Half of Councilman David Benavides’ Commission appointees live in Ward 3. He represents Ward 4.
David Benavides is one of three Santa Ana Council members up for re-election this November. He represents Ward 4, which is highlighted in red in the Ward Map shown above. I found it shocking that he appointed Julie Stroud to the Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commission, given her longstanding animus for immigrants, so I thought I would review who else he has appointed to our City Commissions.
- Housing and Redevelopment Commission – Benavides has not appointed anyone to this important commission. There are two other vacancies as well.
- Environmental and Traffic Advisory Committee – Benavides appointed Don Cribb, who lives in Park Santiago, which is not in Benavides’ ward. Cribb lives in Ward 3.
- Planning Commission – Benavides appointed Mario Turner. He does not live in Benavides’ ward, but he is a good choice for this Commission, having previously served on the Housing and Redevelopment Commission. He lives in the Park Santiago Neighborhood, which is in Ward 3.
- Parks and Rec Commission – as mentioned above, Benavides appointed Julie Stroud. She does not live in his ward. Like Cribb and Turner, she lives in Ward 3, which is represented by Councilman Carlos Bustamante.
- Personnel Board – Benavides appointed Enrique Adame. He is said to live in Benavides’ ward but I could not find any other information about him online.
- Historic Resources Commission – Benavides appointed Donald L. Rodgers. He apparently does live in Benavides’ ward.
- Youth Commission – Benavides appointed Sandra Palos.
David Benavides, pictured with his wife and former S.A. Council Members Lisa Bist and Alberta Christy
So let’s recap. There are seven Santa Ana City Commissions. Benavides has appointed three residents of Ward 3, which he does not represent, to three of the Commissions. He has failed to appoint anyone to the Housing and Redevelopment Commission. Half of his appointments are not Latinos in a city that is over 75% Latino. He has not appointed any Vietnamese Commissioners even though they have been moving into our city in droves over the past five years.
You should also review the list of past Benavides supporters at this link. They include Debbie McEwen, who lives in the French Park Neighborhood. McEwen was a major supporter of installing traffic barricades in her neighborhood, ostensibly to keep Latinos out. The ACLU sued the City of Santa Ana after the barricades were erected and they had to be removed. She also has repeatedly asked the City of Santa Ana to use taxpayer funds to buy a home in her neighborhood that is being rented primarily by Latino immigrants.
You can contact Benavides by clicking here.