Dear Ward 1,
Summer is upon us and what a wild spring we’ve had! The rains were a very welcome surprise, helping to ensure that our reservoirs and groundwater are replenished after years of difficult droughts. I’m so thankful to serve as your presentative on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board to help develop policies that benefit Santa Ana residents today and in the future.
As your Ward 1 representative, it has always been my goal to make sure we bring all the resources, activities, and services that have been available to the rest of the city while the Westside has been ignored. We held two successful free drop-in legal clinics at Newhope Library with our nonprofit partners and plan to hold more in the future. We engaged with Ward 1 schools by answering questions at the first-ever Youth Forum at Los Amigos High School (my alma mater), speaking with journalism students at Magnolia Science Academy, and congratulating sixth graders at the Rosita Elementary School Promotion.
Among all the things we have achieved so far this year for Ward 1 as you’ll read below, I’m most proud of the groundbreaking for the new community center and pool at Santa Anita Park! Santa Anita has been neglected for a long time, but we’re committed to changing that! The new community center and pool are slated to open at the end of 2024, and I cannot wait to see them in all their glory!
Thank you for your support and desire to make Ward 1 and Santa Ana a wonderful place to live. I hope that the Ward 1 Team and I make you proud with the work we’re doing to engage residents, provide resources, and address concerns throughout the ward. I know there’s so much more to do, but we’re up to the task!
If you’d like more frequent, up-to-date information on what we’re doing, please follow me on Instagram or Facebook. And if you have concerns, questions, or ideas, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com!
Thai Viet Phan, Councilmember – Ward 1
In this issue…
Santa Anita Park Community Center and Pool Groundbreaking
Black April Proclamation
Celebrating AAPI Month
Know our events and meetings
- Summer Movies in the Park – “Lego Batman” at Centennial Park – June 2
- Viet Book Fest – June 3
- Down Payment Assistance Program Workshop – June 7
- Juneteenth Festival – June 17
- Concerts in the Park – July 20 to August 10
- Chicano Heritage Festival – August 27
Know Your Ward & City
See the Proposed City Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2024
As we continue to work on building the budget for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2023, draft budget documents are now available on our City website. The documents provide information to help you understand the City’s budget process and results with a timeline. Our Finance and Management Services Agency has been working diligently with the community over the last several months, collecting valuable community input about the programs and services that are important to them.
Residential Parking Permit Study and Survey
Our Public Works Agency is revamping the Residential Permit Parking Program and we are seeking your input, comments, and suggestions to define the program for years to come. The study will consist of tasks and objectives to develop a citywide permit parking program to provide balanced parking to support residents’ quality of life, visitors, businesses, and commuters.
The survey is available in three different languages. Take the parking survey and learn more about the program through the links below.
Subscribe to Cultura: A Community Connection Guide
Cultura is our quarterly guide of programs, activities and news from Parks and Recreation, Santa Ana Zoo, and the Library. You can now subscribe to receive a printed copy of the upcoming issue! You can also read it on mobile or view the PDF online.
OC Health Care Agency offers free lead testing and removal
The Orange County Health Care Agency is offering a free lead testing and removal program that is available to qualified Santa Ana households. Priority is given to families with a child under 6 years old or with a pregnant woman who might have been exposed to lead in the home. Program participants must be low income, and the properties must be located in Orange County and built before 1978.
Complete a pre-screening questionnaire through the link below. If you have questions, call (323) 477-1160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know Thai’s Projects
Nguyen’s Kitchen grand opening
Congrats to Nguyen’s Kitchen for the grand opening of their corporate headquarters right here in Ward 1! Swing by the next time you need some delicious modern Vietnamese cuisine and a hit of the Vietnamese iced coffee. I’m so proud that we were able to welcome NK and celebrate their achievements. I can’t wait to see where they expand next! Thank you to all the elected officials and their reps for joining us.
