In this edition of the COSAS newsletter, you’ll find quick updates about COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites, the Santa Ana SAVES eviction protection program, fire safety tips, the new Zoo & You program, and a lot more. We’re also celebrating Black History Month and honoring the Black community--past, present and future.
Scene at Miss Black Santa Ana Pageant in 1969
Photo credit: Color Photography Studio
The Santa Ana Public Library’s History Room found this gem of a photo, which depicts a scene from the 1969 Miss Black Santa Ana Pageant. In this photo, we see Crystal James holding a trophy and Yvonne Wooderts and Alma L. Thomas are standing next to her.

Use this form to submit your own original photo of Santa Ana to be featured in the next newsletter.
Although the Governor’s Regional Stay Home Order has been lifted, Santa Ana (and the rest of Orange County) must still follow public health guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Help us to continue “trending” in the right direction; remember to wear your mask when you leave your home, limit your contact with others, and practice good hygiene.

Santa Ana COVID-19 Vaccination Site Coming; Testing Site Relocating
A COVID-19 vaccination site will soon be opening at Santa Ana College. This is exciting and much-anticipated news! We will share more details when available. In the meantime, Santa Ana residents should sign up now on the County of Orange’s vaccination appointment website, Othena, in order to get an appointment when one becomes available. All vaccination points of distribution provided by the County are by appointment only. Go to

In preparation for this, the City’s COVID-19 testing operation that recently opened at Santa Ana College is temporarily closing on Friday, February 12, in order to relocate. Testing will be available again beginning Tuesday, February 16, by appointment at five kiosks located around the City. Make an appointment at or call (800) 446-8888.

Free Food Distribution in Santa Ana
Are you or your household in need of food? Visit our website to find out locations for free food distribution locations in Santa Ana, as well as senior meals and other food resources.

No Special Events
The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily changed the way we interact with each other (i.e., we must practice physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19). One of the outcomes of this change is that the City of Santa Ana is temporarily not authorizing any special events, particularly special events that require special event permits. I encourage you to visit the State of California’s website to find out which activities are allowed to take place safely to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

UC Irvine COVID-19 Online Chat
Do you have questions about COVID-19? Chat with a UC Irvine chatline operator online to help answer your questions. The chatline is available Sunday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The chatline is not for medical advice. Specific medical questions should be directed to a medical provider.
City Hall Closed on Monday, February 15 for Presidents Day
City Hall and all non-essential City facilities will be closed on Monday, February 15 in observance of Presidents Day. There will be no street sweeping. Trash pickup will occur as scheduled. Regular City Hall hours will resume on Tuesday, February 16.
2020 Historic Resources Commission Awards Announced
The Historic Resources Commission recently announced the winners of the 2020 Historic Preservation Awards, which were presented at the last City Council meeting with a wonderful video that showcases the two winning properties.

The Historic Preservation Awards recognize outstanding historic rehabilitation and restoration projects, as well as efforts that have furthered the cause of historic preservation in Santa Ana. The winners are:

Restoration Award: Pacific Electric Sub-Station No. 14
Award Winner: Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD)
Location: Garfield Elementary School - 850 Brown Street / 475 N Lacy Street

Rehabilitation Award: The Taylor-Oglesby House
Award Winner: Marnie Schnabel
Location: 2510 N Valencia Street, in the Park Santiago neighborhood

