Councilmember Mendoza’s welcome message:
It’s officially fall, though you might not know it looking out the window here in Southern California. I’m excited, however, for our fall and winter activities that are coming up. It’s been an amazing year in Santa Ana with so many fun City events. I recently attended the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrating Asian cultures at Rosita Park. On Oct. 8, we’ll have the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration next to City Hall. A Halloween movie series is also starting this month, and then in December our winter village returns with ice skating and other fun activities.
Of course, this time of year brings us wildfire season and mosquito season too. I encourage everyone to take precautions to prevent fires and mosquitoes. At this week’s City Council meeting, I was proud to be appointed to represent the City of Santa Ana on the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District’s Board of Trustees. The Mosquito and Vector Control District has tons of useful information about how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding near your home and how to protect yourself from getting bitten. Learn more on https://www.ocvector.org/
Finally, please read below to get updates on City projects, to learn about new programs and resources, and especially to find out how you can apply to serve on our City boards and commissions. I currently have Ward 2 openings on the Youth Commission and the Personnel Board. Please apply or share with someone who you think would serve their community well in one of these positions.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at our events and continuing to share these important updates. If you want to reach out to me for any reason, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember, Ward 2
Save the date:
- October 8: Indigenous People Day https://www.santa-ana.org/indigenous-peoples-day/
- Thursdays in October: Birch Park Halloween Series https://www.santa-ana.org/city-produced-events/
News you can use:
Apply for Youth Commission and Personnel Board
If you are interested in serving the community, I encourage you to apply to represent Ward 2 on one of our City commissions or boards. Currently, Ward 2 seats are vacant on the Youth Commission and the Personnel Board.
Among its duties, the Youth Commission acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council in matters pertaining to youth and teen services, programs, and cooperation with other public and/or private agencies. The Personnel Board’s duties include hearing appeals pertaining to the disciplinary suspension, demotion, or dismissal of certain City employees. Learn about all of these Board’s and Commission’s duties and eligibility requirements at the link below.
Apply for Boards and Commissions: https://santa-ana.primegov.com/public/committees
OC Streetcar project making new progress
- As construction for the OC Streetcar continues through Downtown, the last couple of weeks have provided some positive updates for our community.
Part of 4th Street is now open in both directions, from Main Street eastbound passing French Street.
- We’ve added decorative lights to beautify Calle Cuatro.
- The Orange County Transportation Authority this week approved nearly $680,000 to help us cover the costs of free parking that we have been providing at City-owned lots this year to help affected businesses.
This is in addition to the $3 million in business grants the City Council has approved to help the businesses affected by the construction of the OC Streetcar and $1.2 million from the County of Orange. So come downtown to support local businesses and enjoy lots of art and activities!
Rep. Correa to hold Citizenship Fair
Rep. Lou Correa is hosting a citizenship and resource fair for the community on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at the Santa Ana College Johnson Student Center. The event will help the community with N-400 Citizenship applications in addition to having immigration attorneys on site to answer questions. The $725 application filing fee will be covered by CHIRLA. Register for the event by completing the questionnaire below!
- Saturday, October 15, 2022
- 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Santa Ana College Johnson Student Center, 1530 W. 17th St.
Register for the citizenship fair: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6k2ULgH6yuzXl2_OQC4mRduZK5fXqukCrCBOp8QcAnmi36g/viewform
Unveiling our first dog park design
Our first Dog Park Concept Plan is out! This is one of several steps in the process for building a brand new park, which can take a couple of years to complete. We are proposing to develop the city’s first public dog park on an undeveloped 3.5-acre site located in the southwest corner of Centennial Park, adjacent to the Santa Ana River.
The project will include three separate off-leash spaces for large, small and elderly dogs. Additional improvements will include agility course features, dog water play area, restroom with dog washing station, event area, walking track, information kiosk, site furnishings, landscaping and an automated irrigation system. Two access points are incorporated, from both Centennial Park and the Santa Ana River. The project will also include additional parking, turnaround, and drop off area. This new development is to be utilized citywide by dog owners, families with children and by various programs conducted or coordinated by the Santa Ana Parks, Recreation & Community Services staff.
