In this edition of the COSAS newsletter, you’ll find good news about the progress being made in the fight against COVID-19 -- more vaccines are on their way and outdoor sports are allowed again! You'll also see news about our new police academy class, job training assistance, youth programs, and more. Check out upcoming events, like the annual Boca de Oro arts festival, and learn about the amazingly selfless acts of two anonymous donors who paid for struggling residents’ utility bills.
Floral Fun at the Santa Ana Senior Center
Amigas Social Club and Angel’s Flowers donated bouquets to Santa Ana seniors in February. What a nice Valentine’s Day surprise!

Photo credit: Nick G. from the Santa Ana Senior Center
In recent days, the COVID-19 case rate in our City and throughout Orange County has been steadily declining. That’s great news and a reason for optimism. If this trend continues, Orange County could move into a less restrictive tier that will allow more business operations and other activities by mid-March. I’m looking forward to being able to go out to dinner and a movie!
Local Vaccinations Expanding
It was disappointing when the County’s vaccination site at Santa Ana College had to close last week just days after opening due to a supply shortage that affected vaccine distribution statewide. County officials have indicated that new vaccine deliveries are now arriving. The County’s Super PODs (Points of Dispensing) reopened this week only to provide second doses to individuals with appointments. By sometime next week, it is expected that all of the vaccination operations, including at Santa Ana College, will resume. Even more are on the way, with pharmacies and other locations expected to receive a supply soon. In the next week, I have been told, California will begin receiving 1.5 million vaccine doses weekly. Once the vaccine supply is confirmed, the County will be able to move on to Phase 1B in the vaccination schedule, reserving a portion of the vaccine for people who work in education, food service, grocery stores, agriculture, child care, and emergency services.

In the meantime, local non-profit Latino Health Access has been given vaccines that they are providing to our community at local schools. You can call (714) 805-7838 to check availability and make an appointment.

At the same time, the City is working to open additional local vaccination sites by partnering with health care organizations. The first of these took place when the City of Santa Ana, the County of Orange Office of Aging, and OC Health Care Agency created a partnership to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to almost 500 Santa Ana residents aged 65 and older on January 20 at the Southwest Senior Center. These seniors received their second round of vaccinations on February 17.
COVID-19 Testing Kiosks
Even as more people are being vaccinated, we all still need to play it safe by wearing masks, avoiding gatherings and getting tested if you think you might have COVID-19. To that end, the City now has five testing kiosks around the City. You can make an appointment at
Outdoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports Are Back
The County of Orange, in alignment with the California Department of Public Health, has announced that outdoor sports competitions may resume in Orange County with modifications starting today, February 26. The State’s guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately organized clubs and leagues. Outdoor sport competitions may resume in Purple Tier counties (including Orange County) with modifications that include testing requirements for certain outdoor high-contact sports. Outdoor moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, can be played in Orange County without the testing requirement.
Small Business Assistance Loans for Eligible Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that in order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer Paycheck Protection Program loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24, through Tuesday, March 9. I encourage any struggling Santa Ana businesses to apply!
Everyone should do their part to protect their community from COVID-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, don't gather and maintain social distance. Protect Santa Ana. Protege Santa Ana.
City of Santa Ana Community Garden Now Open
Our Community Garden Program is planting new seeds! Due to social distancing, there will be limited capacity at each garden. All garden sessions are free and intended for all ages! Please call (714) 571-4253 or email for more information and to sign up for one of the following dates and locations:
  • March 3: El Salvador Park Community Garden
  • March 10: Madison Park Community Garden
  • March 17: Pacific Electric Community Garden
  • March 24: Jerome Park Community Garden
  • March 31: Roosevelt Walker Community Garden
Free Job Training at the Santa Ana WORK Center
Did you know that the Santa Ana WORK Center provides job training programs for Santa Ana residents? Whether you’re a job seeker looking to find work or transition careers, or a business looking to build a strong workforce to support your growth, the Santa Ana WORK Center is ready to connect you to the services, resources and opportunities to reach your goals. We accomplish this by offering low- to no-cost vocational training resources, work experience programs, job search assistance, youth job services, re-employment assistance, recruitment support, workshops, and more. If you’re interested in one or more of our programs, call (714) 565-2600 or visit our website.
Largest SAPD Graduating Academy Class in 25 Years
On Thursday, February 18, the Santa Ana Police Department issued the Oath of Office to 13 new Police Officers. These Officers represent diverse backgrounds and experience, including those who are bilingual, college graduates, military veterans, and have experience working with at-risk youth. This is the single largest Santa Ana Police Department Recruit graduating class in 25 years.
Drug Prevention and Life Skills Classes For Youth
The City of Santa Ana has partnered with America On Track to offer drug prevention and life skills classes for youth. America On Track will be hosting weekly virtual classes for youth in elementary, middle and high school. A new series of the age-appropriate classes will begin during the first week of March. The curriculum is focused on preventing and or reducing alcohol, tobacco, vape, marijuana, opioid, and methamphetamine use among youth. These free weekly classes strive to give youth the confidence and skills necessary to handle challenging situations. Registration is required. Weekly prizes, like gift cards, and grand prizes, such as Hoverboards and AirPods, will be provided to participating youth who complete the program.
  • Elementary School (4th and 5th grade) sessions: Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.; 8 sessions from March 5 to April 30.
  • Middle School Sessions: Wednesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.; 15 sessions from March 3 to June 16.
  • High School Sessions: Mondays from 4 to 5 p.m.; 10 sessions from March 1 to May 10.
Lane Reduction on Bristol Street until June 9, 2021
During the construction of new protected bike lanes, Bristol Street has been reduced to two lanes in each direction between Edinger Avenue and 1st Street through June 9, 2021. Additionally, during certain construction activities, traffic may need to be reduced to only one lane in each direction. Once the project is completed, three lanes in each direction will be reinstated.

