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OC Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, 2nd District
May 14, 2024
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2024! As you embark on new endeavors, may the valuable qualities and knowledge you have gained during your education serve as a strong foundation for your future successes. It is a time of celebration and reflection, as we honor the achievements of those who are moving on to the next chapter of their lives. Whether it is from high school, college, or beyond, graduation is a significant milestone worth commemorating.

As we look ahead, it is important to acknowledge the current financial challenges that our state is facing. California is grappling with a $30 billion budget cut for ongoing and one-time funding to programs and departments, which will likely impact our Orange County cities. We urge the community to stay informed as the budget develops and actively engage with government. While the County is still analyzing the revised budget to understand potential impacts, we remain confident that we will continue meeting the core needs of our community.





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

Damiana Armendariz
Executive Assistant

Joese Hernandez
District Representative

Andres Romero
Policy Aide

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D2 Intern Wins Prestigious Truman Scholarship for Outstanding Public Service Commitment

(Diego A. Sarmiento)

I am proud to announce that our very own Santa Ana resident and County of Orange intern, Diego A. Sarmiento, was the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Only 60 top students from across the nation were honored with this award.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a prestigious federal scholarship awarded to college students who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a commitment to public service.  Established by Congress in 1975 in honor of President Harry S. Truman, the scholarship provides funding for undergraduate education and graduate studies, as well as access to leadership development programs and opportunities for career advancement in public service.

Recipients are chosen through a highly competitive selection process based on their academic excellence, leadership abilities, and dedication to making a difference in their communities and the world.

Diego is currently a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) student majoring in political science and public affairs and intends to pursue a JD/MA in economics. Through this scholarship, Diego made history by becoming the first UCLA student in 15 years and the first Godinez High School graduate to ever receive this scholarship. 

Congratulations to Diego for this wonderful opportunity, and we look forward to all the amazing work you have planned in your future. 

To learn more about the scholarship, visit here.

Welcoming the Class of 2037 with KinderCaminata

(Supervisor Sarmiento with students at KinderCaminata)

I had the pleasure of hosting a booth at Santa Ana College's (SAC) 30th annual KinderCaminata event.

Initiated in 1993, KinderCaminata was established by educational and community leaders to honor the life and legacy of civil rights activist and labor movement organizer, César Chávez. Chávez, renowned for his work with the United Farm Workers, famously championed the motto, “¡Sí, se puede!"—Spanish for "Yes, you can!"

Led by SAC's Vice President of Academic Affairs, Grand Marshal Dr. Jeff Lamb, the kindergartners marched across the campus chanting “¡Sí, se puede!", aiming to inspire them to reach for their dreams, fostering a sense of community spirit and camaraderie.

This event is a fundamental part of SAC's college readiness and youth empowerment program, bringing nearly 1,000 kindergartners​ from Santa Ana and Garden Grove Unified School Districts, as well as several charter schools to visit the community college. The goal of KinderCaminata is to spark curiosity among young students about future career paths and college opportunities in an engaging and enjoyable manner. The students and their teachers participated in interactive activities, explored exhibits, and enjoyed other entertainment to learn about various career opportunities made possible through higher education. By instilling excitement and fun into the exploration of higher education, we can inspire children from a young age to envision bright futures and pursue their educational goals.

Thank you to Santa Ana College for organizing this event and highlighting the invaluable role of higher education in the community. 

Supervisor Sarmiento Unveils a New Bike Path in Santa Ana

I was delighted to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of a new bike path connecting Jerome Park and Monroe Elementary School in Santa Ana. 

This collaborative effort between OC Public Works and the City of Santa Ana reflects a shared commitment to improving our local community. Together, we transformed what was once a closed-off flood control channel into a vibrant and accessible space, marking a significant enhancement to the Friendship Park area. The new bike path not only promotes active and healthy lifestyles but also provides a safe and convenient route for students and residents to commute between the park and the school.

Thank you to our contractor, Griffith, and city and county staff for your hard work and dedication in making this project a reality. Their commitment to revitalizing our local amenities contributes to the betterment of our community and enriches the lives of those who live, work, and play in Santa Ana.

Commemorating Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

On Wednesday, April 24th, I had the privilege of joining the parishioners of Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church to commemorate Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. 

During the event, I was moved by the resilience of the Armenian culture and the tributes paid by the Reverends of Forty Martyrs Church and St. Mary Church, the OC Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) OC Chapter, and the performances by students from the AGM Armenian School and the AGBU OC Saturday School.

