Santa Ana

Santa Ana is home to the largest and most established Latinx community in Orange County. Making up nearly 77% of the city’s total population, Santa Ana’s Latinx population (238,000) ranks fifth in size among cities statewide behind only Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and Fresno. With many low-income residents and mixed immigration status families, the Latinx community faces numerous challenges, including immigration enforcement and access to affordable housing. Primarily located east of Harbor Blvd (see Figure D below), Latinx residents in Santa Ana share these challenges with those in east Garden Grove (east of West Street between Orangewood Ave and Garden Grove Blvd and east of Newhope Street between W Garden Grove Blvd and Westminster Blvd) and west Anaheim (west of the 55 Freeway).

Guidance:  Latinx communities in and around Santa Ana (including Santa Ana east of Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove east of West Street between Orangewood Ave and Garden Grove Blvd and east of Newhope Street between W Garden Grove Blvd and Westminster Blvd, and parts of west Anaheim) should serve as the foundation of federal Voting Rights Act-compliant districts at all levels.

Detailed Testimony:

Figure D: Latinx Citizen Voting-Age Population, Santa Ana California.

Source: United States Census Bureau, 2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Special Tabulation, disaggregated to the census block level by the Statewide Database, U.C. Berkeley.

Community of Interest Testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

​​Date: October 5, 2021
Zone: J (Orange County)
Area: Santa Ana

Name:  Jose Castillo

Organizational Affiliation:  Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (People’s Redistricting Alliance)

Community of Interest:  Santa Ana (east of Harbor Blvd)

Direction:  Keep Santa Ana (east of Harbor Blvd) whole

Introduction:
Hi, my name is Jose Castillo and I’m a resident of Santa Ana. I’ve lived in the community for the past 29 years. I am writing as a member of CHIRLA. In addition we are a member of the People’s Redistricting Alliance, a coalition of 16 community-based organizations established to promote a greater community voice in statewide and local redistricting processes here in Orange County.

Who my community is:
Today, I am going to speak for my community of Santa Ana as someone with an immigrant background. My community is made up of poor and working class immigrants. Almost everywhere you go in my community Spanish is spoken because of the large population of Latino residents. 

The types of jobs available in my community are hand labor such as gardeners, construction workers, stock rooms at the grocery stores. These employees earn meager salaries, the folks that might make more money are the construction workers but those jobs are very labor intensive. 

The housing situation is difficult for people in my community because of the pandemic in Santa Ana. Many of us are renters, living in apartments and single family homes.  In order to make payments more affordable some individuals live in crowded spaces. Although many of the local residents were fortunate not to face eviction in Santa Ana, many choose to leave the community to find more affordable housing in other counties. 

For individuals who have access to insurance there is additional help through CalOptima for language services related to healthcare. Although there is a small percentage of the immigrant population that is afraid to get access to healthcare. 

For higher education many students in Santa Ana attend the local community college called Santa Ana CollegeThis college has transfer programs that support you to transfer to Cal State FullertonImmigrant students at Cal State Fullerton have many resources which are not available to students in community colleges. The resources are found at many student centers such as the dream center, latinx center, LGBTQ Center, Southwest Asian North African (SWANA) which are all found at the Diversity Initiative Resource Center or as most of us know it DIRC.

Where my community is located:
Between the 405 and 55 freeways, East of Harbor Blvd. The main streets in my community are Bristol and Main Street in Santa Ana.

To move around in my community I use my power chair which requires me to take unnecessary detours due to the state of the sidewalks and the streets. I have learned that the best way to go to my local grocery store or target is to take the streets near the public schools such as elementary schools and highschools because those are often the streets that are better taken care of. I often think of individuals who move around in my community who don’t have a power chair and how much more difficult it is to move around in the streets of Santa Ana.

What makes my community special is:
It is important that my immigrant community sticks together because we want a representative that cares about access to affordable housing, covid relief, access and resources to higher education for immigrant students, transportation and streets maintenance. 

By keeping Santa Ana (East of Harbor Blvd) together in one district together in one district our community can have a representative that champions these issues.

In conclusion:
It is important that my immigrant community sticks together because we want a representative that cares about access to affordable housing, covid relief, access and resources to higher education for immigrant students, transportation and streets maintenance. 

By keeping Santa Ana (East of Harbor Blvd) together in one district together in one district our community can have a representative that champions these issues.

