Mr. Rob Richardson and Mr. Jose Hernandez will serve another term on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education after being re-elected by the voters of the Santa Ana community. They will be joined by newly elected Board Member, Ms. Cecilia Iglesias, and current Board Members, Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji and Mr. John Palacio. Mr. Richardson, Mr. Hernandez, and Mrs. Iglesias were installed during the December 11, 2012 meeting of the Board of Education. Continue reading
Who is Santa Ana’s most powerful politician? U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez certainly made her case this year by helping to elect Anaheim Council Candidate Jordan Brandman and Assembly Candidate Sharon Quirk-Silva. But Assemblyman Jose Solorio also was a key factor in the successful re-election of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and the victory of Assembly Candidate Tom Daly.
But what about Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez? Has there ever been a more powerful termed out local politician? She beat out two candidates who were incumbents, for the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Board of Trustees. And she helped elect unknown and unfunded Santa Ana Council Candidate Angelica Amezcua, in Ward 3, while giving Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento a scare in Ward 1 with Amezcua’s sister, Estela. Continue reading
Regardless of whether or not you are a supporter of Valerie Amezcua, the daughter of failed Santa Ana mayoral candidate Alfredo Amezcua, you have to feel bad for her. She almost won a seat on the SAUSD School Board four years ago, barely losing to Roman Reyna, who vacated that seat this year and is now moving on to Ward 5 on the Santa Ana City Council.
Two years ago Amezcua had a chance to run again, and to build on her success in the 2008 election. But SAUSD Trustee John Palacio, who now considers himself to be a political consultant, got in the way. He prevented her from running out of fear that she might beat him. There were only two seats up in 2010, Palacio’s and that of his fellow incumbent, Audrey Noji. Palacio ended up keeping everyone out of that race, except for me. I was sickened to see that no Latinos were challenging Noji so I ran and lost by only 1,400 votes, with no campaign budget. Palacio ended up endorsing Noji. Continue reading
What a night. To sum it up, Mayor Miguel Pulido won easily. Over in the RSCCD Area 5 race his longtime ally, Claudia Alvarez, also won.
What about Team Benavides? Well, David Benavides got beat, badly. So did Eric Alderete, in Ward 3, by an unknown candidate, Angelica Amezcua, who barely campaigned. And while Vince Sarmiento won in Ward 1, he did so barely over another unknown candidate, Estela Amezcua. The one guy in the Benavides cabal who won with a big margin was Roman Reyna, in Ward 5. Continue reading
Did anyone see this coming? Somehow Angelica Amezcua, an unknown schoolteacher who did not file a candidate’s statement, did not buy signs or mailers and did not campaign, won in Santa Ana’s Ward 3, over well-funded East L.A. lawyer Eric Alderete, a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner.
How did she do this? Well, for starters, she was the only female candidate and she has a great ballot I.D. People like schoolteachers! And Alderete made a terrible mistake in this race. He got in bed with John Palacio and David Benavides.
Santa Ana mayoral candidate David Benavides and his supporters would like us to think that he represents some kind of revolution, but in truth he is working with Santa Ana’s Usual Suspects – the mostly Republican, angry, older anti-Latino busy bodies that ran City Hall for far too long.
The Usual Suspects are the folks who passed laws against drying your laundry in the backyard; who limited garage sales to four per year; who worked to get rid of jobs – targeting those who deliver printed marketing materials to homes and those who stand on street corners twirling signs to build up local businesses. These are the gentrifiers who bemoan the fact that Santa Ana became a Latino majority city and who put bear locks on their trash cans to keep the homeless from collecting their bottles and cans. Continue reading
It has become increasingly obvious that the so-called “Santa Ana Spring” is actually a collection of Santa Ana politicians with different axes to grind, who have come together as their mutual petty hatreds have temporarily converged. This alliance is a shaky one at best.
The drivers of this movement are failed Santa Ana mayoral candidate Al Amezcua, who resigned from the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Board of Education a few years ago, after he got caught living outside of the area he was elected to represent; Santa Ana Unified School District John Palacio, who survived the recall of his close friend and ally Nativo Lopez; Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento – who is bitter because he didn’t run for the 69th Assembly District and who has designs on the Santa Ana Mayor’s office; Santa Ana Council Member Michele Martinez, who was soundly defeated by Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido back in 2008 – and who did poorly again this June as a candidate for the 69th Assembly District; and Council Member David Benavides, who is embroiled in a controversy regarding allegations of infidelity and divorce. Continue reading
Santa Ana code enforcement officer Sergio Verino has dropped out of the race for the SAUSD School Board. Remaining candidates include the two incumbents, Jose A. Hernandez and Rob Richardson, and challengers Valerie Amezcua, Cecilia Iglesias and new candidate Myriam Tinajero (sister of Council Member Sal Tinajero).
