Santa Ana Councilmember Jessie Lopez newsletter header
Fall 2021

Welcome to the very packed October newsletter. Thank you for caring about staying informed about our community! We have a great deal to be proud of and so many positive things happening in Santa Ana. With your support, our City secured more youth funding, approved a climate resolution moving Santa Ana away from fossil fuels, completed much-awaited Ward 3 park improvements, and began construction on new playground equipment at our central library.

But, the work doesn’t stop at the dais. I continue to meet with various neighborhood associations, host community office hours, and meet with Ward 3 residents whenever needed. If you would like to request a meeting, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 714.647.6900 to let me know how I can help with any issues in Ward 3.

Thank you,
Jessie Lopez, Ward 3
In This Issue...
Local Updates:
  • Park Improvements
  • Children's Patio at the Library
Fire Prevention Week
Climate Emergency Resolution
How to Save Water During the Drought
Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Contact My Office:

City of Santa Ana, City Hall
City Manager's Office
20 Civic Center Plaza, M-31
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Angie Morris
Executive Assistant
(714) 647-6900
Save the Date
Fall 2021
Oct. 15
Oct. 20
Oct. 20
Oct. 23, 24, 29, 30
Boo at the Zoo graphic
Oct. 23
Nov. 20
Local News & Updates
Ward 3 Park Improvements
Doggie Waste Stations
Several of our parks recently got an addition that many have been asking for: doggie waste stations! Fisher, Morrison, and Riverview parks have already gotten their stations, and Edna, Cabrillo, and Mabury will soon be getting theirs.
a new doggie waste station at a park
another new doggie waste station
New Trash Bins at Portola Park
Another update that has recently been made was the addition of trash and recycling bins at Portola Park! Thank you to resident Edward Saldana for sending me these pictures of these nice new bins.
new trash bins near a field at portola park
new trash bins near a bathroom at portola park
Tree Planting at Santiago Park
On Saturday, Sept. 11, 41 volunteers joined together at Santiago Park and planted 50 trees. At the end of the event, they decorated a tree with a red ribbon to commemorate those we lost in the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the war following. These volunteers did a great job, and we are so grateful for all their hard work!
People planting a tree at Santiago park
The group of volunteers at Santiago Park
Four volunteers posing with shovels around a sapling
New Security Lighting at Morrison Park
The City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency is systematically installing new LED security lighting in our parks and bike trail. The new security lighting completed recently included the Pacific Electric Bike Trail, Angels Park, Cabrillo Park, Cesar Chavez Park, Portola Park, Riverview Park, Rosita Park and Morrison Park. The new LED lighting is a white light that improves the visibility and security in our parks. The lights are programmed to stay on all night and are shielded to reduce light spillage onto adjacent residents.
Morrison Parks new security light
Morrison parks other new security light
Library Breaks Ground on Children’s Patio
Last week, we had a wonderful ceremony for the groundbreaking of the new Children’s Play and Learn Patio at the Main Branch of the Santa Ana Public Library. This project is transforming a previously underutilized, empty space outside of the library into an interactive play-and-learn space for children and families. The patio will include a Luckey Climber play structure, seating, reading and learning areas, lighting, hardscape, and drought-tolerant landscaping. This project was funded by the City’s Cannabis Public Benefit Fund, and will be opening in January 2022!
Councilmember Lopez speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony at the library
Floral Park Awards $11,000 in Scholarships to Santa Ana Students
Councilmember Lopez and Mayor Sarmiento pose with students at a Floral Park event
The Floral Park neighborhood had a ceremony to present scholarships of $1,000 each to 11 Santa Ana students. Mayor Sarmiento and I were able to attend the ceremony and meet these bright, young students. You can read all about the students awarded the scholarships on page 12 of Floral Park’s newsletter.
City Partners with UCI on Health Disparity Study
The City of Santa Ana and UCI Public Health collaborated 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 county-wide study had previously found that Hispanic participants were nearly 50% more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Housing Element Update: Share Your Ideas on Housing Needs
The City of Santa Ana is in the process of updating its long-range housing plan, called the Housing Element, which is being updated separately from the rest of the General Plan. The Draft Housing Element Update is now available for public review!
You are invited to mark your calendars and join in the upcoming community open houses and public hearings where we will discuss the update to the Housing Element, share the Community Housing Survey results and suggested policies and programs to address Santa Ana’s housing needs. 