Visit to Metropolitan Water District of SoCal’s Diemer Treatment Plant
The most wonderful part about being your Santa Ana City Councilmember and a board member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is engaging with our awesome community and staff. I had the opportunity to host a tour of the Diemer Water Treatment Plant in Yorba Linda for Santa Ana interns, staff and local community members.
We learned about how water is imported by Met to Santa Ana, how it gets treated to pristine condition, and how our Water Department is ensuring our residents get the best water anywhere. Educating each other, creating opportunities to network, and building the next generation of leaders is what we’re about!
Resource Fair with Supervisor Sarmiento
I joined our new Orange County Supervisor, Vicente Sarmiento (former mayor of Santa Ana), local non-profits, the OC Social Services Agency and City of Santa Ana staff at Centennial Park in Ward 1. They gave out food and diapers, and informed folks about free legal services, down payment assistance, Santa Ana’s rent control law, changes to food stamps, and other services.
Returning to my alma mater for Los Amigos High School’s first Youth Forum
I had the most wonderful opportunity last week speaking to juniors at the first-ever Los Amigos High School Youth Forum thanks to Mrs. Alba and her fellow teachers in the civics and English departments. We discussed a wide range of topics including homelessness, trash, school safety, housing affordability, and about how Batman isn’t really a superhero.
They had such thoughtful questions, and I couldn’t have been prouder to be back at my alma mater. I can’t wait for the next round of grilling from these bright young scholars! The boba I got from Tastea Santa Ana for the first 50 students didn’t hurt either!
Free Vietnamese and Spanish legal clinics
In April, I worked with City staff to organize legal assistance clinics to help our Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking community members. We had a wonderful turnout for this first set of clinics and I hope we’ll be able to bring more of these much-needed resources to our residents.
I want to give a huge thank you to our incredible partners: Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California, Public Law Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, Community Legal Aid SoCal, and VietRISE for working with our Ward 1 team. This could only be accomplished as a group effort!
Also, a special thanks to my Ward 1 community representatives Lisbeth and Dustin for setting up and capturing community moments and to Commissioners Darlene Perez and Michelle Cisneros for volunteering. Shout-out to Stanton Councilmember Alyce Hong Van and Garden Grove Councilmember Cindy Ngoc Tran for stopping by and volunteering as well as the awesome Newhope Library staff from Santa Ana Public Library who hosted us.
Astiva Health grand opening
I had the honor of joining Mayor Pro Tem Jessie Lopez to welcome Astiva Health to their new Santa Ana location on 17th Street. It was wonderful to hear about Founder Tri Nguyen’s inspiration for creating Astiva with his partners and how Astiva helps low-income and fixed-income seniors on Medicaid get whole-person healthcare services.
I may be an attorney, but healthcare and health insurance boggle my mind! I’m grateful we have this organization working to support our Santa Ana residents.
Armenian Genocide Remembrance
The Armenian Genocide is commemorated each year on April 24. Thank you to the Armenian National Committee of America – Orange County for inviting me to join the annual Armenian Genocide Remembrance at Gugasian Hall right here in Ward 1.
The resilience of the Armenian-American community is demonstrated through the incredible art, culture and language shared by the children and families who fight to keep this history alive everyday. I was so honored to witness their incredible dedication and talent!
Black April proclamation
The Santa Ana City Council recently proclaimed April 30, 2023, as Black April to commemorate the Fall of Saigon in 1975. I had the honor of presenting the proclamation to Boat People SOS, a non-profit organization founded to support refugees from Vietnam. Black April to me is a time of reflection, a time to honor the sacrifices of those who came before, and a time to learn about the history of Vietnamese refugees and share what I know. Although the Vietnamese American community has grown and thrived here in Little Saigon, we continue to face the lasting effects of trauma, loss and separation.
As the first Vietnamese-American councilmember in Santa Ana, I will always work to uplift the stories of my community and fight to ensure that we continue to progress forward while honoring our past. This means bringing services to residents, advocating for institutional change, and amplifying community voices. It is about remembering, and it is about healing. It is vital that we do both.
Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month
Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! The Santa Ana City Council officially declared May 2023 as AAPI Heritage Month to recognize the generations of Asians and Pacific Islanders who have enriched Santa Ana’s history and are instrumental in its future success. I had the honor of awarding this proclamation to Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Southern California, a nonprofit that not only provides free legal services to low-income residents, they also advocate for police changes at the local, state, and federal level to ensure fair access and representation for all.
Garden Grove School Administrators’ Association Community Dinner
I had a fantastic time at the Garden Grove School Administrators’ Association Community Dinner with Mayor Valerie Amezcua! The kiddos were so talented, the food was great, and it was fun catching up with Garden Grove Unified School District alumni Board President Trustee Walter Muneton and Garden Grove Councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen. Obviously, I wore orange and black to represent Los Amigos High School.
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Conference
I had an amazing time at the Southern California Association of Governments Conference and met the people’s legend Dolores Huerta (she asked about Santa Ana and the County Board of Supervisors!). I represented Santa Ana with our Planning and Building Agency staff and National CORE for the SCAG Sustainability Award for Housing Innovation for the Legacy Square project. I caught up with all of the elected officials, thinkers, and change makers in SoCal! I even got to record a ride share public safety PSA with Spectrum!
Helping our seniors
Mr. and Mrs. Ly are the senior residents in my Ward 1 and they qualified for the stimulus gift card in 2021. Unfortunately, they were unable to get it due to illness and accessibility issues. They contacted the City Hall and my Ward 1 team was able to work with Police Oversight Commissioner Danny Vega, Neighbors of Santa Ana, and other volunteers to support them with another gift card and a few items for their kitchen. The kindness and teamwork from staff and community members here in Santa Ana is so appreciated!
Police Oversight Commission Member Keith Carpenter
It’s my pleasure to introduce Keith Carpenter to you as the Ward 1 representative of the Police Oversight Commission. The City Council approved Keith’s appointment and he was sworn in by the City Clerk on May 16. I’m so proud to have Keith serve on the newly created Police Oversight Commission to help provide more transparency and equity at the local law enforcement level.
Celebrating children at Día de los Niños
I welcomed hundreds of families to the Santa Ana Public Library’s annual Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros event on April 29. It was wonderful watching children sing along with original Pete the Cat author Eric Litwin and enjoy all of the other performances, exhibits and fun activities. It was a great day to celebrate children and reading. There were long lines to get books signed by Mr. Litwin, but I got one for my newly born grand-nephew!
Public Works Week Celebration
Did you know that National Public Works Week was from May 21 to May 27 this year? I had a great time joining my colleagues on Saturday, May 20, for a family event celebrating all that our Public Works staff do. Specialized Public Works equipment was on display, we had musical entertainment from Santa Ana High School and other performers, tours of our water pumping station, and water pipe connection competitions. I even got to hand out awards to the youth winners of our annual water poster contest!
More than 300 Public Works staff work hard every day to build and maintain roads, traffic lights, sidewalks, street lights, and water and sewer lines, as well as managing projects large and small, from new park restrooms and playgrounds to bike lanes. I hope everyone who came out to the event learned something about the essential services that this important City agency provides.
AAPI Celebration at Orange County Heritage Museum
Thank you to our partner Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center (AASCSC) for hosting such a wonderful event to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with a variety of activities, especially the senior fashion show! I’m so proud of the Vietnamese ladies in their exquisite outfits that represent our culture. Tina Lee, our Vietnamese Community Liaison and Lisbeth Rosales, Ward 1 Representative, were presenting a certificate of recognition to the host AASCSC on my behalf.
Graduation at Rosita Elementary School
Congratulations to the Roadrunners! I’m so excited to be invited to your 6th Grade Promotion. It has been a long time since I graduated 6th grade, but I’m honored to celebrate this important event with you. You have all worked very hard and learned so much over the course of the past year. I’m so proud of you and looking forward to celebrating again at the next graduation.
