Ward 1 newsletter: June 2024

Posted on June 28, 2024

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Dear Ward 1 Residents,

It’s only been a few months, but we’ve been super busy with community events, clinics, and programs in Ward 1! As your public servant, seeing residents receive services they didn’t historically have access to such as free legal consultations, bringing free dental and vision check-ups to those in need, and engaging with our youth are all things that excite me about being your Mayor Pro Tem. I’m particularly proud of all the Santa Ana students who participated in our Los Amigos Town Hall, helped at our Ward 1 free legal clinic, and received recognition at the Difference Makers Luncheon. We’re always looking for more youth volunteers at our events!

As we look toward this summer, I hope our community continues to come together in our parks to get to know one another. My team and I will be out at the Movies in the Park at Rosita and Heritage Parks, so please come by and say hi. We want to learn more about what’s important to you, what you think the City is doing well with, and how we can improve. Keeping Santa Ana a beautiful place to live for all residents is a team effort, and we can’t do it without your active engagement!

If you ever need assistance, have an idea, or have a complaint that needs addressing, do not hesitate to reach out to me at tphan@santa-ana.org. The Ward 1 team is here to help!

Don’t be a stranger!
Yours Truly,

Thai Viet Phan, Councilmember – Ward 1

In This Issue…

  • Expansion of youth employment program with $2 million grant
  • Legal Clinic
  • Santa Ana renter’s rights

Know Your Ward & City

Santa Ana City Council unanimously approves 2024-25 budget

I’m proud to share that the Santa Ana City Council unanimously approved a new budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year. This budget adds a range of new programs sought by the community while making long-term investments in City roads and public facilities.

The new budget and the City’s Capital Improvement Program include additional funding for:

  • Over $30 million for street and traffic safety improvements
  • Safe Routes to School Projects, such as street signage, road striping and crosswalks
  • Youth programs
  • A children’s zoo at Santa Ana Zoo
  • Public art
  • Bus stop maintenance
  • Pothole repairs
  • Technology improvements for the police dispatch center
  • Bristol Street improvements from Warner Avenue to St. Andrew Place
  • Upgraded traffic signals on Segerstrom Avenue at Raitt and Flower streets
  • Redesign of Chepa’s Park
  • Outdoor library at Jerome Park

Learn more about the budget here.

Ward 1 Commissioner


We’d also love to have more Ward 1 residents apply to be commissioners here in Santa Ana! We have openings on Community Development, Parks and Recreation, and Measure X Committee. It pays $100 a meeting and you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re an active contributor to making Santa Ana an even better place to live.

Board and Commission

City of Santa Ana announces expansion of youth employment program with $2 million grant

Youth employment program

I’m so excited about the expansion of the Santa Ana Youth (SAY) Employment Program! This program will provide paid public sector and non-profit work experience to 120 Santa Ana youth ages 16 to 30. This initiative is made possible through a $2 million grant awarded by California Volunteers, part of the State of California Department of General Services. The Santa Ana City Council on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, unanimously approved implementing the program for Santa Ana residents.

This grant marks the second award from California Volunteers, following a previous grant of nearly $4.5 million in June 2022. During the first funding period, 400 youth participated in the work experience program, each working an average of 350 hours across various City Hall agencies and local non-profits over two years.

Enrollment begins in September 2024. Go here to learn more and apply.

Santa Ana Renter’s Rights

Renter rights

If you are a renter or landlord that is facing uncertainties about allowable rent increases, questions on how to file petitions under the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance or other issues like these, then we are here for you. You can visit the Santa Ana Rent Stabilization Division website to learn more about the rights of renters, for resources, to sign up for the Rent Stabilization Newsletter, and more.

Rent Stabilization Division

Main Library renovation set to begin June 20, 2024

Main library closure

I’m so excited to announce the upcoming renovation of the Main Library, which closed to begin work on June 20. The Main Library is expected to reopen in spring 2026.

This ambitious project will transform the Library into a modern, dynamic space designed to better serve the community’s needs, while celebrating and restoring the building’s 1950s historic architectural features. The library project is largely paid for by Revive Santa Ana, the City’s federally funded pandemic recovery initiative.


To ensure continued access to library services during the renovation, the Newhope Branch Library will extend its hours by adding eight additional hours per week beginning June 24, 2024.

Additionally, library services and programs will be available at various community centers throughout Santa Ana, including Jerome, Roosevelt, Garfield and El Salvador community centers. The Knowledge Mobile will also be making regular stops throughout the community, offering books, resources, programs, and services to patrons.

Furthermore, Santa Ana will soon welcome a new library branch inside the Delhi Community Center, set to open in early 2025, and an innovative Outdoor Public Library, anticipated to debut in spring 2025.

For more information regarding library services during the renovation, please see our FAQs.

Stay updated on this and other upcoming library projects by visiting our website.

