Santa Ana Councilmember Jessie Lopez newsletter header
Winter 2021
Dear Ward 3 families,
As we make our way into the winter season and head into 2022, I want to wish you happy holidays and a happy new year! The last several months have indeed been busy for all of us. Despite the frenzy that has been 2021, I hope you have had time to practice self-care and spend time with family and friends.
I wanted to end the year by sharing a few quick updates on what’s happening at City Hall and in the community. Of note, this newsletter highlights initiatives such as the Santa Ana Resident Stimulus Program, holiday programming—including the Santa Ana Winter Village, and tips such as how to get a COVID-19 test. 
As always, thank you for taking the time to connect with me by simply taking the time to read this newsletter. If you require assistance or would like to request a meeting with me, please email me at [email protected] or call (714) 647-6900.
Best wishes,
Jessie Lopez
Councilmember - Ward 3
In This Issue...
Local Updates:
  • New fitness court at Cabrillo Park
  • Protecting our waterways
Down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers
Internet and utility assistance
How to report issues using the mySantaAna app

Contact My Office:

Santa Ana City Hall
20 Civic Center Plaza, M-31
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Angie Morris, Executive Assistant
(714) 647-6900
Local News & Updates
New Fitness Court at Cabrillo Park
Grand opening ribbon cutting at cabrillo park
Grand opening ribbon cutting at cabrillo park
Santa Ana’s newest fitness courts officially opened in November 2021 with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Cabrillo Park and Lillie King Park.

The fitness court is an outdoor bodyweight circuit training system that supports 28 simultaneous users on 30 separate pieces of equipment that are grouped into seven stations. The 7-movement, 7-minute system provides a full-body workout to people of all ability levels. Additionally, each court is wrapped in murals by local artists and will soon have shade structures installed to provide a more comfortable workout experience.

Gene Jimenez is the artist for the Cabrillo Park Fitness Court mural titled “Together We Go.” Community and togetherness is a supportive aspect to any commitment, including health.
Storm Water Outlet Gates Protect Our Waterways
Our Public Works Agency has installed gates at the storm water outlets at Santiago Creek to help reduce the trash that ends up in the ocean. Did you know that storm drains lead directly to our ocean? Water and debris that end up in the storm drains do not get treated, they flow into our creeks and rivers and then right out to the ocean. Keep our city and ocean clean and make sure to put trash in its place!
Shiny new metal gates cover stormdrain outlets
The difference between sewers and storm drains
County Redistricting Creates New District Boundaries
Old OC dristricts
New OC districts
Every ten years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. Just like how the City of Santa Ana is in the process of creating new ward boundaries for our six wards using the new 2020 Census data, the County of Orange has also done so--having recently completed this process. Santa Ana's city boundaries (along with portions of Garden Grove, Anaheim, Orange, Tustin, and unincorporated Orange County) now fall in the new District 2.
Homeless Update
The City of Santa Ana collaborated with UC Irvine's Public Health program to conduct large-scale COVID-19 antibody screening with an eye toward health equity. The study found that Santa Ana residents had more than twice the levels of COVID-19 antibodies during the winter 2020-2021 surge than the rest of Orange County. In addition to finding a greater prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies among adults (28%) and children (26%) than previously expected, the study found disparities in previous infection across racial/ethnic groups, including Hispanics (29%), Asians (15%), Whites (12%), and other non-Hispanics (6%). The countywide study had previously found that Hispanic participants were nearly 50% more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Councilmember's Projects
Stimulus Card Distribution
Staff distributing stimulus cards
Lopez knocks on a door
Earlier this month, the City of Santa Ana completed in-person distribution of prepaid Visa debit cards to households in the most impoverished areas of the city under the Revive Santa Ana Resident Stimulus Program. This program is part of the $160 million Revive Santa Ana pandemic recovery initiative, which is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

While the door-to-door distribution of prepaid debit cards has concluded, eligible households whose head of household did not receive their debit card (this could be because no one was home when we visited, for example) when we first visited their households can now visit one of our City facilities to retrieve their debit cards. When this is completed, we expect that about 20,000 rental units will each receive a prepaid card valued at $300 that can be spent at any Santa Ana business that accepts Visa.