New Raitt & Myrtle Park to include stormwater system
Did you know that stormwater runoff is not treated and it carries pollutants such as trash, chemicals, bacteria, and oil through our local watersheds and out to the ocean? The Raitt & Myrtle Park Project includes a large underground stormwater infiltration system and bioretention basins. The picture above illustrates the size of the underground system, which is approximately 100 feet long by 50 feet wide. The Project treats stormwater as a resource by capturing runoff and infiltrating it back into the ground to replenish our water supplies and improve water quality. This is especially important in Southern California’s drought prone climate. Our Public Works Agency is managing the construction of the project and it’s anticipated to be complete in spring 2023.
Stormwater program details: https://www.santa-ana.org/stormwater-management/
Free bulky item pickup available
Residents with curbside cart collection may schedule up to four bulky item pickups, up to four times per pickup, or four 30-gallon bags of trash, or twenty 30-gallon bags of yard waste, at no charge, annually.
Apartment and condominium residents with bin collection may schedule ten items per unit per quarter per year at no charge.
- Call Republic Services at (877) 328-2074 to schedule a pickup.
- Items will be collected within five working days after a request is received.
- Customers that exceed the number of free pickups may receive bulky item collection for a fee.
Bulky item pickup requirements: https://www.santa-ana.org/free-bulk-item-pickup/
Volunteer at the Roosevelt-Walker Community Garden
The City of Santa Ana Community Garden program consists of five community gardens where all ages can gather, learn, relax, connect with nature and practice mindfulness. The purpose of these gardens is to promote wellness through encouraging the growth of fruits and vegetables at home and discovering the everyday nature that inhabits urban environments.
In Ward 2, you have full access to the Community Garden at Roosevelt-Walker Community Center. I encourage you to come to the garden during our hours of operation to participate in free workshops, volunteer or observe the nature that exists in their urban environment. Workshops are free, informal and flexible. They focus on seed collection, composting, and identifying what plants need to survive and thrive. The workshop topics vary based on what needs to be accomplished in the garden, and what our audience would like to learn.
Community garden hours and locations: https://www.santa-ana.org/community-gardens/
New commercial property signage requirements
Every commercial center in Santa Ana is now required to post a sign at each entrance and exit providing 24-hour contact information of the property owner/property management company. The City Council approved an ordinance amending the Municipal Code to add this requirement on Aug. 2. This will allow members of the public to easily report any concerns about a property’s maintenance or appearance directly to the owner.
Youth Job Corps offers employment for ages 16-30
The City of Santa Ana’s WORK Center has created a Youth Jobs Corps Employment Program as part of the statewide #CaliforniansForAll initiative that aims to help train and develop young people for public service careers. The employment program will provide paid work experience to Santa Ana youth residents ages 16-30. Selected youth participants will work 20-29 hours per week at $17 per hour. For additional details and to apply online, click on the link below.
Youth Jobs Corps application: https://ecms.santa-ana.org/Forms/ca4all
Historic Pacific Park fire station to be preserved as new PAAL Center
I’m proud to be part of the transition of a historic former fire station that will soon be transformed into a new Santa Ana Police Athletic & Activity League (PAAL) center to serve youth and seniors. The Santa Ana City Council directed City staff to convert the vacant 1928 fire station at 625 S. Cypress Ave. in the Pacific Park neighborhood into a PAAL facility. The new center will include a large multi-use open space, classrooms, exercise rooms and a police substation. The City Council allocated $1 million in December to renovate and repurpose the historic structure, which is expected to take about 18 months to complete.
PAAL is an amazing community program run by the Santa Ana Police Department that focuses on building a bond between kids and police officers through education, fitness and activities. It offers tutoring, sports teams, field trips and much more. The new PAAL center is unique in that it will also serve seniors.
This is the second planned PAAL expansion by the City of Santa Ana, with a new program starting soon at the Roosevelt-Walker Community Center in partnership with the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency. The original PAAL center at 2627 W. McFadden Ave. was recently renovated.
Free food distributions in Santa Ana
As part of one of our ongoing Revive pandemic recovery initiatives, we have partnered with various local organizations to host free food distributions throughout the City. The free food distributions are available in Santa Ana for anyone in need, and no registration is required. The food is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
Partnering organizations currently include Delhi Center, Santa Ana Elks Lodge 794 and Latino Health Access. Other local organizations are also distributing free food, including Orange County First Assembly and Seva Collective.
Find Food Distributions: https://www.santa-ana.org/food-distributions/
Community: Free Virtual Landscaping Classes
The Public Works Agency’s Water Resources Division invites you to learn about water wise gardening for your home through a series of online workshops offered through Metropolitan Water District.
The first virtual class will start this Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at 6 p.m. The following classes are especially for Santa Ana residents:
- 10/04/2022: 6-7 p.m. CA Friendly Native Plant Landscape Webinar
- 10/08/2022: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Garden Design Workshop
- 10/11/2022: 6-7 p.m. Goodbye Grass: Quality for a Turf Replacement Rebate
- 10/18/2022: 6-7 p.m. Plantas Nativas y Adecuada a California en tu jardin (CLFT)
- 10/20/2022: 6-7 p.m. Taller de Como Diseñar un Jardín de Césped a Jardín (Garden Design)
- 11/03/2022: 6-7 p.m. Irrigation & Water Use Efficiency
- 11/05/2022: 10-11 a.m. Turf: Remove, Replace or Maintain It Organically
- 11/15/2022: 6-7 p.m. Rainwater Harvesting
- 11/29/2022: 6-7 p.m. Deciphering Your Irrigation Controller
- 12/03/2022: 10-11 a.m. Drip Irrigation Fundamentals
- 12/06/2022: 6-7 p.m. Eliminación del Césped y Transformación del Jardín (Turf Removal)
Click here to register for any class in the series of the virtual workshops: https://greengardensgroup.com/g3-events/
Election Day is November 8th, Register to Vote
You may now register to vote online. In order to do so, please continue to the online voter registration page, located here. The process will be completed on the California Secretary of State’s website, where you will be asked to provide your driver’s license number and the last four digits of your social security number. You can also use this service to make any changes to your registration (such as address changes, name changes and/or changes to your party affiliation).
First Annual Chicano Heritage Festival
During this year’s budget meetings, I advocated for the City Council to add a new City-produced event to recognize our Chicano community. The City Council agreed and our first Chicano Heritage Festival was a huge success!
An estimated 5,000 people came out on Aug. 28 to El Salvador Park for the event. We had performances by classic Chicano bands, DJs, a car show, children’s activities, food trucks, and a safe and fun day for our local neighborhoods and many out-of-town visitors. I handed out fans to help attendees cool off on that warm and sunny day. Check out this video to see highlights of the Chicano Heritage Festival https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT2ryBrT0pY&t=5s.
Fiestas Patrias returns for its 42nd year
After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, our community got to enjoy the Fiestas Patrias festival once again on Sept. 17-18 by Santa Ana Stadium. An estimated 60,000 people attended over the weekend, coming out for the carnival rides, food, community booths, and of course lots of music – including headliners Beatriz Adriana, Raymix and El Chapo de Sinaloa. It was wonderful to see this important tradition return for its 42nd year. Check out this Fiestas Patrias highlight video and ¡Viva Mexico!
Check out this video to see highlights of the Fiestas Patrias: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_NmDd4oUxc&t=191s
Celebrating SAPD’s 136th birthday
At the City Council Meeting on July 19, 2022, I joined my colleagues Mayor Pro Tem Bacerra and Councilmember Penaloza to recognize SAPD’s 136th Year of Honorable and Dedicated Services to protect the Community.
Recognition of America On Track
It was my honor to introduce the volunteers from America On Track. As a team, these volunteers worked together on a policy issue that was important to them: a ban on flavored tobacco. Their efforts did not go unnoticed, back in March of this year, the City Council adopted an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in Santa Ana.
Declaring September 2022 as Hunger Action Month
You may not know that in California 20% of residents experience food insecurity on a daily basis and food and nutritional instability are serious problems. The City of Santa Ana is dedicated to fighting hunger in all of our community. It was my honor to join Mayor Sarmiento in giving a Proclamation to Orange County Hunger Alliance declaring September as Hunger Action Month.