None of these candidates are teachers. Amezcua works in probation and Tinajero is a social workers. I am told that their campaigns will be run by SAUSD Trustee John Palacio. He supported Trustee Audrey Noji two years ago and was allied with recalled SAUSD Trustee Nativo Lopez. Continue reading
I am hearing from multiple sources today that SAUSD Trustee John Palacio is inexplicably considering running for our City Council’s Ward 3. There are already several candidates including Planning Commissioner Eric Alderete, who has the support of almost the entire City Council (Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez has not endorsed anyone yet); O.C. middle manager Charles Hart, a Republican; former Santa Ana City Council Member Brett Franklin, who has Mayor Miguel Pulido’s endorsement; Park Santiago resident Shane Ramon Barrows, a cop in Irvine; former Orange School Board Member Steve Rocco, and Ana Rebecca Valencia-Verdin, a friend of current Ward 3 Councilman Carlos Bustamante, who lives in Floral Park.
Palacio was first elected to the SAUSD School Board in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He was appointed Board President in 1998, re-appointed in 1999 and served again in 2001. He is involved in the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, but I am not sure in what capacity as his name does not show up on their financial reports. Continue reading
This year’s Santa Ana City Council elections were a mixed bag. On the one hand, mayoral challenger Alfredo Amezcua proved he could run a serious campaign – but he lost badly to Mayor Miguel Pulido, despite spending a quarter million, from what I hear.
The Council incumbents won handily. Michele Martinez and David Benavides ran unopposed. Sal Tinajero was challenged by Nam Pham and Helen Martinez. They were not competitive.
But 2012 will be a different bag altogether. Vice Mayor Claudia Alvarez is termed out. Councilman Carlos Bustamante will be running for his third term – but this time he figures to draw heavy competition, after he was caught campaigning for Republican Assemblyman Van Tran, who challenged Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. And Councilman Vince Sarmiento might leave the Council and run for Assemblyman Jose Solorio’s seat in the 69th A.D., creating an open seat on the Council.
Amezcua could run for Mayor again, but he ought to consider challenging Bustamante, who has been in cruise control for a few years. If Amezcua does that, he might pick up support from folks who support Pullido but want Bustamante, who is the last Republican on the Santa Ana City Council, off the Council.
Who else might challenge Bustamante? Well, how about past Assembly candidate Armando de la Libertad, who lives in the new CityPlace center? He is very popular and he is very well connected in the O.C. business community.
Guess who else lives in Bustamante’s ward? Popular SAUSD Trustee John Palacio, an ally of Amezcua. Palacio just won a new term on the SAUSD School Board. He would have a free shot at Bustamante’s seat.
What about Alvarez’ Ward? The obvious leading candidate would have to be SAUSD Trustee Roman Reyna, who ran for the City Council before. He works at the new Santa Ana YMCA and previously worked at the Boys and Girls Club. He knows a lot of families in town, and he is also popular in the faith community. He would be a formidable challenger, if he could raise enough money.
But it is unlikely that Tinajero, Martinez and Councilman Vince Sarmiento would back Reyna. The danger for the progressive Council majority would be that Reyna would team up with Benavides, Pulido and Bustamante (if Bustamante won reelection) and form a new conservative Council majority.
Then again, who knows? It is still very early in the game. Alvarez’ ward includes the Artesia-Pilar and Washington Square Neighborhood Associations. Both are full of activists and community leaders, including past SAUSD candidates Gloria Alvarado, Cecilia Aguinaga, Oscar Garza and Irene Ibarra, and past Rancho Santiago CCD candidate Lynette Verino, as well as former Councilman Tom Lutz and his wife Nancy, who lost to Alvarez many years ago. And I think that Amezcua’s daughter Valerie might live in this Ward too. She also ran for the SAUSD Board a couple years ago.
If Sarmiento leaves the Council to run for Solorio’s seat he might well end up running against AUHSD Trustee Jordan Brandman – and Solorio may go with Brandman instead of backing Sarmiento. Of course Solorio will have to be careful as he may end up running against Supervisor Janet Nguyen in 2012.
So who might run for Sarmiento’s seat? Community leader Jim Walker did pretty well in 2008, when he challenged Sarmiento. He might run again. But most likely we will see a number of Commissioners and Neighborhood leaders run for this Ward.
What about Pulido? He won handily, again, this year. I doubt anyone will challenge him this time, except for perhaps Amezcua. Oh, you might see a few underdog candidates arise, but no one is going to defeat Pulido. And don’t forget that 2012 will be a presidential election year. Pulido will be helping Obama – and that means Obama will be helping him. Game over for anyone who wants to take on Pulido…
Manuel N. Gomez, retired UCI vice chancellor for student affairs, pictured with Susan V. Bryant, retired UCI vice chancellor for research and professor of developmental & cell biology
PRESS RELEASE: October 12, 2010
Contacts: Dr. Juan Lara 626-390-0176
John Palacio 714-856-5214
Shelley Hoss 949-553-4202
For immediate release
“APPLE OF GOLD ” AWARDS RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
The Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) announces the recipients of the 17th Annual Apple of Gold Awards for excellence in teaching and educational leadership.