During the ceremony, we presented a County proclamation to the Armenian community, serving as a poignant reminder of the lives lost during the tragedy, while also reaffirming our commitment to upholding justice and human dignity.

Supervisor Sarmiento Celebrates a Diverse Community with Alianza Translatinx

(Supervisor Sarmiento with Alianza Translatinx Founder and CEO, Khloe Rios-Wyatt)

I was proud to have sponsored and attended the 3rd Annual Miss Hermosa y Empoderada beauty pageant, hosted by Alianza Translatinx.

Alianza Translatinx is Orange County's innovative Trans-led organization, which offers holistic healthcare support to Latinx transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) individuals, promoting empowerment, skill development, and advocacy for social justice. 

Their beauty pageant involves an evening dedicated to showcasing the resilience and strength of Translatinas who have overcome challenges such as homelessness, discrimination, and violence. 

It was an honor for me to have had the opportunity to support the valuable work that Alianza Translatinx does in serving the transgender community of Orange County, making sure that all diverse voices are heard. 

Congratulations to the 2024 Miss Hermosa y Empoderada beauty pageant winner, Luciana Romero. Thank you to Khloe Rios-Wyatt and all the mujeres of Alianza for putting on an amazing night of events. 

Out and About in District 2

Celebrating Inclusion: A Night at the LGBTQ Indigo Gala

On May 4th, I attended the LGBTQ Center OC's annual Indigo Ball, which celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of the LGBTQ community in Orange County. During the event, I presented a Certificate of Recognition, underscoring my office's dedication to fostering an inclusive environment for all.


Uniting for Mental Well-Being: Highlights from the Mental Health Gala

I was recently invited to the first-ever Mental Health Gala hosted by the Orange County Health Care Agency. The event was organized to increase support for mental health initiatives, in recognition of May as National Mental Health Awareness Month.

For more information on programs and services that the County of Orange offers for mental health please visit this website.


Standing with SEIU: On the Front Picket Line

On May 1st, I had the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the SEIU janitors during their strike at Irvine Company-owned properties. This was a powerful reminder of the ongoing efforts to improve working conditions and secure fair wages for our hardworking janitorial staff.


Honoring Local Businesses: Celebrating Small Business Week

During Small Business Week, my office recognized three outstanding local businesses—Vibes Boutique, Banditos Taqueria, and Loosies Pizza—for their innovation, resilience, and dedication to community service. Each business received a Certificate of Recognition, celebrating their hard work, success, and the vital role that small businesses play in fostering community ties and driving economic growth.


Santa Ana Fun Run: Racing for a Cause

I had the joy of participating in our community's annual 5k Fun Run, an event that brings residents together to promote health and wellness. I had the opportunity to honor Mai Nguyen with a Certificate of Recognition for her involvement in the run club "Keep Runnin' Santa Ana," where she showcased her abilities as a role model and leader, instilling values of perseverance, teamwork, and excellence within our community. 


Hotel Zessa: Grand Opening

My office had the privilege of joining the grand opening of Hotel Zessa, a Doubletree by Hilton. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Santa Ana Councilwoman Jessie Lopez, Acting City Manager Alvaro Nunez, and many other enthusiastic community members. Hotel Zessa, has undergone extensive renovations to become a landmark of hospitality and represents years of diligent work by the dedicated staff of City of Santa Ana. Congratulations to the City of Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce for orchestrating such a fantastic event, and here's to the continued success of Hotel Zessa.


May the 4th Parade: Come to the Orange Side

On May 4th, I was thrilled to join the community of Orange for our annual "May the Fourth" Parade, a festive celebration of all things Star Wars. The event was a fantastic display of creativity and enthusiasm, featuring costumes, floats, and music inspired the beloved George Lucas saga.


Franklin Elementary Parent Graduation

I had the honor of attending the Franklin Elementary Parent Graduation this past week, celebrating the achievements of our remarkable parents. They've dedicated themselves to learning essential tools for their children's success, all while uncovering their own strengths. I want to personally congratulate Mrs. Benavides for her exceptional leadership at the FACE Parent Academy and extend a heartfelt thanks to Lisa Gonzalez-Solomon, Director of Family and Community Engagement, for her inspiring words. Lastly, I wanted to extend a huge thank you to Principal Dr. Perla for investing in their parents' journey. 

