A grassroots group of Santa Ana residents and business owners known as the Santa Ana Coalition for Better Government is set to hold a community forum tonight to talk about, among other things, transparency at City Hall.

“The coalition meeting was called to join people of varying neighborhoods who all seek a Santa Ana city government that is responsive to their needs,” said Coalition President Arturo Lomeli, a downtown property owner and dentist. “We want to hear what concerns residents have, we want to talk about how together we can make Santa Ana a better place.”

Among those speaking will be Stephen Manning, a resident who said he has reported more than 180 outages of street lights to the city and Southern California Edison.

“It is only when we responds to all our residents’ voices that we will create a better community for us all,” said coalition member and local attorney Alfredo Amezcua.

Jennifer Delson, a consultant with the group and former Los Angeles Times reporter, said the coalition has been receiving calls from frustrated residents who feel that members of Santa Ana City Council don’t listen to their concerns during the public comment portion of meetings.

Council members are often texting on their cell phones or having private chats while people are speaking, Delson said. Voice of OC has previously reported on how the City Council’s side conversations could violate the Brown Act.

“They’re not taking the process seriously,” Delson said.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Rancho Santiago Community College District board room, on 2323 N. Broadway in Santa Ana.


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