Educators who will be recognized at the October 22nd Apple of Gold Gala Awards Dinner at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel include: Lifetime Achievement Recognition, Manuel N. Gomez, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of California , Irvine ; Excellence in Teaching: Patricia Rendon-Cardenas, Teacher, Martin Luther King Elementary School , Santa Ana Unified School District ; Excellence in Teaching: Vivian Bottino, Teacher, Marco Forster, Middle School, Capistrano Unified School District and Excellence in Teaching, Roselinn (Linn) Lee, Teacher, Valley High School, Santa Ana Unified School District. Recipients were nominated by their principal, superintendent or president, and supported by their peers, students, and parents.
In addition to recognizing local teachers and administrators who inspire and encourage students to strive for a university education, with the Apple of Gold Award, HEEF provides scholarships for college students and creates partnerships with the business sector to support higher education and nurture the next generation of community leaders.
Proceeds from the dinner go to the scholarship general fund and to its 30 sub funds targeting majors from the arts to business, engineering, law, medicine and technology. Today, the fruits of this investment are being made evident at graduation ceremonies across the county and the state. HEEF scholarship recipients are completing bachelor’s degrees as well as doctoral programs at prestigious institutions. Of note, one local student graduated from Boalt Law School . She had previously won HEEF scholarships as a graduating high school senior and a community college transfer student. She completed her MSW at Columbia University . This is but one example of students who have come through the K-14 pipeline and transferred to a four-year university and continued their education in graduate and professional schools. They make us proud and reflect Orange County ’s commitment to future generations.
Hispanic leaders and representatives of the greater Orange County community united to establish HEEF, formally launching the campaign in January 1994 with the goal of raising $1 million within five years. In 1998, HEEF celebrated the attainment of its $1 million goal. As of September 30, 2010, HEEF’s endowment stands at more than $2.6 million.
As a resource to academically talented Hispanic youth, HEEF’s goal is to enhance educational opportunities and resources at early ages to reduce school dropout rates and to improve students’ educational expectations and opportunities. Since 1996, HEEF has awarded over $1.5 million in scholarships to over 1,250 deserving individuals.
HEEF is a component fund of the Orange County Community Foundation ( OCCF ), which was founded in 1989 to encourage, support and facilitate philanthropy in Orange County . OCCF ‘s investment guidelines ensure the best return possible while protecting the Fund’s principal.
About the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund
Meeting the Needs of Orange County’s Hispanic Youth
The Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) provides community and financial support for students at all levels along the education continuum. An unprecedented initiative for Orange County, HEEF has been established to support scholarships, programs and institutions that respond to the needs of Hispanic youth in order to inspire, enhance and improve educational opportunities.
HEEF’s goal is to enhance educational opportunities and resources at early ages to reduce school dropout rates and to improve students’ educational expectations and opportunities. The Fund is a resource to academically talented Hispanic youth that need to overcome barriers to a college degree.
Since 1996, HEEF has awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships to over 1,150 deserving individuals.
HEEF is a sound investment for the future of Orange County. Statistics for educational attainment among ethnic populations in the county illustrate the dramatic need to enhance opportunities within the Hispanic community:
• Hispanics represent 58 percent of the Orange County population under 18 years of age. By the year 2020, the Hispanic community is projected to grow to 50 percent of the total population.
• The percentage of Hispanic adults that obtained four or more years of college in 1990 was 9 percent, compared to 29 percent among adult white non-Hispanics, 22 percent among adult African-American/Blacks, and 38 percent among adult Asian/Pacific Islanders.
Ensuring Stability for the Future
Because the fund has been established as an endowment, only earned income is available for distribution. The principal remains intact as a core investment that will support the Hispanic community forever.
HEEF is a component fund of the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), which was founded in 1989 to serve as a charitable organization for local needs. OCCF’s investment guidelines ensure the best return possible while protecting the Fund’s principal. Each year, Moss Adams LLP independently audits the Orange County Community Foundation.
Hispanic leaders and representatives of the greater Orange County community united to establish HEEF, formally launching the campaign in January 1994 with the goal of raising $1 million within five years. In 1998, HEEF celebrated the attainment of its $1 million goal. As of July 31, 2010, HEEF’s endowment stands at nearly $2.4 million. HEEF has awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships since its inception.
An exciting and unprecedented initiative for Orange County, HEEF now represents a broad base of participation – from educators to business leaders, and individual donors to the largest companies in the county and it is governed by volunteers serving on a fifteen member Executive Committee.
