! Thank you to Congressmember Lou Correa for joining us! Come visit our gorgeous real tree when you get a chance!
Huge thanks to the Parks and Rec team for making holiday magic!

Santa Anita Thanksgiving

Santa Anita Thanksgiving

After months of working with incredible partners looking to support our residents, the Ward 1 Team (shout-out to my Ward 1 Rep Lisbeth Rosales!) and Santa Ana Neighborhood Services helped the Santa Anita Neighborhood Association put on its annual Thanksgiving event!

Shop Local, Shop Santa Ana

Shop local

Shop local

As our Economic Development Division kicked off the Shop Local, Shop Santa Ana campaign through the holidays, I enjoyed Black Friday shopping at Charlie’s with Danielle and Erick! I love supporting local small businesses owned by residents! My family also bought some records and clothes and thoroughly enjoyed how proud Charlie’s is of being in our city. If you need a snack for all the holiday shopping, the yummy cheddar jalapeño sausage with the drunken fries at Wursthaus is something to consider. Small businesses can sign up to participate in this program.

Learn more about the Shop Local program

Santa Ana Winter Village

Winter Village Tree Lighting Winter Village Tree Lighting

Did you know that the 3rd Santa Ana Village has returned until December 31? I had such a magical time at Santa Ana’s Winter Village Tree Lighting at the beginning of December! So many families came out and it’s always such a pleasure to see everyone come together to celebrate the holidays. We hung out with the Grinch, got some snow, and I handled a red-crowned parrot for the first time!
Thank you so much to Townsend Public Affairs for sponsoring the tree lighting, to Parks and Rec for putting it all together, and to all our partners who made this holiday season possible!

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?

Food assistance: 

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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