Community of Interest Testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

​​Date: October 5, 2021
Zone: J (Orange County)
Area: Santa Ana

Name: Karen Diaz

Organizational Affiliation:  Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (People’s Redistricting Alliance)

Community of Interest: Immigrant families and low wage workers

Direction:  Draw Santa Ana with West Anaheim and San Juan Capristrano with Laguna Niguel

Introduction:
My name is Karen Diaz, and I’m the Electoral Field Manager for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. In addition, we are a member of the People’s Redistricting Alliance, a coalition of 16 community-based organizations established to promote a greater community voice in statewide and local redistricting processes here in Orange County.

For 35 years, it’s been CHIRLA’s mission of achieving a just society fully inclusive of immigrants, CHIRLA organizes individuals, communities, and coalitions in order to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies. CHIRLA has been deeply engaged in Orange County since 1997, starting with work done alongside Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana to win state-level protections for safety net programs and ensure that undocumented workers are protected from workplace raids, deportations, and massive worker violations.

In collaboration with the League of United Latin American Citizens of Orange County, CHIRLA organized Dream Chapters in the early 2000s at Cal State Fullerton, U.C. Irvine, and Fullerton College to provide resources for undocumented students on campuses, which are now part of the statewide California Dream Network (CDN) the youth branch for CHIRLA.

In the last decade, CHIRLA has had Orange County community education workers and organizers working in the region. In 2019, CHIRLA formally established our San Juan Capistrano office with community education, civic engagement, and legal services. Most recently in 2020 during the pandemic CHIRLA and Catholic Charities served as only two service providers in South Orange County who offered the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI). CHIRLA provided service to 10,976 families and individuals to receive a one-time state-funded assistance to undocumented and mix status adults who were ineligible for other forms of economic assistance such as the CARES Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status.

In conclusion:
It’s important that immigrant communities and low wage workers are centered. We look forward to continuing CHIRLA’s vision to deepen our roots in the region and work alongside immigrants to educate them about their rights, increase their access to services, and engage them as active participants in the decisions that impact them.

Community of Interest Testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

​​Date: September 30, 2021
Zone: J (Orange County)
Area: Santa Ana/Anaheim, Garden Grove/Westminster, Buena Park/Cypress

Name:  Taavi Kaskla

Organizational Affiliation:  United Domestic Workers (People’s Redistricting Alliance)

Community of Interest:  In-Home Supportive Service providers

Direction:  Keep Latinx residents in Santa Ana and Anaheim, Vietnamese residents in Garden Grove and Westminster, and Korean residents in Buena Park and Cypress whole with their respective community.

Introduction:
I am Taavi Kaskla, a resident of Garden Grove. I am writing to you today as a lifetime resident of Orange County as well as a union representative for United Domestic Workers (UDW), the union that represents In-Home Supportive Service (IHSS) providers. UDW is a member of the People’s Redistricting Alliance in order to promote a greater community voice during this redistricting process.

Who my community is:
In-Home Supportive Service (or IHSS) providers are essential to our county because they allow people with disabilities to live in their own homes and communities with dignity. There are around 27,000 IHSS providers in Orange County. That number is only going up as our population ages and will need extra assistance and support. UDW asks that during this redistricting process we keep the large community of IHSS providers and the people who they care for in mind.

Where my community is located:
It is admittedly difficult to pinpoint a specific community or neighborhood where IHSS providers live because they live in all parts of the county. IHSS providers care for a wide range of people, from children with developmental complications, friends who have been disabled, to the elderly with failing health. Most IHSS providers take care of their family members and live together with them. Because there are thousands of such family homecare providers scattered across the county, it is very likely that you have one living in your neighborhood. IHSS providers who do not live with their clients commute all over the county to work.

I want to recognize and emphasize that IHSS providers can come from all ethnic backgrounds, income levels, and community groups. IHSS providers tend to be from middle and low income families, but this is not a hard-set rule. On top of that, a significant number of IHSS providers belong to the Latinx communities in Santa Ana and Anaheim, the Vietnamese communities in Garden Grove and Westminster, and Korean communities in Buena Park and Cypress. For this reason, I want you to consider the middle and low income families who live in these respective communities during redistricting.

