Ward 3 & City news
Gustavo Hernandez gives words of inspiration at City Council meeting
New City budget expands programs and services
- More than $26 million – a $5.5 million increase – for youth services, including after-school programs, youth employment and internships, and youth sports
- Library improvements and a second Knowledge Mobile
- Over $24 million for housing and supportive housing for homeless residents
- Over $15 million – a $6 million increase – for street pavement, sidewalks, and traffic-calming improvements
- More Code Enforcement officers and resources to address public nuisance issues
- $1 million for police oversight
City of Santa Ana and County of Orange provide direct financial assistance to local businesses affected by the OC Streetcar construction
To help the businesses affected by the construction of the OC Streetcar, the City Council approved an agreement with the County of Orange for $1.2 million to provide financial relief to those businesses. Through this program, eligible businesses could receive one-time grants to support their operations. This County-funded program augments a similar $1.5 million Business Interruption Fund program that the City Council approved back in March.
20th Street sign replaced
Sometimes, it’s the little things–like a street sign. These “little” things make a big difference, though. I was walking through the neighborhood and noticed that the 20th Street sign was difficult to read (and it didn’t look very presentable, either). I reached out to our Public Works Agency staff, who quickly assessed the sign and replaced it.
Lincoln Avenue Pedestrian Pathway Project Completed
Our Public Works team recently completed the long-anticipated Lincoln Avenue Pedestrian Pathway project. This project focused on a 0.2-mile pedestrian pathway along Lincoln Avenue from Park Lane to Santiago Creek. These improvements provide a 12-foot wide pedestrian pathway, landscaping, irrigation, lighting, and fence and wall barriers from the railroad to separate it from the pathway. This project helps facilitate and shorten pedestrian travel routes in general and provide a shorter route to school for student at Fairhaven Elementary School. This project was funded by an Active Transportation Program grant.
Partnership with Caltrans to clean up Santiago Creek under the 5 freeway
In a cross-jurisdictional effort led by the City of Santa Ana, we ordered Caltrans to address issues under the 5 freeway overpass over Santiago Creek this past Wednesday, July 27. Crews from Caltrans, alongside City staff, cleared trash and debris from under the bridge. During the clean-up, officers and crews from our homeless response teams helped individuals experiencing homelessness to receive assistance. To continue to hold Caltrans accountable to maintaining their public right-of-way (such as the portions of Santiago Creek underneath the freeway), City staff will continue to work closely with Caltrans to schedule regular maintenance moving forward. I want to thank everyone who assisted with this clean-up!
Commercial Property Compliance Assistance Program
New program alert: We recently launched the Commercial Property Compliance Assistance Program as part of the Revive Santa Ana initiative. What this means is owners of commercial properties in qualified areas of the city that were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can receive up to $50,000 to help restore, beautify, and enhance their properties. Specifically, the program pays for improvements such as signage, awnings, steam cleaning/power washing, fencing, doors, lighting, paint and more.
Acquisition of partial property for Bristol Street and Memory Lane intersection improvements
At the June 21 meeting, the City Council approved a purchase agreement to acquire a portion of real property adjacent to Bristol Street to allow for that portion of the right-of-way to be widened from 100 feet to 111 feet. This acquisition is the last of the three partial acquisitions needed to widen the northwest corner of the Bristol Street / Memory Lane intersection to improve mobility along Bristol Street for everyone. The project also includes installing a new curb and gutter, sidewalk, driveway approaches, and both public and private utilities. Construction is anticipated to start in the beginning of 2023.
City Council approves a lobbyist registration policy
Also at the June 21 meeting, the City Council adopted an ordinance establishing a Lobbying Registration Policy. The purpose of this policy is to promote public confidence, preserve the integrity of local government decision-making, and provide members of the community with access to information about persons and organizations who attempt to influence decisions of City government through paid lobbyists. Among other things, this policy defines “lobbyist,” establishes thresholds for reporting lobbying activity, requires quarterly reporting, and sets forth annual registration procedures. Our City Clerk’s Office will soon be working on implementing this policy–so stay tuned. In the meantime, use the button below to read the staff report and ordinance.