New low-cost spay and neuter clinics offered at Santa Ana Zoo

Low cost clinic for pet spay and neuter

Did you know that you can get your dogs and cats spayed and neutered for a discounted price? The City of Santa Ana has partnered with Healthcare & Emergency Animal Rescue Team (HEART) to bring low-cost mobile clinics to Santa Ana Zoo beginning June 24.

Pets must be current on vaccinations. The discounted prices are only available for people who live in qualified census tracts or meet other qualifications. Check your qualifications and make an appointment here or call HEART at (714) 993-9193.

Find other spay and neuter services here.

Know Our Events & Meetings

Fourth of July Celebration – July 4

July 4 flyer

Every year the City of Santa Ana celebrates independence day at Centennial Park and we are happy to say that it will once again be taking place in Ward 1. There will be activities for kids, live music, food vendors and a 20 minute long firework show! We will also be having a Santa Ana Patriotic Pup Competition so we encourage all residents to bring their furry friends dressed in their finest patriotic gear to be able to win a prize. Please do remember to keep dogs on leashes and feel free to arrive early and bring lawn chairs and blankets. 

  • Thursday, July 4
  • 5-9:30 p.m. 
  • Centennial Park, 3000 W. Edinger Ave. 

Movies in the Park: ‘Aladdin’ – July 12

Movie in the Park

Come out with your family for a free screening of the movie “Aladdin” (2019) at Heritage Park. Every year the City of Santa Ana has different movies shown at seven different parks throughout the city during the summer. Residents can enjoy free activities, and food is available to purchase. Come out and get to know our Ward 1 team who will be tabling at Heritage Park during this event. 

  • Friday, July 12
  • 6 p.m. 
  • Heritage Park, 4812 W. Camille St.

Parks and Rec hiring fair

Movies in the Park: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ – July 19

Movie in the Park

“Kung Fu Panda 4” (2024) will be screened at Rosita Park on July 19. Join us for a fun family event and get to know the Ward 1 team who will have an information table at the event. Residents can enjoy free activities, and food is available to purchase.

  • Friday, July 19
  • 6 p.m. 
  • Rosita Park, 706 N. Newhope St.

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

Health and Resource Fair

Health and resource fair Health and resource fair

This past April, we held a Community Health and Resource Fair in collaboration with Supervisor Sarmiento’s office. A huge thank you to Valley High School and the principals that were able to accommodate us due to the rain forecast. The gloomy weather did not stop residents as we had over 800 attendees, 500 food boxes distributed and so much more. Residents were also able to get dental checkups on site and free glasses as well! We are grateful to Supervisor Sarmiento for partnering with our office for this event as this is highly needed in our community. Always looking forward to future partnerships to bring more events to Ward 1 and Santa Ana residents.

Los Amigos Youth Forum

Los Amigos youth forum Los Amigos Youth Conference

Once a Lobo, always a Lobo! I was excited to be back at Los Amigos High School for another Youth Forum session. One of our goals is to empower the youth and provide them space where they can learn about local government and voice their concerns. It was wonderful to see all these students so interested in learning about what they can do in their communities to make a difference. We had a productive discussion about issues they care about, such as public safety, public transportation, affordable housing, and parks and what steps the City takes to address them. It was a great time with Mrs. Alba’s class and the other students who joined us for this session. Thrilled to continue these sessions and inspire the next generation of leaders.

Fitz Intermediate Open House

Fitz intermediate open house Fitz intermediate open house

Go Falcons! I had the opportunity to join Fitz Intermediate (my old middle school) at their Open House. We brought out flyers of the City’s programs, services and important information for all residents. Our team had a great time telling residents about the award winning Down Payment Assistance Program and other fun city events like the Public Works Family event. We do our best to help spread the word about these incredible programs to as many residents as we can. Our team loves helping residents, and it’s something we value. It was great to see all the parents come out and to get to meet all the Falcons. Plus I got to see my old middle school English teacher, Ms. Gunderson. This is proof that Fitz Intermediate and Santa Ana are producing exceptional leaders!

Tree Planting at Santa Ana Zoo

Earth day tree planting Earth day tree planting

To celebrate Earth Day we hosted a tree planting ceremony at the Santa Ana Zoo. We were joined by Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, Mayor Amezcua, and Councilmember Jessie Lopez and other elected officials in support of our zoo. Thank you to Director Hawk Scott and the Santa Ana Zoo team for emphasizing the importance of Earth Day and taking care of the only home we got.

Difference Makers Celebration & Awards

Difference makers award Difference makers award

I had the honor of helping recognize our extraordinary Santa Ana students at the Difference Makers celebration and awards ceremony hosted by the Santa Ana Chamber. These students will go out and do incredible things in the future, they are a testament that you can do anything when you work for it. Also shout out to the local businesses that awarded these students with scholarships to help fund their education, including my very own employer, Rutan & Tucker! I am truly proud of our students and can’t wait to see all the things they will accomplish.

Armenian Genocide Commemoration

Armenian Genocide Commemoration

This year due to work meetings I wasn’t able to join our Armenian community at the Armenian Genocide Commemoration event but my Chief of Staff Lisbeth Rosales was there to deliver some words on my behalf. The performances by the students were fantastic and touching. Even though I couldn’t be there my heart was with you all. From what I heard, it was a beautiful event and I hope to join you all again next year!

