What was missing from this Santa Ana Peace March? Apparently none of the Santa Ana Council Members showed up. Click here and see for yourself – the Register did not capture any Council Members in their photo coverage of this event. And Pastor Ariel Meza, who coordinated this event, also did not mention the Council Members on his Facebook page, nor do they appear in the pictures that he took.
You might recall that when Councilwoman Michele Martinez was elected she was the one spearheading these marches. Now she seems to be MIA. Although you won’t have any trouble finding her at various bars and restaurants in Downtown Santa Ana. (According to her Facebook page, Martinez was on a tour of Napa’s vineyards this weekend and was stuffing herself with gourmet food yesterday).
You can say the same thing for Councilman David Benavides, who came to Santa Ana as a youth minister years ago, with his schoolteacher wife. Today he scoots around town on a Harley and his family is no longer mentioned on his websites and Facebook pages. His main mission now is to find ways to open more bars in Downtown Santa Ana. (In fairness it may be that Benavides was on a church trip in Mexico on Saturday, according to his Facebook page – which is all well and good but shouldn’t he be working in the community he was elected to serve?)
And where was Councilman Roman Reyna? This Peace March took place entirely in his Ward 5! Remember that Reyna has spent his entire adult life working at the Santa Ana Parks and Rec Agency, the Santa Ana Boys and Girls Club and the Santa Ana YMCA. He ran on an agenda of caring for kids, although he remains unmarried and has no kids of his own, that are publicly acknowledged at any rate. But like Benavides and Martinez, Reyna was MIA on Saturday too. (Reyna’s Facebook page makes no mention of where he was this weekend).
What gives? All three of these Council Members have been affected by crime and gangs. Martinez admitted to having been a drug dealer when she was a teen and her stepbrother was famously arrested for a parole violation when she unsuccessfully ran for Mayor a few years ago. Benavides fled crime-ridden East Los Angeles and Reyna’s brother, allegedly, died in prison.
Crime is going up in this city, as we have been reporting on a daily basis now. But our Council Members are no longer engaged in the effort to restore our city. And that is a darn shame.