The City will begin accepting nominations for the 2021 Historic Preservation Awards this spring.
General Plan Update
The General Plan Environmental Justice roundtable discussion was held this past Tuesday, February 9. During the meeting, we discussed the General Plan Update, updated schedule and timeline for outreach, overview of the community outreach plan, and open discussion with attendees to share thoughts and ideas.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The Santa Ana Public Library will be hosting many events in honor of Black History Month.
  • In celebration of Black history, heritage, and culture, enjoy Santa Ana Public Library’s collection of books, movies, and e-resources. Discover more!
  • Reach for the Stars! A Celebration of Black History Storytime will have stories, songs and activities that highlight children’s books about Black history and achievements of Black individuals. Subscribe to the library’s YouTube channel to receive notifications.   
  • Rocking and Remembering - Tune in Fridays at noon and join us in paying tribute to African American musicians from the 50s, 60s, and 70s with Roger Jones. To register, please visit
  • Black History Month Trivia – Join us to celebrate Black History Month with this special Santa Ana Trivia. Click here to test your knowledge. 
  • I am Poem – A mixed media take-and-make program to create an artwork, acknowledging your heritage - Read more.
Youth Water Poster Contest
The City of Santa Ana’s annual Youth Water Poster Contest is open to all youth ages 5-18 residing in Santa Ana. The contest provides an opportunity for young people to become more aware of different water topics through artistic expression. Winners receive an award and a Nintendo Switch, iPad, or gift certificate!

Poster Contest Rules
All posters must be drawn horizontally on 12”x18” white drawing paper or poster board and must use the theme "Trust The Tap!" Each entry must include an entry form attached to the back of the poster. Please read and follow the Poster Contest Rules carefully. Entries that do not adhere to all poster specifications will be disqualified.

Entries are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, March 26.
Fire Safety: Burn Safety
Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States sustains a burn serious enough to require treatment. A burn is damage to the skin caused by heat. Burns and scalds can occur from certain tools, appliances, hot water, or the sun. Our friends at the Orange County Fire Authority shared these tips to help keep our community safe:

How to Treat a Burn
  • Turn off the heat source and make sure the surroundings are safe.
  • Remove clothing and jewelry near a burn, but do not peel off clothing stuck to the burn.
  • Run cool water (not cold or icy) on the burn for 5 to 10 minutes until the pain subsides.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment or dressing to the burn to keep it moist. Do not use creams or greasy substances like butter, toothpaste, or eggs. These can cause infection.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you have a burn that affects your mobility or sensation, for any burn larger than your hand, or if the burn affects the feet, face, eyes, or genitalia.

Burn Prevention Tips
  • Create a safety zone of at least 3 feet around hot objects or appliances.
  • Do not leave hot objects unattended and unplug tools when not in use.
  • Keep hot objects away from counter edges and out of the reach of children.
Public Assistance Programs
California offers public assistance programs to low-income families to help those in crisis by providing access to timely public services, such as those offered through the County of Orange Social Services Agency. Here are a few:

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is a cash aid program for low income families with children which assists with basic needs, as well as provides education, employment, and training programs. Eligible families must have a child(ren) under age 18 who is/are deprived of parental support or care if either or both parent(s) are: deceased, physically or mentally incapacitated, unemployed, and/or continually absent from the home.

The CalFresh program is a federal nutrition program that helps eligible, low-income people purchase food necessary for good health. CalFresh benefits are not cash. For most households, CalFresh benefits are only part of their food budget and some households will be required to spend some of their own cash along with their CalFresh benefits. Households that are eligible will receive an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card which can be used at most grocery stores when buying food items.

The Medi-Cal program provides free or low cost medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Eligibility for Medi-Cal is primarily based on income with some programs requiring an asset test. An individual’s citizenship/immigration status, as well as California residency, is used to determine eligibility and level of Medi-Cal benefits. Medi-Cal benefits cover a core set of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital care, dental benefits, mental health services, COVID-19 testing and pregnancy-related services.

Apply for CalWORKs, CalFresh and Medi-Cal or check using one of the options below:
  • Online:
  • By phone: (800) 281-9799, Monday - Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • In-person (for immediate needs): operating hours and locations subject to change; visit for more information
Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and JobzMall Launches Talent Marketplace
The Santa Ana Work Center is joining the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and JobzMall to address the unemployment problem faced in Santa Ana with the first job finding platform tailored for Santa Ana. The platform will empower the students, job seekers, and hiring managers of Santa Ana by connecting them with Video Resumes, Video Cover Letters, and Video Job Ads for the post-COVID-19 economy. Other local organizations involved in the project include Wells Fargo, Goodwill, Behr Painting Co., High School Inc., and CNI College.

