Testimonies

BUENA PARK, LA PALMA, CYPRESSOral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Hina Ahmad (South Asian Network)September 1, 2021October 4, 2021
Fayaz Nawabi (CAIR-LA)N/AOctober 5, 2021
FULLERTON, BUENA PARKOral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Susan Cheng (AHRI for Justice)July 8, 2021October 4, 2021
SOUTH FULLERTON, WEST ANAHEIMOral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Kayla Asato (Orange County Environmental Justice)July 8, 2021October 5, 2021
LITTLE ARABIA (ANAHEIM)Oral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Rashad Al-Dabbagh (Arab American Civic Council)September 1, 2021October 1, 2021
STANTONOral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Otniel Pavia (Orange County Voter Information Project)July 8, 2021October 5, 2021
SANTA ANAOral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Karen Alvarado (Orange County Congregation Community Organization)July 8, 2021October 5, 2021
Kayla Asato (Orange County Environmental Justice)N/AOctober 5, 2021
Jose Castillo (Santa Ana resident)September 1, 2021October 5, 2021
Ana Charco (Latino Health Access)July 8, 2021October 4, 2021
Karen Diaz (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights)September 1, 2021October 6, 2021
Taavi Kaskla (United Domestic Workers)September 1, 2021September 30, 2021
Esperanza Molina (Santa Ana resident)September 1, 2021October 5, 2021
Dulce Saavedra (Resilience Orange County)July 8, 2021October 6, 2021
GARDEN GROVE, WESTMINSTEROral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Taavi Kaskla (United Domestic Workers)September 1, 2021September 30, 2021
Charlene Kazner (Pacific Islander Health Partnership)September 1, 2021October 4, 2021
Caroline Nguyen (California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative)July 8, 2021September 30, 2021
Vincent Tran (VietRISE)July 8, 2021October 5, 2021
IRVINE, COSTA MESAOral TestimonyWritten Testimony
Mary Anne Foo (Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance)September 1, 2021October 5, 2021
Community of Interest Testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

​​Date: October 1, 2021
Zone: J (Orange County)
Area: Fullerton

Name:  Susan Cheng

Organizational Affiliation:  AHRI for Justice (People’s Redistricting Alliance)

Community of Interest:  Fullerton and Buena Park
Direction:  Keep the Korean community in Buena Park (North East of the I-5 FWY) and North West Fullerton together and South of Chapman Ave (Fullerton) together.

Introduction:
Hi, my name is Susan Cheng and I am writing on behalf of AHRI for Justice. Our organization serves low-income individuals and families, undocumented workers, young people, and survivors of domestic violence through our many programs such as civic engagement, youth organizing, and direct legal services. 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:
The communities of interest we serve in the city of Fullerton and Buena Park primarily consist of Asian American, Latinx, Pacific Islander, undocumented & immigrant communities, LGBTQ+ folks, and low-income communities of color. These communities are often siloed off into their own neighborhoods and remain separate from places in Fullerton and Buena Park that are rich in resources and have plenty of access to public assistance and services. Many of these communities face similar issues due to the lack of resources provided, such as lack of affordable housing due to gentrification and lack of rent control. And even lack of resources and support when cities were shut down due to Stay At Home orders back in March last year. Many of our base members came to us to ask for housing assistance, services, and mutual aid funds. Since the start of the pandemic, AHRI has been able to provide over 300 families and community members in the area with financial assistance and additional services.

Yet, these communities are the backbone of the city’s abundant small businesses and cultural landscape. We are also seeing more and more young folks from the large student populations of Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College being actively involved in Fullerton’s civic life. These young and working-class Fullerton residents want nothing more than to have their fair share of resources so their communities can thrive. Many of the students we work with want to see Ethnic Studies implemented in K-12 schools. They want community gardens, affordable housing, and accessible mental health resources. And yet, resources are spent on creating more unaffordable housing, new parking structures, and businesses. It is constantly shown again and again that the needs of our underserved communities such as, AAPI, Latinx, immigrant and low income communities of color are not always addressed. Even when immigrant communities do want to get involved, there are obstacles often put in place such as language barriers, accessibility, time restraints, and many more that further distance folks from being able to use their voice.

Where my community is located:
Several of our communities live along Orangethorpe, Commonwealth, and neighborhoods near Fullerton College and CSUF. In these areas you’ll see plenty of old small businesses, low-income multi-family homes, an abundance of fast food restaurants, and a growing number of community members struggling to find stable housing.

In Buena Park, our community members live North East of the I-5 freeway and share many similarities with our Fullerton community members.

My community is similar to the following neighborhoods:
Buena Park North East of the I-5 FWY and North West Fullerton are similar in that they share a big Korean American community. Many of the AAPI and Korean community members residing in these areas come to AHRI for in-language legal service needs. The communities there must be kept together for language access and access for undocumented AAPI community members/

Fullerton (South of Chapman Ave.) is similar to Buena Park in many ways. Many of the residents reside in apartment complexes with no rent control and are often prone to landlord intimidation and eviction, especially during this pandemic. These residents identify as POC – predominantly Latinx and AAPI- and work multiple jobs. Many of them lack representation and are looking for resources available to them.

My community is different from the following neighborhoods:
The city of Fullerton has a clear income-divide between North and South Fullerton, using Chapman Ave as the dividing line to reflect income level and the challenges around rent relief, food security, access to affordable health care, and resources for essential workers. The lack of rent control in POC majority communities in Fullerton are distinctly different from Central North and Northwest Fullerton.