HEEF has established an umbrella organization, bringing together similar smaller funds, resulting in a unique structure that allows donors to designate their contributions to specific scholarship funds. These include: Adorno, Yoss, Alvarado & Smith, Architecture & Engineering, Angel & Rosemary Varela Scholarship Fund, The Arts, Association of Hispanic Professionals for Education, Chapman University, De La Libertad Scholarship Fund, The Eisner Foundation, The El Viento Foundation, Fernando & Olga Niebla, Friends of California State University at Fullerton/Richard Bermudez, Friends of the University of California at Irvine, Healthcare Education, Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation, Hispanic Ba r Association of Orange County/Wally Davis Memorial, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Council of Realtors, Jose Angel Garibay Memorial, The Luévano Foundation, MANA De Orange County (Mexican American National Women’s Association), Mike Carona Foundation, National Hispanic Business Women’s Association, New Century Financial Corporation, Orange County Register/Excelsior, Orange County’s United Way, Sage Hill School, Soka University of America, Southern California College of Optometry, Union Bank of California and Vanguard University.
SAUSD Trustee Audrey Yamagata-Noji blew off the Orange County Register’s candidate questionnaire, as did challenger Jeffrey K. Morris. I turned in my answers, which are now available online at this link, as did incumbent John Palacio.
Yamagata-Noji also blew off the Democratic Party of Orange County, which then did not endorse her, and she ignored the ECCO PAC too. Apparently she could care less about informing the voters and the public about her views and positions on the issues.
Click here to read the rest of this post.
The O.C. Register has published their voter guide, online, at this link.
One of the candidates for the Santa Ana Unified School District, Jeffrey K. Morris, did not bother to give his answers to the O.C. Register.
I did, as did John Palacio and Audrey Yamagata-Noji. Click here to access all of our entries.
As far as I can tell, neither Palacio nor Yamagata-Noji have campaign websites. Click here to visit my campaign website.
Interestingly, my name appears first on the ballot, with Palacio listed right below me. Yamagata-Noji is listed third and Morris is last (see the graphic below).
Yamagata-Noji pandered for votes at the Fiestas Patrias parade
Things have been rather quiet in this year’s Santa Ana Unified School District Board elections. This year, as opposed to two years ago, there are only four candidates, including the two incumbents – John Palacio and Audre Yamagata-Noji. The challengers include myself, and a pastor/educator named Jeffrey K. Morris.
A new blog called the OC Democrats blog recently profiled Palacio. I think they did a pretty good job of summarizing his 12 years in office. He has done a good job, overall, and he has my endorsement.
The other incumbent, Yamagata-Noji, is another story altogether. She is so awful that her own political party, the Democratic Party of Orange County, did not endorse her this year. That should tell you all you need to know.
As I expected, the Santa Ana Educators Association, which is the local teachers’ union, endorsed the incumbents. I wrote about that on my campaign blog today. Click here to read that post. It is ridiculous that these hacks would endorse a Trustee who has fired hundreds of teachers and classified staff.
I laughed when I saw that Yamagata-Noji had a car in last week’s Fiestas Patrias parade. She can pander to Latinos as much as she wants to, but the people know that she has done nothing but give us lip service. Thousands of our students have dropped out or failed to pass the high school exit exam, on her watch.
If ever there was a year to finally be rid of Yamagata-Noji, it is this year. The voters are angry at incumbents in general. I have broad support from a coalition of parents, teachers, business owners and activists, including Democrats, Republicans, independents and the Green and Libertarian Parties. Click here to see a list of my endorsements.
I can use your help if you would like to join me in bringing change to the SAUSD. Click here to download my campaign flyer in English. Click here to download a double-sided flyer, in English and Spanish. Andclick here for my campaign flyer in Spanish. Help spread the word to your neighbors, friends and family here in the SAUSD.
I will be announcing a number of volunteer meetings this week, where we will pass out flyers and precinct lists. Stay tuned. Together we will bring change at last to the SAUSD!
Jeffrey K. Morris, a pastor and teacher at Calvary Chapel’s Bible College Extension Campus, in Costa Mesa, apparently filed late on Friday to run for the Santa Ana Unified School District’s Board of Trustees.
I could not find much information about Morris online, and he doesn’t appear on my list of frequent Santa Ana voters. Click here to listen to some of Morris’ audio Gospel lessons.
Former SAUSD Trustee Rosie Avila has been attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa for many years. Avila is known for her anti-immigrant views. She is closely allied with Lupe Moreno, another Republican migrant basher who appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-migrant nativists. Click here to watch a video of Avila railing against the donation of books in Spanish to the SAUSD.
In related news, you can now read the candidates’ statements of the SAUSD incumbents, Audrey Yamagata-Noji and John Palacio, on the O.C. Voter Registrar’s website. I copied the statements as well and am enclosing them below:
Click here to read the rest of this post.