The talent marketplace also includes a local Talent Pool so that job seekers can directly shoot their resumes to hundreds of companies with one-click. The long term goal is not only to connect job seekers with hiring organizations but also to build a local career community for Santa Ana. Users will also be able to get connected with local resources to grow their skill sets aided with Machine Learning.
Police Sgt. Mike McCarthy Recovers from COVID-19 After 52 Days in ICU
After 52 days in the COVID-19 ICU hospital wing and near death, Santa Ana Police Sgt. Mike McCarthy was released from the hospital this week. We are eternally grateful for all the thoughts and prayers in support of his recovery, and to all the incredible lifesaving front line medical care providers fighting this global pandemic. There were tears of joy from Sgt. McCarthy, his family, medical staff, and Santa Ana Police Department staff when he was finally able to leave the hospital. He was escorted to his home by the SAPD Traffic Division to celebrate his recovery.

As we acknowledge all those that have lost their battle with this pandemic, the City of Santa Ana is fortunate to have Sgt. McCarthy back at home with his family.
At the February 2, 2021, meeting, the Santa Ana City Council …

A special City Council closed session was held today, Friday, February 12. In today’s meeting, the City Council established strategic priorities and performance expectations for the City Manager. After the public has an opportunity to review them and provide input, the CIty Council may consider amending the Five-Year Strategic Plan.

City Council meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5 p.m. Our meetings are live streamed on YouTube and CTV 3 (channel 3 on Spectrum and channel 99 on AT&T TV). If you’d like to provide public comments on agenda and non-agenda items, you can email, or join the Zoom webinar online or by phone.
Q&A on Santa Ana SAVES Eviction Protection Program - February 17
With the new Santa Ana SAVES eviction protection program, Santa Ana residents impacted by COVID-19 who are behind on rent and facing eviction can apply for up to 12 months’ rent and receive free legal and mediation services. Join us on Wednesday, February 17 at 7 p.m. for a Zoom meeting where you can ask questions about the program.
Virtual Lonely Heart Ride Valentine’s Weekend - February 12-15
Are you looking for a fun way to celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s weekend? You and your family can enjoy a free virtually-guided bike ride throughout Downtown Santa Ana on a self-guided tour of art and history. For the tour, you will receive a map and audio guide during your ride experience. Register for the free virtual bike ride on Eventbrite.

This virtual bike ride experience has been coordinated by Santa Ana Active Streets (SAAS). You can receive a free swag bag complete with bike lights, reflective vests and wristbands, and see bike safety demonstrations from the SAAS staff on Friday, February 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, February 13 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at The Bicycle Tree bike co-op located at 702 W 17th Street, Unit C in Santa Ana. SAAS is contracted by the City’s Public Works Traffic Engineering Division to conduct educational and interactive activities for the Santa Ana community involving active transportation. For more information, call or text SAAS at (714) 340-5186.
South Main Street Corridor Construction Community Meeting - February 27
You’re invited to a community meeting with our Public Works Agency on Tuesday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m. to learn about the upcoming construction for the South Main Street Corridor project. The project is 2.5 miles along South Main Street between First Street and Dyer Road. The overall corridor improvements will include improved landscaping incorporating more trees, delineated parking spaces, curb ramps, median enhancements, pavement rehabilitation, decorative lighting, and updated bus shelters. Please use the link below to join the virtual meeting via Zoom or call 1-669-900-9128 and enter webinar ID: 986 4223 0837. Spanish translation will be available. If you have questions, please contact Michelle Micallef at (714) 647-5091 or [email protected].
The Zoo & You: Nature Lab Programs - February 27
The Zoo & You is a new program dedicated to connecting the zoo to our community through fun, interactive programs for youth of all ages. Nature Lab programs include kits of all of the materials needed to complete activities during a live Zoom session with zoo staff. Reserve your kit and mark your calendar to “hop along” and discover what makes rabbits special!

Sign up using the link below to reserve your activity kit. Don’t forget to log on to Zoom on Saturday, February 27 with the information in your kit to join the live program for your grade level with zoo staff and special animal guests! Please submit all questions using the sign-up form.
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February 12, 2021