Tea with Thai at Magnolia Science Academy

Tea with Thai Tea with Thai

Another successful Tea with Thai session at Magnolia Science Academy! As always we treated the students to some boba and Pocky. The students asked great questions during our discussion and even want to volunteer with us! I also met some of the robotics students and tried out one of their games! It was AWESOME! This was a wonderful experience and it was even more incredible to see how motivated the students are to build their robots and learn new things. Thank you to Magnolia for having me, always happy to be back.

Black April Commemoration

Black April Commemoration Black April Commemoration

April 30 or Black April is an important day for the Vietnamese community as we reflect upon the fall of South Vietnam and its capital, Saigon. It is estimated that about 200,000 American soldiers and about 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died during the Vietnam War. On Black April we remember their bravery and sacrifice.

The City of Santa Ana was also glad to present a wreath at the memorial event to show support for many of its Vietnamese residents. It was nice to see many veterans come out in uniform and speak to them. Thank you for your service.

Law School Panel

Law School Panel Law School Panel

We had our second law panel at Santa Ana College in partnership with the Legal Studies program. It was a very successful event full of engaging discussions and insightful advice by our panelists. We are so happy that all who attended got something out of the panel and that we helped encourage the students who are interested in pursuing a law degree. Thank you to our panelists and to Santa Ana College, without you this wouldn’t have happened. My heart is overjoyed and hope to continue this law panel series again.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Hoover Dam & Colorado River Aqueduct Trip

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Hoover Dam & Colorado River Aqueduct Trip Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Hoover Dam & Colorado River Aqueduct Trip

As a board member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest water importer in America serving over 19 million Southern Californians, I get the opportunity to host tours of local water treatment systems as well as some of our largest water infrastructure projects. These trips are fully funded by the Metropolitan Water District, and I started the tradition of opening applications for interested local residents! This past May, we did a 3-day inspection tour of the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River Aqueduct with local leaders and students. This was a great opportunity to learn about regional water supply, tour key infrastructure, and expand our knowledge to help advocate for more protections and funding for these systems. It is safe to say that it was a great trip and an amazing bonding experience for all who joined. Thank you to the Metropolitan Water District for having these trips and for providing opportunities for Santa Ana residents to join!

Youth Unconference

Youth unconference Youth unconference

I was happy to join Santa Ana Library staff and provide some remarks to Santa Ana students at the Youth Unconference. The Youth Unconference was sponsored by the Santa Ana Public Library, the Santa Ana Work Center, and the Californians For All Youth Employment Program to bring students the opportunity to have engaging discussions and present their research regarding local government issues like public transportation and food waste. Can’t wait to see the change these young leaders will make in our community!

Public Works Family Event

Family Event Public Works Family Event Public Works

I had a really fun time celebrating National Public Works Week at the Public Works Family event. We also recognized the winners of the 9th Annual Youth Water Poster Contest and their families. Our public works staff is very much appreciated for all the work they put into maintaining our beautiful city. I had the best time celebrating you all and showing off my cone hat!

Little Saigon TV AAPI Commemoration

Little Saigon TV AAPI commemoration Little Saigon TV AAPI commemoration

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month where we celebrate the contributions and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. I joined Little Saigon TV and presented them with a certificate of recognition for their work in the AAPI community. This was an empowering event for the community and it was satisfying to see a room full of happy faces. It was also special to celebrate AAPI diversity with the performances from different AAPI groups!

Pride Flag Raising Ceremony on Harvey Milk Day

Pride Flag Raising Ceremony on Harvey Milk Day

On May 22 the City of Santa Ana raised the Pride flag in memory of Harvey Milk who was a gay rights activist. He was one of the first openly gay officials and symbolized freedom and equality to many members of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, I missed the flag raising ceremony due to work meetings but that didn’t stop me from swinging by later to take pictures with Lisbeth! It is important that the City of Santa Ana recognizes the need for equality and freedom to love who you want. Love is love and love will prevail!

Memorial Day Commemoration at Fairhaven Memorial

Memorial Day Commemoration at Fairhaven Memorial Memorial Day Commemoration at Fairhaven Memorial

Thank you Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary, GM Stephanie Alvarez, and Cynthia Adair for inviting me to this year’s Memorial Day commemoration! I always appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices by our armed forces.

I was particularly moved by Brigadier General Robin Umberg’s keynote speech. She told the story of Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor, who selflessly sacrificed himself during a combat mission in Iraq to save two of his fellow SEALs by jumping on a live grenade. He was a graduate of Garden Grove High School, where the stadium is now named after him.

As a (former) military spouse and family of veterans and an active duty service member, I am thankful to never have experienced the pain of losing a loved one on active duty. We thank those who gave everything and their families. These are debts that cannot be repaid.

(The re-enactment of the various historical milestones involving our flag was also fantastic! I applaud all the actors, musicians, and stage team!)

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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