The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Ruben Barreto, 714.421.5973, Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities

Oswaldo Farias, 714.673.8259, Resilience Orange County

Advocates Launch the

Santa Ana People’s Budget Platform

Santa Ana, CA – Citing two key principles—a person’s right to remain and a person’s right to thrive—a coalition of organizations, youth leaders, residents and diverse stakeholders presented their plan May 15 for smarter, more fair use of public resources.

“The city’s budget should reflect the needs of the community. Santa Ana is one of the youngest cities in the nation and has a Latino population of nearly 80 percent,” said David Celedon, a member of the Invest In Youth Table. “We need to prioritize solutions that contribute to the long term well-being of the community so that all residents can thrive and live in the city. We need to invest in youth, invest in immigrant communities, and invest in neighborhoods.”

​Currently, for every dollar in City’s the general fund, 70 cents is used to pay for police and fire, considered public safety costs. This leaves only 30 cents to be split among programs that support youth, serve our seniors and provide healthy activities for families. This budget imbalance has produced a growing trend of incarceration and increased inequality, threatening resident’s ability to thrive in their neighborhoods, or even to remain in their homes.

Right to remain: Without fair investment many of our neighbors are vulnerable to varying forms of displacement. A small investment in the Universal Representation program will provide legal defense for one of the City’s most vulnerable populations in danger of being separated from their families, those who face inhumane deportation policies. The Santa Ana People’s Budget Platform will bring this forward as an important first step to long-term budget reform.

Right to thrive: The City spends nearly $13,000 to arrest youth, while only spending $152 on youth development.  An outdated understanding of “development” seeks to draw-in and benefit outside businesses, while leaving Santa Ana residents and local small businesses to fend for themselves in a situation of disinvestment.  Meanwhile, Santa Ana community organizations are bringing forward powerful proposals for locally-driven development, insisting that economic development – particularly when using public resources – must benefit everyone and create a healthier city for all.

The details of the People’s Budget Platform were unveiled during a press event prior to a recent Santa Ana City Council meeting.

For more information, please contact one of the team members identified above. To learn more about the proposal, please visit: Santa Ana Peoples Budget Platform


The Santa Ana People’s Budget Platform is a campaign of local community groups based in Santa Ana who are also part of the Santa Ana Building Healthy Community (SABHC) initiative.  The group aims to educate and let the City of Santa Ana know what residents need and envision for their neighborhoods’ wellbeing.

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