Expanded cleaning and sanitization program
Earlier this year, the City Council approved the use of $500,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the Sanitization and Prevention Program. This program provides on-going cleaning and sanitizing of bus shelters, alleys, and streets throughout the city.
Orange County Grand Jury releases report on homelessness
The Orange County Grand Jury recently released a 24-page report on how the county collectively is addressing homelessness. Use the button below to read the full report.
Coyote sightings in Ward 3
Helpful Tips to Avoid Coyotes
- Remove sources of food and water, especially at night. This includes pet bowls, fallen fruit from trees, and water in bird baths.
- Secure garbage can lids or store them indoors.
- Ensure outdoor enclosures for rabbits, poultry, birds, etc. are well secured.
- Put away bird feeders and leftover poultry food at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
- Do not leave dogs, cats, and other pets outside unattended, especially at night.
What To Do if You See a Coyote in Your Neighborhood
- Do not approach it.
- Make loud noises.
- Habituated coyotes – ones that have lost their natural wariness of people and fail to flee when near people – should be reported to Orange County Animal Services at (714) 935-6848.
Joint Santiago Creek clean-up event with Catalyst
Keep Runnin’ Santa Ana is recognized by the City Council
I presented the Keep Runnin’ Santa Ana (KRSA) Club with a certificate of recognition for their hard work and dedication to the Santa Ana community. KRSA started with a small group of residents who wanted to run in a safe, group environment. In addition to their group running activities, KRSA also donates running shoes every month to deserving students that may not have the means to buy running shoes.
I want to thank the founder of KRSA, Aaron Garcia, for starting a running club that promotes exercise, gives back to the community, and encourages others to live an active lifestyle. Check out their Instagram for updates and to get involved (they meet every Thursday at the corner of 4th and French Streets).
Thanking Orange County Fire Authority Chief Henery for 35 years of service
In May, Mayor Sarmiento and I recognized Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Chief Jim Henery for his the 35 years of service to the City of Santa Ana. Chief Henery cares for the Santa Ana community and uses his strong work ethic to lead by example and make sure Santa Ana is safe and receives the best service from OCFA. We look forward to working with Chief Henery for many more years.
Author Ernesto Cisneros is presented with certificate of recognition
Spectrum awards $10,000 to The Wooden Floor
The Wooden Floor, a Santa Ana-based arts education organization, was awarded the Ovation Award by Spectrum. During their 39-year history, The Wooden Floor has made an enormous impact on the more than 95,000 children they’ve served, including those from Santa Ana. I’m proud to support The Wooden Floor in their mission to empower low-income youth to strengthen their self-esteem, self-discipline, and sense of accomplishment through dance, academic, and family programs.
City Council proclaims first Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day
In June, Mayor Sarmiento and I presented a proclamation declaring June 3 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The proclamation was spearheaded by MOMS Demand Action, a grassroots movement of individuals fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
Recognizing Loosie’s Pizza in Downtown Santa Ana
Also in June, I recognized Loosies Pizza, a new business located in Downtown Santa Ana. This pizza establishment was created by Santaneros who were inspired by New York-style pizzerias and wanted to bring something similar to our city. Although they only recently opened, Loosies has already established themselves as a local favorite. Stop by for a slice of pizza next time you’re in DTSA!
LGBTQIA+ Pride Flag raising ceremony at City Hall
Each year, the City of Santa Ana proudly displays the LGBTQIA+ Pride Flag in front of City Hall to celebrate Pride Month and honor the LGBTQIA+ community. This year, I wanted us to do things differently, so I worked with our City staff to host a flag-raising ceremony and community resource fair. Immediately following the brief, yet memorable raising of the flag, we invited the community to the Plaza of the Sun for a resource fair with food distribution, COVID-19 vaccines, and other resources from local organizations. We are proud to be an inclusive community that not only acknowledges, but celebrates our diversity!
Floral Park hands out scholarships to local students
Floral Park held its annual Scholarship & Charity Awards Ceremony & Reception on June 12. Mayor Vicente Sarmiento and the Floral Park president spoke, while I presented awards alongside Floral Park First Vice Presidents Mark Rothenberg and Tracey Stein. A combination of 14 college and high school students received scholarships at the event. Thank you to the neighbors for all that you have done throughout the year to help Floral Park raise money to fund these scholarships and charitable gifts!
