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Ward 2 newsletter: May 2024

Posted on May 13, 2024


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Our Community Budget Priorities Survey deadline is near and we need all voices on deck! Are you a passionate resident who cares where our City funding goes? Are you interested in knowing where your tax dollars are going and would like to have an input on how the City of Santa Ana spends them? This survey is just for you; in fact, it is designed for every Santa Ana resident to participate.

We have many City programs – tell us which are important for you! My goal is to create recreational and educational activities for our community, which is why I am an advocate for building a library and park in Ward 2. Our children and families deserve a place to dream, play, and learn in spaces designed for them. Taking part in our City-sponsored surveys raises constituent representation, and allows me, Councilmember Vazquez, to advocate for our communities. Take the survey below by May 13!

Benjamin Vazquez, Councilmember – Ward 2


Highlights…

  • Short-term rentals ban
  • Take our budget survey
  • Pacific Park Neighborhood Monument
  • Santa Ana Gardens Bikeway connecting Friendship and Jerome Park

Important Dates

  • May 16: City Council special meeting for budget workshop
  • May 18: Public Works Family Event
  • May 19: Free Residents Day and Party for the Planet at Santa Ana Zoo
  • June 1-2: Garage and Yard Sale Weekend

Ward 2 & City News

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! Take our community budget survey to tell us which City programs and services matter most to you. Your opinion matters!

Watch this video in English, Spanish or Vietnamese to learn more about the City budget:



Take the Budget Priorities Survey.


Pacific Park Neighborhood Monument

Pacific-Park-Monument-Signs-Unveiling-Ceremony-35-of-35.jpgpacific park

I was proud to join the Pacific Park Neighborhood Association and our Public Works Agency on Saturday, March 23, for a special ceremony to unveil refurbished Pacific Park monument signs. The monument signs commemorate the Pacific Park neighborhood name and are located at two neighborhood entrances: two are at Walnut Street and Cypress Avenue and two are at McFadden Avenue and Cedar Street.


Santa Ana Gardens Bikeway connecting Friendship and Jerome Park

bike trail

I joined Orange County Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, Councilmember Johnathan Ryan Hernandez and Councilmember Jessie Lopez for the opening of a new bike trail connecting Friendship Park and Jerome Park. What a great project for our community!


Council approves ban on short-term residential rentals

The Santa Ana City Council has adopted an ordinance amending the municipal code to prohibit short term-rentals. Short-term rentals are taking away much-needed housing from our residents and causing negative effects on neighborhoods, such as taking up parking, excessive noise, and trash. The ordinance is a measure to preserve the public peace, health, safety and welfare.

Read more about the short-term rentals ordinance


Santa Ana economy is growing strong

Recently, the 2024 Santa Ana GROW Conference highlighted Santa Ana’s new businesses, major developments, the growth in our travel and tourism industry, and our strong economic outlook. Hosted by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and the City of Santa Ana, conference had a couple highlights I’d like to share with you. We saw unprecedented economic growth last year and we are building new housing at an incredible rate. 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. That’s more than double the valuation of previous years. Additionally, 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 and the positive experience these developers had working with City staff.

Read more about our new developments


Unveiling of Little Saigon monument

Little-Saigon-monument-

In 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 the City’s first Tet Festival.


Our first Tết Festival was a success

Lunar new year

I was pleased to join our Vietnamese and Asian communities to celebrate Lunar New Year at the City’s first Tết Festival in February. The event had live performances, music, delicious food, engaging booths and fireworks. Thank you to the thousands of residents who joined us for this special event and a special thank you to Santa Ana Parks and Recreation and Santa Ana Public Library for making the Tết Festival possible.

If you missed it, watch the highlights video below. We can’t wait to see you all at next year’s event!


Celebrating Black History

Black history parade Black history

I was honored to be invited by the Orange County Heritage Council to ride in the Black History Parade in Anaheim. This parade started in Santa Ana, and I’m proud that many of our Santa Ana City Councilmembers continue to support this important event.


Free Santa Ana Summer at Bowers Museum

Japanese comics

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.


We have the best-tasting water in the world

Water award

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


My Projects

Proclamation to El Centro Cultural de Mexico in recognition of their 30-year Anniversary 

El Centro Cultural de Mexico El Centro Cultural de Mexico


Certificate of recognition to Main Street Bus Artists for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts and Culture Community

Main Street Bus Artists for Outstanding Contributions Main Street Bus Artists for Outstanding Contributions

I attended the 40th annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) in July in New York. The conference, recognized as the nation’s “Latino Political Convention,” is the largest annual gathering of Latino public officials in the country.


Heartbeat of SAUSD Recognition

With SAUSD SAUSD

Thank you to Santa Ana Unified School District for the Heartbeat of SAUSD recognition and especially to all the teachers that helped us get here. Congratulations to the inaugural honorees from my family, the Vazquez and Castorena families! They were acknowledged for exemplifying the core values of our district — a deep, enduring connection that weaves together generations of students, families, and educators into a vibrant educational community.