Community Open House to Share Draft Element 
  • Monday, Oct. 18, 6pm – Newhope Library (in person only) 
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 6pm – Virtual (Virtual) 
  • Saturday, Nov. 6, 10am – El Salvador Community Center (in person only) 
  • Planning Commission Public Hearing – Monday, Dec. 20, 2021
  • City Council Public Hearing – Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022

Please see the Meetings & Events page for more details on the upcoming meetings and opportunities to stay involved. Learn more about the Housing Element at the link below. You can also reach out to the Planning Division by phone at (714) 667-2781 or by email at [email protected].
Participate in City Council Ward Redistricting
Every 10 years, local governments use new Census data to redraw lines for areas of representation to reflect how local populations have changed. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents in their ward. Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a ward for purposes of electing a councilmember. In Santa Ana, the City Council is responsible for drawing council wards and the process must be completed by April 17, 2022.

Join the discussion! Participate in this process and have your voice heard.
Winter Ice Rink Coming to Civic Center
As your Councilmember, I work hard to make sure my residents get the best from our City, and I am proud to say that the City Council approved the plan to have an ice rink in the Civic Center this winter! This rink will be a part of the Revive Santa Ana plan, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As allowed under ARPA, the ice rink will promote healthier living environments, outdoor recreation, and socialization to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in a disproportionately impacted community. The ice rink will be open for four weeks beginning in December. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer!
Councilmember's Projects
Recognizing Fire Prevention Week
Councilmember Lopez  presents a certificate to a fireman
On Sept. 21, I presented fire captain Nathan Arellano a proclamation declaring October 3 through October 9, 2021, as Fire Prevention Week.

This year’s theme of Fire Prevention Week is, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,” and it focuses on ensuring everyone knows the sound of their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Remember to check the batteries in your smoke detectors annually, and test the alarms monthly with family members around to ensure everyone knows what the alarm sounds like.

Are you or is someone you live with deaf or hard of hearing? There are special smoke detectors that use lights or vibrations instead of or in addition to sounds! You can learn more about fire safety tips for deaf and hard of hearing folks here.
Fighting for Climate Action
Graphic depicts the Earth holding up peace signs and reads No Planet B Be Nice to Me
Climate change is occurring as a result of the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere–and humans are the main cause of this. The largest form of greenhouse gas emissions is carbon dioxide, which is the byproduct of burning fossil fuels. So how does climate change impact our planet? Well, it increases the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather conditions (such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes), as well as warms up the temperature of the planet (in the last several years, we have seen the highest average temperatures ever recorded!)

Earlier this year, I shared with my colleagues on the City Council a policy resolution declaring a climate emergency. The resolution, based upon a climate resilience initiative called the SAFE Cities Movement, commits the City of Santa Ana to supporting policies that oppose fossil fuel expansion and accelerate the Clean Energy Transition, as well as endorses the call for a global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. This resolution lays out actionable items for the City to work on to achieve climate justice and environmental justice. Here are some of the ways we plan to achieve this:
  • We urge the State of California and the United States Federal Government to support the initiative for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • We support land use that will accommodate more park space that would mitigate environmental pollution including carbon emissions.
  • We seek to achieve 100 percent of electricity power supply through clean, renewable, and zero carbon emission energy sources before the year 2045.

These are just a few of the commitments that Santa Ana will make to work collectively to improve the health of our planet and spread awareness of how we can work together in combating climate change. To learn more about how your government is championing climate resilience, check out our Climate Action Plan.
Never Forget 9/11
I presented a proclamation to Orange County Fire Authority Division Chief Jim Henery on Sept. 7 to recognize the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin also joined us in remembering this tragic date in American history.
Councilmember Lopez presents a proclamation to two firemen
OCFA Benevolent Dinner
I joined OCFA Division Chief Jim Henery at the OCFA Benevolent Association dinner. Here we are with a cool, vintage, horse-drawn fire buggy.
Councilmember Lopez poses with a fire chief in front of an antique fire engine
Santa Ana Youth Graduate from OCFA Cadet Academy
Cm Lopez standing with six girls
The OCFA Fire Cadet Program is a community-based program that gives youth practical insight into the fire service profession by engaging in activities centered on emergency services. Fire cadets are provided learning opportunities designated to enhance their life skills, develop character, and encourage them to develop into productive adults.