I was able to join our distribution team a few times, and it was such a meaningful experience. I know how much of a difference the $300 cards can make, especially during the holidays.
Recognizing Santa Ana Pony Baseball
Pony Baseball 12U team
Santa Ana Pony Baseball is a local non-profit who provides youth baseball players the opportunity to play ball, preparing them for high school, and possibly even college-level, sports. The 12U baseball team has been together for three years, since Spring 2018. During this time, they have participated in tournaments in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and internationally. Dedication from both the coaching staff and parents has led the team to form a bond both on and off the field. They are truly the definition of team spirit. Last but certainly not least we are proud to have them represent Santa Ana in a tournament next year taking place in Cooperstown, NY, June 4th – 10th. We wish you all the best and congratulations for your incredible athletic achievements!
Recognizing Navy Junior ROTC for Outstanding Contributions to Education
A council chamber photo of the NJROTC folks and lopez
It was my pleasure to present a certificate of recognition to the Santa Ana High School District’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps for Outstanding Contributions to Education. The NJROTC was established 50 years ago this November, and for the last 22 years they have been in the top 10% of units nationally. The NJROTC program helps develop young leaders and teaches high school students invaluable skills they can use for the rest of their lives. The group is run by three retired military veterans (2 Marines, 1 Navy), totaling about 100 years’ experience! This is the only unit in the City of Santa Ana, and they serve all of Santa Ana, not just Santa Ana High School.
Paying it Forward at the Boys & Girls Club
Lopez serves food at the boys and girls club
A shot of the dining room at a boys and girls club event
I had a wonderful time volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana. It was my home away from home as a kid, and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to come back and help pay it forward. P.S. I also got to meet Derwin James from the L.A. Chargers!
Lopez poses with a sport player at the boys and girls club
Santa Ana High School Booster Club Friendsgiving
A group of students holding certificates from the Booster club
A group of students holding certificates from the Booster club
Many thanks to Herminia Sosa and the Parent Booster Club at Santa Ana High School for hosting the SAHS Band Friendsgiving dinner. This year, the color guard and marching band were recognized by SAUSD Clerk of the Board, Dr. Alfonso Alvarez, for their hard work. The dinner is also a special opportunity to provide SAHS students a family style meal. Many thanks to the parent booster club and alumni who help make this happen.
Tree Lighting at Plaza Navideña
We have so many fun holiday events in Santa Ana! In November, I joined the tree lighting at Plaza Navideña, where I rode in on an antique fire truck with Santa Claus and enjoyed the performances of local student musicians, singers and dancers. It was an amazing event, and you can still go downtown to Calle Cuatro to see the beautiful tree all lit up. Watch the video below to see highlights of the event!
Santa Lopez and others wave at the camera riding an antique fire truck at plaza navidena
Student performers at plaza navidena
Winter Village Grand Opening
Councilmember Phan and Lopez pose on ice at the winter village
On Thursday, Dec. 9, my colleagues and I participated in the grand opening ceremony for the Santa Ana Winter Village! There were performances by professional ice skaters, the Ducks mascot and slapshot crew were there, and I got to see so many of you there, too! It was such a lovely evening. This month-long attraction includes the City’s first public ice-skating rink and many other holiday activities for families. It also activates our Civic Center Plaza and brings residents and visitors downtown to enjoy our wonderful local businesses. 

The Winter Village is open through Jan. 2. Be sure to head down to City Hall to enjoy the festivities! Get your ice-skating tickets online.
Health Center Champion Award
Earlier this year, Share Our Selves (SOS), a regional health center that serves the Orange County community, awarded me with their Health Center Champion Award. This award is given to individuals who engage in advocacy for health centers to achieve equitable health outcomes. You can learn more about SOS and their work by visiting their website.
Get a COVID-19 Test
COVID-19 hotline flier
With the holiday season in full swing and the increased likelihood of in-person gatherings to celebrate, it's important to remember to keep yourselves and others safe when it comes to COVID-19. In addition to practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and avoiding large gatherings, be alert for COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, and more). If you think you need a COVID-19 test, you can visit the Orange County Health Care Agency's website call their COVID-19 hotline at (714) 834-2000.
Illegal Dumping? Report it with the mySantaAna App!
Before sidewalk. covered with trash
After sidewalk. no trash
Help me keep Ward 3 clean. Next time you see a mess, use your smartphone to report it! The mySantaAna app is free and the reports you send with it go directly to our Public Works Agency dispatch. I submitted this request a few weeks ago, and like magic, the area was soon clean. Thank you Public Works! 
Santa Ana Scholarships
Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation is now accepting applications for a wide variety of scholarships available to students in Santa Ana!
Need Help Paying Your Electric Bill?
There are two programs that may lower your energy bills: California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) reduces energy bills for eligible customers by about 30%. Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) reduces electric bills for qualified households by 18%.
My First Home Program Offers Down Payment Loans
The City of Santa Ana is excited to announce a $1.2 million expansion of its down payment assistance program, now called My First Home, to further assist first-time homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership within Santa Ana.

As a result of the additional funding, down payment assistance loan amounts are being increased to promote home buying opportunities to Santa Ana residents. The enhanced program offers a 0% interest rate on deferred payment loans of up to $120,000 for low-income households and up to $80,000 for moderate-income households. My First Home is funded through the City of Santa Ana’s Inclusionary Housing Fund. The City is committed to the livelihood of its residents and provides many opportunities for affordable housing.
The Cambodian Family is Hiring
The Cambodian Family, a Santa Ana-based nonprofit, is hiring for a variety of positions, including Health Navigators and Youth Counselors. Search “Cambodian Family” on Indeed to see the full listings for these positions.
Get Help from Community Legal Aid SoCal
Community Legal Aid SoCal helps residents in the substantive legal areas of housing, family law, health, immigration, seniors, and economic maintenance.
Revive Santa Ana: Small Business Grants
The City’s Economic Development Division is happy to announce the launch of the Revive Santa Ana Business Program funded with ARPA for business assistance funds. To address the negative economic impacts of COVID-19, the program brings technical support seminars to small businesses with the opportunity for $1,000 grants to implement strategies learned during the seminars.
Special Event Sponsorship Opportunities
The City’s Community Development Agency has announced its Arts & Culture Special Event Sponsorship Opportunities! These sponsorships are available for special events produced by qualified nonprofit organizations, businesses, and/or City-recognized neighborhood associations whose events and programs support the City’s mission and provide a community benefit.
Just for Residents

FREE Food Distribution Events
Get a listing of the free weekly food distributions available in Santa Ana.
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