National Action Network: A Conversation with Cornel West 

National Action Network

What a night with brother Cornel West! Dr. West blessed us with an amazing lecture at the Second Baptist Church in Santa Ana. I was honored to be in the presence of so many beautiful people.


Tour of Little Arabia

Little Arabia Little Arabia

We took a tour of Little Arabia in Anaheim with the IC People’s History Tour. What a great education and people!


Events & Meetings

WORK Center Orientation – Every Monday

WORK center

In search of a new job and need resources to help your job search? Stop by the Santa Ana WORK Center’s next orientation to learn about our programs, educational opportunities, tools, and resources. You will also learn about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and services available at the Center through community resources and partners.

  • May 20, June 3 and 17
  • 10-11 a.m.
  • 801 W. Civic Center Drive, Suite 200, Santa Ana

Traffic Engineering Road Show – May 13, 14 and more

Traffic Engineering Road Show

Santa Ana neighbors are invited to a series of interactive community meeting with the City of Santa Ana Public Works Traffic Engineering Department to learn and share your thoughts about the Citywide Street Light Masterplan, Active Transportation Grant Opportunities, and the Citywide Parking Study.  The upcoming dates are:

  • Monday, May 13
  • 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Mcfadden Institute o f Technology, 2701 S. Raitt St.
  • Tuesday, May 14
  • 5:30-7 p.m.
  •  Roosevelt-Walker Community Center, 816 E. Chestnut Ave.

We value your attendance at the meetings to provide feedback about the Traffic Engineering programs.  Click the link below for all meeting dates.

Traffic Engineering Road Show


Ride of Silence – May 15

Ride of Silence

Join Santa Ana Active Streets in the Ride of Silence Tribute Ride honoring cyclists that have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. It will be a solemn group ride that is recognized world-wide with thousands of people riding their bikes to remember, support each other, and heal collectively. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

  • Wednesday, May 15
  • 7 p.m. (meet up at 6:15 p.m.)
  • The Bicycle Tree, 702 W. 17th St.

Register for Ride of Silence


Down Payment Assistance Program – May 16 

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 invites the public, interested home buyers, realtors and lenders to join us for an informational workshop to learn about the My First Home down payment assistance program. By taking advantage of this remarkable initiative, you can transform your aspirations of homeownership into a tangible reality with an interest-free loan. We’ll provide an overview of the program, including income guidelines, qualifications, and the application-approval process. We’ll also highlight an incentive for Santa Ana high school graduates, U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel.

  • May 16
  • Taft Elementary School, 500 Keller Ave.
  • 6-7:30 p.m.

For a list of all our workshop dates, please visit our webpage.

My First Home Program


Public Works Family Event – May 18

Public Works Family event

To kick off National Public Works Week in May, our Public Works Agency will host a free community event that includes free tacos to the first 500 guests, prizes, tours of the state-of-the-art water pump station, a water pipe connection competition, various Public Works exhibits and large equipment displays, and more. Free event parking is available in the lot at Flower and Pine streets. For more information, contact Michelle Micallef at mmicallef@santa-ana.org or 714-647-5091.

  • Saturday, May 18
  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Walnut Water Pump Station, 723 W. Walnut St.

Bike and Pedestrian Safety Workshop – May 30

Bike & Pedestrian Safety Bike & Pedestrian Safety

Join SAAS for a Bike and Pedestrian Safety Workshop! Gain insight on how active transportation infrastructure projects are developed and completed in the city and become an advocate for bike and pedestrian safety improvements in Santa Ana!

  • Thursday, May 30
  • 6- 8 p.m.
  • Latino Health Access, 450 W. 4th St.

Register


Garage Sale Weekend – June 1 and 2

Residential garage and yard sales are allowed on the weekend of June 1 and 2, 2024. Sales may begin at 8 a.m. and must end at 5 p.m. each day. Garage and yard sales for residential properties are permitted on the first full weekend of March, June, September, and December of each year. No permit is required.

  • Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Garage and Yard Sale Rules


Wrench and Ride – June 4

Wrench and ride Wrench and ride Wrench and ride

Sign up for a Wrench and Ride class this summer!

Wrench & Ride is a FREE 8-week program that teaches participants about bicycle repair and maintenance. After completing the session, participants keep the bike they’ve been working on!

There will be two separate groups.

Group A: 55+ (class will be taught in Spanish), 1-3 p.m.

Group B:13-18 years old, 4-6 p.m.

  • Every Tuesday, June 4-July 30 (not meeting July 4)
  • The Bicycle Tree, 702 W. 17th St. C

For more info contact María Baeza at maria@saascoalition.org or 714-202-7393


Build your own skateboard workshop – June 8

Build Skateboard

Interested in learning how to skate? Want to assemble your own skateboard from start to finish? Now is your chance! Join Santa Ana Active Streets and members from Sk8nMeet Santana in this “Build Your Own Skateboard” Workshop on Saturday June 8th! Learn some of the history of skateboarding, gain safety tips on skating in Santa Ana, and build your own board!

  • Saturday, June 8
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • The Village, 1505 E. 17th St.

For more information contact Dorian Romero at 714-340-5186 or email dorian@saascoalition.org


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


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/)


USEFUL RESOURCES

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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