What makes my community special is:
Elected officials do not represent the communities we serve. And haven’t for decades. Language barriers make it difficult for community members to understand what is happening and there is a large lack of language access for our Korean and Spanish communities. There is a high emphasis on the business districts and sometimes takes priority over community voices (immigrant, working class, low-income). These issues became more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when housing, health, mental, and financial resources were not available for our most vulnerable populations. These needs included:

  1. Rent Relief / Eviction Protection for low-income and undocumented families
  2. Food Security
  3. Access to affordable mental health resources
  4. Local unemployment resources for working class families who did not have access to financial aid because of labor impacts during the pandemic
  5. Essential workers who could not resume their jobs / careers because of risk of illness with family members who have pre-existing conditions. 

In conclusion:
Due to how the lines are currently drawn, resources are not being allocated to communities in need. For example, the city of Fullerton has a clear income-divide between North and South Fullerton. The lack of rent control in POC majority communities in Fullerton are distinctly different from Central North and Northwest Fullerton. We want to ensure that Fullerton is split at Chapman Ave to reflect income level and allow for shared experiences of community members during the pandemic, including housing resources and financial aid needed for undocumented folks.

Again and again, the needs of our underserved communities such as Asian American, Latinx, Pacific Islander, immigrant, and low income communities of color are not addressed. Even when immigrant communities do want to get involved, there are obstacles such as language barriers, accessibility, time restraints, and even more that further distance folks from being able to use their voice. Now more than ever, it is time for this to change. It is crucial that our communities are kept together because they share similar struggles and experiences. By staying together, we have a stronger voice to ensure that policymakers will address our needs.

Community of Interest Testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

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

Name:  Otniel Pavia

Organizational Affiliation:  Orange County Voter Information Project (People’s Redistricting Alliance)

Community of Interest: Stanton
Direction:  Keep Stanton whole with west Anaheim and south Fullerton

Introduction:
Hi, my name is Otniel Pavia. I am writing on behalf of the Orange County Voter Information Project or OCVIP. OCVIP is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that aims to facilitate the voter registration process and inform voters about the importance of civic engagement. OCVIP does this through presentations, dialogue, canvassing, phone banking, text messaging, and email programs. Increasing voter turnout is the key to making Orange County more representative of its constituents, their beliefs, values, and personal situations. Because redistricting can promote or limit effective civic engagement, 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:

Our community of interest is the city of Stanton. Stanton is diverse. Racially and ethnically, White, Latinx, and Asian communities make up most of the city’s population. The Latinx community alone makes up almost half of all Stanton residents. Stanton is home to working class people, our median income is $56,506 which is low compared to the county average of $89,759 and neighboring cities. Given the cost of living in Orange County, you can imagine how hard it may be to sustain yourself, let alone a family, on $56,000 dollars a year.

In fact, according to the Orange County Community Indicators 2021-2022 Report, released this year (2021), Stanton has one of the highest concentrations of family financial instability, with scores of 4 on the 2019 FFSI-OC. This is apparent not only in our city but also in West Anaheim and South Fullerton where homelessness, overcrowded housing units, and lack of good-stable employment opportunities are rampant, while lack of affordable housing, rent prices, and the cost-of-living, in general, continue to rise.
An important detail to note is that these figures reflect what the situation looked like before the pandemic. FFSI-OC results for 2020, which will be available in January of 2022, will show the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Where my community is located:
Our city is small–surrounded by bigger cities like Cypress, Buena Park, Anaheim, and Garden Grove. Basically, If you can find the Katella and Beach Blvd intersection, you found Stanton. These streets are the major streets that cut through Stanton as well.

My community is similar to the following neighborhoods:
Our community is similar to neighboring communities like West Anaheim and South Fullerton in the sense that we share a lot of the same issues: lack of affordable housing, overcrowded housing units, parking issues, homelessness, financial instability, lack of green spaces, lack of good local paying jobs, and more.

My community is different from the following neighborhoods:
Our community is different from neighboring communities like Cypress and Los Alamitos in that we do not have our own police department (the OC Sheriff’s Department handles public safety/law enforcement), fire department or public education systems. This means that children in our city do not go to schools in the same city they live in and residents must rely on the county for public safety and its fire authority. To put in another perspective, Stanton’s population is low and doesn’t allow it to qualify for entitlement funds for the Federal Government. Furthermore, Stanton’s average median household income is lower compared to that of neighboring cities like Cypress and Los Alamitos.

What makes my community special is:
If you look at a map of Stanton, you’d see that it is a small city along Beach Blvd. Most of Stanton’s local economy, including shops, small businesses, and restaurants, are concentrated on that stretch. Many businesses are not flourishing, despite being located on a great stretch where traffic is always constant and heavy. Stanton has the potential to attract more business development, projects that can create good-paying local jobs for its residents, to help generate local revenue for services we drastically need. Case and point, the lot where Sam’s Club was located remains empty and has for a couple of years now–this is wasted potential.

In conclusion:
It is important that in this round of redistricting that Stanton residents do not feel like their voices are not being heard. It is time that Stanton residents feel that their voices are not being drowned out by other neighboring cities. For those reasons, Stanton should be kept with West Anaheim and South Fullerton when Senate, Assembly, and Congressional boundaries get redrawn. Doing so will provide Stanton residents with a better voice, representation, and provide the city greater growth opportunities.