This summer, seven cadets from the Santa Ana post graduated from the Cadet Academy and I got to celebrate with them. We are extremely proud and honored that our Santa Ana post had the most graduating female cadets out of all the posts in Orange County. Please join us in congratulating our Cadet Academy graduates: Catherin Razo, Kimberly Jimenez, Isaac Ortiz, Johnathan Dominguez, Alex Magana, Jose Arredondo, and Natalie Hernandez.
Saints March in with National Debate Title
Councilmember Lopez  presents a proclamation to the debate students
Our very own Santa Ana High School’s speech and debate team were awarded the top honors at the national speech and debate tournament! The team is made up entirely of Latina women. We are so proud of these young women for all of their hard work and dedication, and presented them with certificates recognizing them at the Aug. 17 City Council meeting. As a proud Santa Ana Saint myself, I can say with certainty that Saints are a force to be reckoned with! Watch out for these bright young leaders out to take the world by storm! Congratulations, ladies!
Celebrating Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month
As a part of Hispanic Heritage Month, which goes from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, I have been grateful to be included in a number of events, including the Fiestas Patrias and Community Resource Fair and Casa Morelos Carnaval Moralense. Both events were in partnership with various government officials from Mexico and Orange County, among other community partners.
Councilmember Lopez poses with people at Casa Morelos
Councilmember Lopez poses with a woman at the unofficial fiestas patrias event
Councilmember Lopez and Mayor Sarmiento on stage with people at the unofficial fiestas patrias event
Councilmember Lopez  poses with people on stage at Casa Morelos
Ride Along with the Major Enforcement Team
Councilmember Lopez poses with six police officers
To better understand policing in our community, I was invited to take a ride-along with our Santa Ana Police Department Major Enforcement Team.
Recognition of Tet-Trung Thu (Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival)
Councilmember Lopez and Phan present a proclamation to two Vietnamese doctors
Councilmember Phan and I presented a proclamation to Dr. Quynh Kieu and Dr. Chan Kieu in recognition of Tết Trung Thu, or the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. This festival is celebrated by many cultures around the world and is considered the second-most important holiday in Vietnamese culture, only after Lunar New Year. Tết Trung Thu celebrates the fall harvest and full moon, a time when families get together to enjoy each other's company and the bountiful harvests after a year of labor and care. Doctors Quynh Kieu and Chan Kieu have been long-time residents of Santa Ana, and as Vietnamese refugees, they have made it their mission to share the history, culture, and heritage of Vietnam in the community. With their contributions to the community and to educating us all on Vietnamese heritage and culture, the City of Santa Ana proclaims Sept. 21, 2021, as Tết Trung Thu and presents this proclamation to Doctors Quynh Kieu and Chan Kieu for their work promoting Vietnamese history, culture, and heritage.
Blinking Owl Recognition
Cm Lopez stands with  with three founders of the Blinking Owl Distillery to thank them for their contributions to the community
During the Oct. 5th council meeting, I presented a certificate of Recognition to Blinking Owl Distillery for their Outstanding Contributions to the Community. Blinking Owl was the first craft distillery in Orange County to open since prohibition. They make all of their spirits start to finish, they mill it, mash it, ferment it, distill it, and, in the case of whiskey, barrel age it, sourcing California-grown, organic grains, fruits and botanicals. At the start of the pandemic, the Blinking Owl team pivoted their space to help create PPE and hand sanitizer for the masses. We thank them for their contributions to our community!
Riverview Neighborhood Association Meeting
People sit distanced in chairs under bistro lights
Lopez stands socially distant from public works people and a resident
Many thanks to the Riverview Neighborhood Association, Community Initiative Division, Public Works, and SAPD for October's community meeting discussing the issues impacting Ward 3 residents.
How to Save Water During the Drought
Graphic of the earth with a spigot and a water drop. Reads Conserve and Preserve Save Water
California is in the midst of what is likely to become a multi-year drought. The lack of rainfall across our entire state has led to our water supplies and reservoirs quickly diminishing. On average, 60% of household water goes to landscaping! Here are a few things you can do to help limit your water usage:

  • Plant native and/or drought resistant/tolerant plants
  • Replace lawns with xeriscaping (I promise your dog can learn to potty on gravel, mulch, sand, or dirt!)
  • Sweep sidewalks, driveways, and paths instead of hosing them down
  • Waiting for your indoor water to warm up? Use a bucket or pitcher to save that water and use it to water plants!
  • Fix leaks and toilets that run (a running toilet can waste as much as 4 gallons of water per minute!)
  • Install high-efficiency toilets, aerators on bathroom faucets, and water-efficient shower heads
  • Take shorter showers (shaving just a few minutes off can make a difference!)
  • Turning the water off while washing your hair can save up to 150 gallons a month!
  • Only do laundry when you have enough for a full load
  • Use your dishwasher more and hand-wash less: laziness saves water!