Trip to Sacramento

One of the best parts of my job is helping to support and develop our young Policy and Legislative Affairs Interns. Two of our bright interns, Eileen Paguio-Palarca and Katharine Apicella, recently traveled to Sacramento as part of their UC Irvine Master of Public Policy program. In collaboration with their Public Policy Student Association colleagues, they organized a Policy Forum at the UC Center Sacramento - the public policy research center for the University of California System. Partnering with policymakers, they moderated panels on Health Equity, Housing, and Transit & Environmental issues. 

Congratulations on a successful Sacramento Policy Forum 2024, providing valuable insights to the attendees and representing our office well!

OC Older Adults Advisory Commission Announces New Resources

The Orange County Older Adults Advisory Commission (OCOAAC) is announcing exciting new resources for the community. 

Mobile App

The Orange County Office on Aging has a free mobile app that allows the public to easily access senior services and resources, such as
disability services, caregiver support, employment, education, financial assistance and insurance. Additional features allow individuals to seek hotline numbers, behavioral health services, veteran benefits and volunteer opportunities. 

To download, search "OC Senior Resources" in the App Store or Google Play. 


Caregiver Resources

For those who care for a frail adult over 60 or an adult with neurological conditions, Caregiver Resource of Orange County can assist. Services include family consultation, Assessment, Care Planning, Counseling, Support Groups, Respite and Education. Caregiver Resource Center has 11 locations throughout California and their services are FREE.

For more information, call (800) 543-8312 or (714) 446-5030 and visit the them online here

Additionally, do you or your family need help getting connected to housing, care, or older adult services? The OC Office on Aging can help. There are several ways to get in touch with Office on Aging:

  • Call (800) 510-2020 to speak with an Information and Assistance representative.
  • Visit their website here  
  • Download the OC Senior Resources app from the App Store or Google Play.

OC Older Adults Advisory Commission Seeking Volunteers

The Orange County Older Adults Advisory Commission is looking for passionate volunteers at three of their locations within our Second District. Volunteers will help the our senior citizen community connect with resources relating to housing, transportation, mental health, food and nutrition, and help with technology. 

Locations currently needing volunteers:

  • Anaheim Independencia Senior Center
    • 10841 Garza, Anaheim, CA 92804
  • Anaheim Senior Activity Center 
    • Downtown Anaheim Community Center 
      • 250 East Center St, Anaheim, CA 92805
  • East Anaheim Community Center
    • 8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills, CA 92808 
OCTA Teen Council

Seeking Applicants for OCTA's Dynamic Teen Council | OCTA Blog

The Orange County Transportation Authority is now seeking interested teens for their dynamic Teen Council!

Designed for high school students in Orange County, this council offers a unique blend of learning, leadership, and networking opportunities. Students are given opportunities to engage with transportation-related topics, provide invaluable feedback on OCTA projects, and hone their skills through professional workshops.

As a Teen Council member, students will be at the forefront of innovation, bringing fresh perspectives to the table and making a real difference in the community. Involvement can boost college applications and resumes, while also counting towards community service hours.

Applications for the 2024-2025 term are now open with the deadline on May 31, 2024. If you're aged 13 to 18 by September 1, 2024, residing in Orange County, and entering grades 9 to 12 at a local public or private school, seize this opportunity to be part of something extraordinary. Apply here and shape the future of transportation in Orange County!


Upcoming Events

Thursday, May 16th: Supplier Outreach Event

Partner with the County to serve the community by joining the County of Orange's Procurement Department at their 3rd annual Supplier Outreach event! This is a great opportunity to connect local businesses with government projects and showcase your products or services. Enjoy refreshments from our coffee cart and other delicious options at our food trucks!

Location: Mile Square Regional Park, Freedom Hall, 16801 Euclid St, Fountain Valley, 92708


Saturday, May 18th: Tustin Lobsterfest

Bring your friends and family to the annual Tustin Lobsterfest., where you can indulge in an all-you-can eat buffet where you can indulge in fresh lobster meals, enjoy live entertainment, participate in fun activities, and support local charities. It's a festive gathering that brings people together to savor seafood and enjoy a lively atmosphere. 

Location: Peppertree Park, 230 W First St, Tustin, CA 92780


Memorial Day Weekend: 64th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

Get ready for a weekend of fun and festivities at the 64th Annual Strawberry Festival in garden grove, happening on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-27! This festival is a cherished tradition that not only provided endless entertainment for families but also supports local charities through its fundraising efforts. celebrate with a vibrant parade, carnival rides, and a variety of foods and snacks to choose from. Don't miss out on one the most anticipated events of the year. 

Location: 12762 Main St, Garden Grove, CA 92840



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