What makes my community special is:
It is imperative that new district maps reflect fair and equitable demographics. We highly encourage you to create districts that uplift these communities instead of disenfranchising them. We would like to see Latinx communities in Santa Ana used to create Voting Rights Act districts at all levels of government. Latinx communities in West Anaheim west of the 55 Freeway should be kept together and drawn into different districts than the Anaheim Hills. The Vietnamese communities in Garden Grove and Westminster should be kept together in your maps. We also ask to keep the Korean community in Buena Park and Cypress together. Respecting these Voting Rights Act requirements and communities of interest will make it more likely for elected officials to better represent our members.

In conclusion:
Having elected officials who listen to our IHSS community is crucial because the IHSS program is funded partly by the county and partly by the state. When elected officials do not support the IHSS system and threaten cuts to the program, IHSS providers and the loved ones they care for suffer. UDW is participating in and watching this redistricting process to make sure that new districts are in the best interest of our union members and Orange County IHSS providers.

Finally, we thank the CCRC for being open and transparent so that we can participate in these hearings.

Community of Interest Testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

​​Date: October 5, 2021
Zone: J (Orange County)
Area: Santa Ana

Name:  Esperanza Molina

Organizational Affiliation:  Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (People’s Redistricting Alliance)

Community of Interest:  Keep Santa Ana (east of Harbor Blvd) whole

Direction:  Keep Santa Ana (east of Harbor Blvd) whole

Introduction:
Hola, mi nombre es Esperanza Molina y soy parte de CHIRLA como miembro. He vivido en Santa Ana por 18 años y hoy voy hablar de mi comunidad como una inmigrante. CHIRLA fue fundada en 1986 para promover los derechos humanos y civiles de inmigrantes y refugiados. Además, somos miembros de la Alianza de Redistribución de Distritos del Pueblo (PRA), una coalición de 16 organizaciones comunitarias establecidas para promover una mayor voz de la comunidad en los procesos de redistribución de distritos locales y estatales aquí en el Condado de Orange.

Who my community is:

Mi comunidad está hecha de personas hispanohablantes, pocos anglosajones, y chicanos. El lenguaje común en mi comunidad es Español. Las personas en mi comunidad de Santa Ana son de clase baja en comparación a las personas de clase alta mediana viven en los vecindarios de Irvine. Los empleadores más grandes en mi comunidad son las fábricas de pan, la fábrica de Maruchan, suplementos, y fabricación de partes para aviones. Otros trabajos que mi comunidad tiene es en restaurantes, y limpiando casas. La gente en mi comunidad vive en casas en donde viven más de 4 a 5 familias, sesión 8, garajes que la comunidad los convierte en áreas de vivienda donde viven 7-8 personas, apartamentos y también se ve mucho terreno baldío.

Las rentas están muy altas, y no hay control de renta, las casas que rentan también son inhabitables porque tienen plomo y son un riesgo para la salud. Los trabajadores del campo están siendo expuestos a los pesticidas y no hay ayuda para ellos. No hay seguridad de salud para los inmigrantes y los trabajadores de campo cuando ellos se enferman de los químicos a los cuales son expuestos en los campos, los daños de espalda, y el estrés del trabajo. También en mi comunidad se ve mucho el abuso de la policía, han tratado de quitar los recursos a la comunidad inmigrante para dárselos a la policía. Muchas de las veces, la policía acosa a la comunidad Latina y las comunidades en Santa Ana o no responde rápido a los accidentes. En las escuelas también hay abuso de autoridad, en donde culpan a los muchachos para meterlos a la cárcel. Aquí en mi comunidad también hay servicios de hospitales, pero también hay descriminacion en la clase de seguro que tienes.

En mi comunidad tenemos organizaciones sin fin de lucro como Casa de la Familia, que ayuda con casos de violencia doméstica y recursos de inmigracion. CHIRLA es otra organización que ayuda a la comunidad inmigrante. También tenemos ayuda de la ciudad y representantes locales que ofrecen distribución de comida para las comunidades.

Where my community is located:
Mi comunidad está al Este de Harbor Blvd en Santa Ana. Las calles principales en mi comunidad son: 1st, Main, 5th, Civic Center, Harbor, Edinger,Warner, McFadden. Los Freeways principales son el 5, 22, 55, y el 57.

In conclusion:
En conclusión es importante que mi comunidad al Este de Harbor Blvd en Santa Ana se mantenga unida porque nos preocupamos por los siguientes temas inmigracio, acceso a trabajos, seguro médico para todos, control de renta, seguridad en los trabajos, y cuidado médico, y viviendas.

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