Magnolia Science Academy tour
I had a great time joining the tour at Magnolia Science Academy where I learned about how their instructional programs align to help ALL students access a rigorous STEAM-based, college preparatory program with specific, embedded support for English Language Learners (ELL), Students with Disabilities (SWD) and students below grade level.
Santa Anita Park Groundbreaking Ceremony
What an incredible feeling to finally break ground on the new Santa Anita Park community center and pool!
We were able to cobble together money from the Cannabis Public Benefit Fund, Community Development Block Grant and American Rescue Plan Act to finally move forward with this much-needed project in Ward 1! There is a new synthetic turf soccer field, new bleachers with covers for those hot days, new lighting that will allow full use of the field without bothering neighbors, a large, full-sized basketball court to replace the single handball court that residents said invited drug use and unsavory activities, expanded parking, and now, a brand new community center and new pool! Residents aren’t only excited for the new space, but for a PAAL to go in along with a mini PD office.
Huge thank you to my colleagues on the Santa Ana City Council as well as Congressman Lou Correa and Assemblymember Avelino Valencia for your support of Ward 1 residents, and to Public Works Director Nabil Saba, Parks & Rec Director Hawk Scott, City Manager Kristine Ridge, and all the incredible staff and community members who made this happen!
Know Our Events & Meetings
Movies in the Park returns – June 2 to July 14
I’m so excited that the Summer Movies in the Park series returns! The first movie, “Lego Batman,” will be on Friday, June 2, 5:30 p.m. at Centennial Park in Ward 1. Grab your friends and family and head over to your local park this summer for the Summer Movies in the Park series. Follow the link to learn more on movies and locations.
Viet Book Fest: Author Panel – June 3
In collaboration with the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA), the Santa Ana Public Library presents an author panel and book signing. Authors will be discussing and celebrating Vietnamese American poetry, with Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner, as moderator. The event is free and open to the public.
- Saturday, June 3
- 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza
Roosevelt Walker Community Center Open House – June 3
Santa Ana’s Parks and Recreation, Health and Wellness Section invites you to the Roosevelt Walker Community Center Open House where you will learn more about the amenities and programs they offer while enjoying a community resource fair. This event is free and open to all ages.
- Saturday, June 3
- 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Roosevelt Walker Community Center, 816 E. Chestnut Ave.
Coffee and Donuts with OCFA – June 3
Come meet Orange County Fire Authority firefighters serving the Santa Ana community over coffee and donuts! Meet OCFA Division Chief Jim Henery and Mayor Valerie Amezcua. Fire and Water Safety information will be available. Fire cadets will also be on hand with information on the Cadet Program for those ages 14-21 who are interested in careers in the fire service. Limited parking on site. Street parking is available.
- Saturday, June 3
- 9-11 a.m.
- 950 W. MacArthur Blvd., Santa Ana
Down Payment Assistance Workshop – June 7
Save the date! After the success of the My First Home – Down Payment Assistance Program Workshop that I collaborated with VietLA at the end of 2022, I will continue to host the same workshop in Spanish and English on June 7 at Newhope Library. More information to come. This program offers down payment assistance loans of up to $120,000 with a 0% interest rate to first-time home buyers purchasing a home in Santa Ana.
Juneteenth Festival – June 17
Save the date! Join us for a historical celebration at the Santa Ana Juneteenth Festival! This free, family-friendly event will have live entertainment, food, guest speakers, kids’ activities, and more.
- Saturday, June 17
- 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Centennial Park, 3000 W. Edinger Ave.
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
Starting a small business?
Download mySantaAna App to report issues
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!
Resident Days at the Zoo • Third Sunday of each Month
Bowers Museum free Sundays • Santa Ana residents are free each Sunday
Discovery Cube Waste Free Days • Santa Ana residents get free admission to the Discovery Cube on the first Tuesday of the month