Please use alternate routes and plan for possible delays since this lane reduction will impact traffic flow and bus routes. Access to businesses will be maintained at all times. The lane reduction is subject to change based upon weather conditions.

If you have issues or questions during the construction activity, please contact City Inspector Cesar Cantuba at (951) 818-2179 or City Construction Manager Sean Thomas at (714) 647-5655. We apologize for any inconveniences and thank you for understanding.
Anonymous Donation Received for Municipal Utility Services Water Customers
In the spirit of the not-too-distant holiday season and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s Municipal Utility Services Division received donation checks from two anonymous donors totaling $12,000 to assist past-due residential households that demonstrated through their account histories an economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 26 past-due residential Santa Ana Municipal Utility Services accounts received a donation credit of between $275 and $500 applied to their account in an effort to alleviate their financial hardship. Both donors were sent a donation acknowledgement letter from the City, acknowledging the donors’ outpouring of generosity and support to the community with their holiday donation gift and for helping those with the greatest need during this unprecedented pandemic.
At the March 16, 2021 meeting, the Santa Ana City Council…

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.
Coffee with a Cop - March 3
Join the Santa Ana Police Department on Wednesday, March 3, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Hidden House Coffee (511 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana) for Coffee with a Cop. No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood. For more information, please contact Police Services Officer M. Ortega at (714) 245-8505.
Share Your Ideas on How the City Should Spend $8 Million in Federal Funding - March 3
We’re working on an Annual Action Plan to help us plan how the City will spend an estimated $8 million in federal funding to support housing, community, and economic development needs. More specifically, this plan outlines the priorities, strategies, and projects that the City will undertake to address those needs with Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME,) and Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG) funds that the City receives from the federal government. These funds support projects and programs like the down payment assistance for homebuyers, housing vouchers for low-income households, upgrades to City parks, and more.

To make this plan work, we need your input to help us decide where we should allocate these funds. The City’s Community Development Commission will hold a virtual public hearing on March 3 at 4 p.m. You’re invited to share your ideas on funding priorities and community needs. If you have any questions, contact David Flores at (714) 647-6561.
Boca de Oro Festival - March 5 through 7
This year’s Boca de Oro Festival of Literary, Visual and Performing Arts, which usually brings together thousands of artists, students, educators and attendees to Downtown Santa Ana, will take place online with over 100 free performances and virtual sessions. 
  • Friday, March 5: Opening Night will highlight over 40 local and regional voices in mediums of expression across the arts from writing to puppetry to dance.
  • Saturday, March 6: Day 2 features Keynote speaker Pete Souza, a principle White House Photographer under President Obama and President Reagan. He will open the conversation with his “Eyewitness to History” observations on who we are as a country.
  • Sunday, March 7: The festival will conclude on Sunday with “The Arc of Systemic Solidarity,” a vision put forth by Haitian-American poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph.