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OC Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, 2nd District
November 13, 2023

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As you know, in the early morning hours of November 7th, the north blimp hangar located in the former Marine Corps Air Station caught on fire. Crews responded immediately but found that the building was unstable and too dangerous to enter. On Wednesday, South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) confirmed that air and ash samples indicated the presence of asbestos and heavy metals including lead, arsenic, and nickel. The blimp hangar is located on a 72-acre site owned by the Department of Navy within the City of Tustin.

As of Wednesday morning, I have:

  • Together with Supervisor Foley, sent a letter to the Department of Navy requesting immediate action, including coordination with the County Emergency Operations Center, surveillance of air quality, and mitigation measures based on test results.
  • Been in close contact with the Tustin Unified School District and City of Tustin to discuss how to minimize the many impacts of school closures, especially for students who rely heavily on school lunches.
  • Coordinated with Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) to obtain fire updates.
  • Participated in numerous Emergency Operations calls where a multitude of agencies coordinated information, including OCFA, County of Orange, City of Tustin, AQMD, Navy, Tustin Police Department, Sheriff, and many others.
  • Been in communication with state and congressional leaders, updating them of the situation and requesting resources to help with cleanup efforts.

I also have an upcoming call with AQMD to ask them to quickly expand their testing areas to neighboring cities so we can have a clear understanding of the scale of impact.

This afternoon at 12:00, the Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting to adopt a resolution ratifying a Proclamation of Local Emergency. The Proclamation will be submitted to President Biden, requesting funding and resources to assist with testing, remediation, and environmental protections.

What you need to know:

  • The City of Tustin hired a certified asbestos contractor to clean up debris; you may contact them at (714) 937-0750 or email at City of Tustin website has information regarding the types of materials that should be reported:        
  • For an updated list of school closures please visit:
  • Try to limit your exposure by remaining indoors, with windows and doors closed or seek alternative shelter to reduce exposure to smoke and ash.
  • Avoid touching ash, as ash from burned structures is generally more hazardous than forest ash.
    • Limit or avoid activities that will displace ash into the air.
    • Avoid direct contact with ash. If you get ash on your skin, in your eyes, or in your mouth, wash it off as soon as you can.
    • People with heart or lung disease, including asthma, older adults, children, and pregnant women should use special caution around ash.
    • Children and pets: Children should not be nearby while you clean up ash. Do not allow children to play in ash. Clean ash off all children’s toys before use. Clean ash off pets and other animals.
  • Avoid vigorous activity.
  • Run your air conditioner or air purifier. If possible, do NOT use swamp coolers or whole house fans that bring in outside air.
  • If you are going to be outside, a P100 respirator may provide some protection.
  • Keep your airways (nose and mouth) moist by drinking extra amounts of water.
  • Individuals with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue.
  • Minimize exposure to other sources of indoor air pollution; avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves – including candles or incense.

I will continue to keep you apprised as we learn additional information.                                                                     


Vicente Sarmiento
Supervisor, Second District
Orange County Board of Supervisors

In This Issue
Yasie Goebel
Chief of Staff

Rosemary Contreras
Operations Manager

Fernando Zamora
Communications Advisor

Richard Santana
Community Outreach Manager

Manuel J. Escamilla
Senior Policy Advisor

Vasila Ahmad
Policy Advisor

Carlos Valenzuela
Policy Advisor

Alejandra Colon
Policy and Project Advisor

Damiana Armendariz
Executive Assistant

Joese Hernandez
District Representative

Eileen Paguio-Palarca
Legislative and Policy Intern

Stay Updated!
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Thank You Veterans!

(Supervisor Sarmiento with Muralist Carlos Aguilar

Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served our country and kept our country safe. 

Santa Ana is home to a commemorable mural recognizing Latino-American veterans for their service and sacrifices made for our nation.  On Veterans Day, I was honored to meet Carlos Aguilar, who painted this symbolic mural.

Watch the Video here!

Supervisor Sarmiento Participates in the Groundbreaking of Be Well Irvine Location

(Supervisor Sarmiento joins colleagues at the Groundbreaking of Be Well's Irvine location

I joined my colleagues at the Groundbreaking of Be Well OC's newest campus located in Irvine, which is expected to officially open in early 2025. 

Be Well OC is focused on enhancing mental health and wellness services for all Orange County residents, regardless of their ability to pay for services. This second location includes a mental health urgent care center, sobering center, and residential and outpatient programs.

Be Well OC’s first campus, located in the city of Orange, offers mental health and substance use treatment services to ALL residents of Orange County. The services they provide include the following:

  • Crisis Stabilization Services
  • Sobering Center
  • Residential Substance Use Treatment Services (Coming Soon)
  • Withdrawal Management Services (Coming Soon)
  • Crisis Residential Services
  • Co-Occurring Residential Services for Mental Health and Substance Use (Coming Soon)
  • Care Navigation Team

I am thrilled to witness the County’s commitment to bolstering its mental health services. Data reveals a concerning gap, with only 36% of Latinos access mental health services compared to 52% of non-Hispanic whites, highlighting the pressing need for equitable and inclusive mental health support.

Be Well OC is here to support families and individuals with their mental health and substance use needs. If you or someone you know needs would like to access one of the above services, contact Be Well at (949) 749-2500 or on their website here.


Supervisor Sarmiento Supports Fundraising Efforts for Immigrants Facing Deportation

(Supervisor Sarmiento delivers a speech at the 6th Annual OCJF Fundraiser event

I was honored to speak at the Orange County Justice Fund's (OCJF) 6th Annual Fundraiser to raise awareness for the those in the immigrant community who face detention or deportation. OCJF's efforts have helped many gain successful legal representation. This is critical because as of February 2023, over 22,949 deportation cases were pending at the Santa Ana Immigration Court.  The cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove are home to the most residents facing deportation without legal representation.

For more information on how you can get involved or receive additional information, visit OCJF's website here

Supervisor Sarmiento Reflects on Hispanic Heritage Month

(Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, Congressman Lou Correa and

Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez

My office recognized Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the cultures and contributions of the Hispanic community. I want to highlight two Latino leaders who served on the Board of Supervisors before I did. Gaddi Vasquez, was the first Latino to serve on the Board of Supervisors.

In 1987, Gaddi Vasquez was the first Latino Supervisor in Orange County. He went on to serve as the 16th Director of the Peace Corps. Until 2009, Vasquez was the 8th United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, nominated by former President George W. Bush. As a trailblazer, Vazquez certainly set the precedent for many other Latino leaders to follow. 

In 2004, Lou Correa was elected to the Board of Supervisors. He was then elected to the Senate to represent the 34th District of the California. Currently, he serves as the Congressman for the House of Representatives under the 46th District. 

I am proud to follow in their footsteps in serving the community and shining a light on diversity. 

Supervisor Sarmiento Connects with Youth at Listening Session

(Supervisor Sarmiento speaks to youth about substance abuse at a listening session

I had the opportunity to engage with a group of young individuals at The Cambodian Family Center in Santa Ana. We discussed the sad reality of prevalent drug and substance abuse and avenues to combat the issue to make our communities safer. 

Thank you to the youth who participated in the event and shared their ideas and passions for improving our community.  

John Wayne Airport 100 Years of Flight Exhibition

(Communities gather to celebrate 100 years of flight at John Wayne Airport

Congratulations to John Wayne Airport (SNA) for 100 years of flight! In celebration of the centennial anniversary, SNA staff have opened an exhibition, displaying the rich history of aviation. The exhibition covers the beginnings of the Eddie Martin Airport in the 1920s to present-day John Wayne Airport.

The exhibition is located before security on the upper departure level in the walkway gallery between Terminals B and C, open until January 2024. See a virtual walk-through of the exhibit and more information on SNA's website here

Community Legal Aid SoCal Now Offering Free Legal Services

The Community Legal Aid SoCal is now offering free legal services to make an impact on low-income families and individuals. 

In just 2023 alone, Community Legal Aid SoCal has provided over $26,000 in economic benefits for their clients, impacting almost 2,000 households, closing 800 cases, and servicing about 4,000 hours in our Second District communities.

Now, for qualifying residents in Orange and Los Angeles counties, individuals can request free eviction defense services, free expungement services and hire an attorney to help with dismissals, arrest record sealings, reductions, juvenile record sealings, certificates of rehabilitation/pardons, and many more. Community Legal Aid SoCal is also offering free debt collection workshops at the Orange County Law Library, in partnership with the Public Law Center, funded by the State Bar of California Equal Access Fund and the Legal Service Corporation, with support from the Orange County Superior Court. 

For free legal advice, contact the Community Legal Aid SoCal via their hotline at (800) 843-5001 or online on their website.

Staff Spotlight

I would like to introduce my Policy Advisor, Vasila Ahmad, who oversees a variety of pivotal policy areas, such as healthcare and homelessness. She embarked on her journey with the County of Orange two years ago while pursuing her Master of Public Policy degree at the University of California, Irvine. Vasila is an Orange County native who from a young age harbored a deep passion for public service.

Vasila plays an integral role in analyzing initiatives within entities like CalOptima Health, the Health Care Agency, Behavioral Health Advisory Board, the Commission to End Homelessness, and the Animal Care Community Outreach. 

Vasila, thank you for your hard work and the care you put into the communities within the Second District!

Supporting the Morales Family


The Morales family asks for support for their incredibly strong and brave 3-year-old son, Matthew. He has been enduring an unimaginable struggle – chronic pancreatitis, a battle he's been fighting since birth due to a rare condition called pancreas divisum. They have received a ray of hope through an evaluation at Cincinnati Children's Hospital for a Total pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation (TPIAT) procedure. This procedure offers Matthew the chance at a pain-free life and mitigates the high risk of pancreatic cancer that he faces. The evaluation is scheduled for December, and the procedure, if recommended, will keep him in Cincinnati for approximately 3 1/2 months, with ongoing follow-up care. 

The financial burden for the Morales family threatens to compromise Matthew's best chance for a pain-free life. We are helping them spread the word to find help supporting their son's journey towards health and happiness.

Please consider supporting them by donating to their Matthew's GoFundMe page. Even a small donation could help the Morales family reach their fundraising goal. 

Emotional Support & Resources Available 24/7



At no cost, NAMI OC is offering confidential, peer-based emotional support and resource phone line: OC WARMLine. The line is available 24/7 and can be reached via phone, text, email, or live chat. Peers can advise callers on mental health concerns, substance use issues, loneliness, worry about a loved one, or guidance to resources. 

Toll Free: (877) 910-WARM

Call/Text: (714) 991-6412


Live chat:

Family Support Groups

NAMI OC is now hosting peer-led support groups for any adult with a loved one living with a mental condition. Support groups require the active participation of each individual and are not open for observation at this time. Conversations encourage healing through productive discussion with community members and promote empathy for each other. More information about locations, dates, and times can be found on NAMI OC's website.

Connection Support Groups

Are you looking for a non-judgmental space to discover your inner strength and share your experiences with others? Look no further than NAMI OC's peer-led Connection Support Groups. Support groups are offered hybrid and in-person and require active participation as they are not open for observation at this time. More information about locations, dates, and times can be found on NAMI OC's website. (Please note that Wellness Centers require a membership to enter. Membership is free)

Orange County Workforce Solutions Programs Available

The Orange County Workforce and Economic Development Department is proud to present new resources and programs available for residents to help them get a boost in the job market.

Mobile Unit

OC Workforce Solutions introduces its Mobile Unit, traveling around Orange County to various communities to help connect jobseekers and employers to resources. Services include both business and individual resources. The Mobile Unit requires appointments. You can find the full calendar and list of locations here

Grow with Google Certificates

Want to get a competitive advantage in the job market? OC Workforce Solutions can provide you with that advantage through the Grow with Google program. Complete diverse courses covering data analytics, digital marketing, IT automation, IT support, project management, and UX design. Certificates are granted upon the completion of a course and scholarships are offered for the first 300 sign-ups. Courses are open to adults and youth. For a complete list of locations, dates, and times, please refer to the website here

Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs

The OC Workforce Solutions presents its Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs. All services are free and cover a wide range of resources including, but not limited to: access to technology (computers, copy and fax machines, telephones), paid work experience, on-the-job training, specialized assessments, job leads, and support after program completion. To check for eligibility requirements and other program details, visit the website here

Veterans Employment Program (VEP)

For our brave heroes who served our country, let us help you on your journey to your next mission. Receive convenient access to free resources like career coaching, apprentices and other job trainings, workshops, and many more. To check for eligibility requirements and other program details, visit the website here

Youth Employment & Training Programs

Calling all youth, ages 15-24 years old! Are you ready to jump into the job market? OC Workforce Solutions has free services that include paid work experience, opportunities to earn your high school diploma, vocational and other job trainings, tutoring, and many more! For more information, please refer to the website here.

Business Solutions

At no-cost to all OC businesses, OC Workforce Solutions provides business solutions and advice via phone call or email at Services include customized recruiting/career fairs/hiring events, on-the-job training, human resource consulting services, hiring assistance, paid work experience/internships, and labor market  information. For more information, visit their website here

For further information about employment resources, call OC Workforce Solutions at (714) 480-6500, text (657) 210-1295, or visit their website.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 18, 2023 - Veterans Day Resource Event

The Veterans Day celebration continues with the Garden Grove Veterans Day Resource Event! Come enjoy activities and special vendors for a night! This event is free for veterans and requires reservations in advance. 


Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952

11551 Trask Ave.,

Garden Grove, California


Saturday, November 18, 2023

3 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Nov. 18, 2023 - Plaza Navideña

Plaza Navidena Branded Image

Happy Holidays! Celebrate the start of the holiday season with a tree lighting event in Plaza Calle Cuatro! Come ice-skate, enjoy live entertainment, and fun with family and friends! 


Plaza Calle Cuatro 

325 E 4th St,

Santa Ana, California


Saturday, November 18, 2023

5 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Dec. 02, 2023 - Breakfast with Santa

2023 Breakfast with Santa Flyer English

Come join Tustin Parks & Recreation Department in grabbing Breakfast with Santa! Event includes coffee, cocoa, craft stations, movies, carolers, face painting, and many more! Ticket pre-sales begin November 20th, so get them before they sell out!


Tustin Community Center at The Market Place

2961 El Camino Real, 

Tustin, California


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Event begins at 9 a.m.


Dec. 03, 2023 - Tree Lighting Ceremony

Tree Lighting 2023

Kicking off the start of December, the City of Orange proudly presents the 29th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony & Candlelight Choir Procession! There will be kid-friendly activities available, like photos with Santa, and all kinds of non-profit booths for everyone to enjoy! This event is open to the public. 


Old Towne Orange Plaza

300 E Chapman Ave,

Orange, California


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. 

Official music program begins at 5:15 p.m.


Dec. 03, 2023 - Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Village


Anaheim's annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Village event is back and at a new location this year! There will be children's holiday entertainment, vendors and crafters, a candy canine costume contest, visit with Santa, Christmas tree lighting, and so much more!


Anaheim City Hall

200 S Anaheim Blvd,

Anaheim, California


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Event begins at noon (12 p.m.)

Copyright 2023 County of Orange, California
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