There are other ways to reduce your overall water footprint, too, like considering how much water goes into the production of things you consume. Beef requires significant amounts of water to produce, as do almonds. Opting into “meatless Monday” is a great way to reduce water usage, and try cashews instead of almonds. Another area of high water usage is the production of consumer goods. A pound of plastic takes 22 gallons of water to produce, and a new cotton T-shirt takes over 650 gallons of water across its production cycle! Thinking about a new phone? Manufacturing a single smartphone can use as much as 3,000 gallons of water! Shop at thrift stores instead of buying new, and try to use your stuff until it breaks instead of replacing it while it still has life left to give. Little changes can make a big difference! A pebble in the pond has a ripple effect.
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
Through California’s Department of Food and Agriculture, low-income seniors may be eligible for a $35 Farmer’s Market Voucher Booklet! Stop by the Office on Aging Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1300 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, Building B, Room 200 or call the Office on Aging at (800) 510-2020 for more information or to see if you qualify.
For more information on the State’s program, visit
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues while raising awareness. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time for all of us to speak up about domestic violence and support survivors of this devastating but common issue. provides some warning signs of partner abuse in a relationship:
  • Telling you that you never do anything right.
  • Showing extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away from them.
  • Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with friends, family members, or peers.
  • Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you, especially in front of other people.
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions, including about working or attending school.
  • Controlling finances in the household without discussion, including taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses.
  • Pressuring you to have sex or perform sexual acts you’re not comfortable with.
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions.
  • Insulting your parenting or threatening to harm or take away your children or pets.
  • Intimidating you with weapons like guns, knives, bats, or mace.
  • Destroying your belongings or your home.

If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and you are someone they know and trust, talk to them about what they want. You can help them create a safety plan that will help the survivor to prepare for emergency situations. The National Domestic Hotline offers free templates online. Do not make decisions for the survivor of domestic violence, but you can always inform them of all their options, including reporting and getting help. The National Domestic Hotline has advocates available 24/7 at (800) 787-3244 or to chat live online here.
Youth Ride Free on OCTA
From September to February, 2022, youth ages 6 to 18 are able to ride all OC Bus lines every day for free with this special Youth Pass.

It’s a great way for all youth to ride to school, work, and play and is particularly valuable for high school teens to help them access education and jobs as they enter the workforce. The Youth Ride Free pass became available in September and will work until February 28, 2022, on all of our clean, cool, reliable fixed-route buses.
OC MADE is a program presented by the CSUF SBDC in partnership with the Original OC Swap Meet, aimed at assisting start-up product-based businesses with entering the marketplace to validate their concepts. Participants will learn core concepts to create a successful business. Over a 4-week period, vendors learn about planning, marketing, financing and how to make their business dreams a reality. This quick-paced program will accelerate your concept in just a few short weeks and give you the ability to operate an Original OC Swap Meet vendor booth.
Mosquitos with West Nile Virus found in Ward 3
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in Santa Ana, according to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District. Now more than ever it is important to check your outdoor spaces for standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and spreading this disease.

Mosquitoes breed in even tiny amounts of standing water, such as in plant saucers, bowls, cups, fountains, tires, barrels, vases, and other containers. Take precautions outdoors and wear mosquito repellent.
English as a Second Language Classes - Friday Nights

Calvary Church in Santa Ana is providing free English as a Second Language courses on Friday nights from 7-8:30 p.m.

  • Location: Calvary Church Santa Ana (1010 N. Tustin Ave. Santa Ana, Ca 92705)
  • Day: Friday Nights
  • Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free (but the books have a suggested donation of $10)
  • Childcare: Free Spanish-speaking childcare for ages 5-12
Distilled California: An Imbibed History, Part III
Join your Ward 3 neighbor, Dylan Almendral, at the Bowers Museum on Friday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. for part three of the Distilled California Series. Dylan and his cohost, Ryan Freisen, will share the history of the longest sea-battle you’ve never heard of, “The Battle of Santa Monica Bay.” The night will also feature a signature cocktail from Santa Ana’s Blinking Owl Distillery! Each ticket includes two cocktails.
Just For Residents

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