City of Santa Ana Celebrates Juneteenth
Fourth of July in Ward 3
The Fourth of July is an annual celebration of the founding of our country–the freedom, liberty, and independence that we enjoy each and every day. I had so much fun celebrating the Fourth of July with Ward 3 families! I hope you all had a happy and safe Independence Day!
Closing ceremonies for NESALL
I was invited to the closing ceremonies for the North East Santa Ana Little League (NESALL) to give awards out–not just to the players, but also to their parents. In addition to recognizing the little ones for a good season, I also wanted to recognize the parents for their help in maintaining the field and making sure that NESALL continues to run successfully. Nice job, folks!
Girls Inc. of Orange County Business Showcase
As part of their innovative summer programs, Girls Inc. of Orange County hosts a business showcase. Similar to “Shark Tank,” participating girls present their businesses to a team of investors with the hopes of gaining capital in their business. Through this experience, girls learn introductory and advanced principles of business, such as how to create a business plan. I was invited to attend this year’s business showcase and got to see first-hand how strong, smart, and bold our young girls are.
OCCORD relocates to Santa Ana
Earlier this summer, the nonprofit organization Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD) relocated their offices from Anaheim to Santa Ana. OCCORD is a long-time community advocacy and civic engagement organization that has championed a series of important policies for our community, such as the Sunshine Ordinance, community land trusts, equitable strategic planning, and more. I’m happy to see that OCCORD has a physical presence in our city.
Greenleaf Street sewer main improvements to take place from October to December 2022
- During sewer main upgrade, street parking will be prohibited from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- During concrete street work, on-street parking may be completely prohibited for up to one week at a time.
- If you have any concerns about parking, please call (714)-647-5629.
Goats getting a new trail at the Santa Ana Zoo
- Pathway and drainage improvements
- Area grading and signage relocation to increase overall farm accessibility
- Expanded habitats to improve animal welfare
- New landscaping and irrigation to beautify the space
Find summer youth jobs with SAY program
- Live in Santa Ana
- Be 16-21 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen or have legal permission to work
- Submit a Request for Work Permit through the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) if you’re under 18 years old
OCTA extends Youth Ride Free program
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is providing extended blue passes as a continuation of the Youth Ride Free program that started in September 2021. Youth will be able to acquire their free passes through schools, an online request form, or walk-ins to the OCTA Store. This free pass for youth ages 6 to 18 will allow them to get to all of their important destinations on safe, clean, reliable buses. Updated parent request forms will need to be submitted to receive the pass. Any existing passes that were issued in March will be good through September 2022, after which time a new pass will be provided.
Mortgage Relief for Homeowners
The new California Mortgage Relief Program is accepting applications. Homeowners may be eligible for mortgage relief funds if they missed payments for their primary residence, faced a financial hardship during the pandemic and are at or below 100 percent of their county’s Area Median Income. Funds awarded to qualified homeowners through this program will be given directly to mortgage servicers and do not need to be repaid.
Get vaccinated and boosted!
The COVID-19 vaccine is available for children ages 6 months and older. If you’ve already received the vaccine, booster shots are available too. I encourage everyone in Santa Ana to get vaccinated so we can protect our community, keep our businesses open, and recover from the pandemic.
Conserve water during the drought
Droughts are a recurring fact of nature in California. It is important that everyone make a conscientious effort to use water as efficiently as possible. Use the button link below to find conservation tips from the California Department of Water Resources.
- Residents Day at the Zoo – third Sunday of each month
- Bowers Museum Free Sundays – Santa Ana residents get into the museum free every Sunday!
- Discovery Cube Waste Free Days – Santa Ana residents get free admission to the Cube on the first Tuesday of the month
- Movies at the Park: Boss Baby: A Family Business (PG) at Mabury Park – 1801 E Fruit Street – August 24 at 5:30 p.m.
- Concerts in the Park at Portola Park: The OC3 – August 11 at 6:30 p.m.