COMMUNITY BUDGET SURVEY SUMMARY
Over the course of two months, we surveyed 231 Santa Ana residents from across the City in both Spanish and English to learn their budget priorities. It is our intention that this survey aide and inform the Santa Ana’s budget development process, more specifically, how Measure X dollars are allocated. Ultimately, our survey found that residents would rather see Measure X dollars be used for services for youth, homeless individuals, seniors and for street infrastructure.
In 2018, Santa Ana voters approved the passage of Measure X, a 1.5 cent sales tax increase, with the promise that these funds would fund a variety of homeless and youth programs and services. Measure X is projected to raise $60 million each year over the next 10 years and then $40 million each year for another 10 years for the City’s General Fund - in total this measure will have raised $1 billion over its 20-year existence.
Resident Budget Priorities
#1 Youth Investments was the highest rated budget priority, this includes funding free programs and services for youth and connecting them with internships and jobs.
#2 Housing and Homeless Prevention services that include, renter protections, rent control enforcement, eviction defense, and homeless prevention efforts.
#3 Park, Recreation, and Library Services came in third with residents seeking well-maintained parks, extended operating hours, and free senior community programs.
#4 Public Works more spending on bike lanes, street maintenance, and clean water.
#5 In cases where public safety is needed, residents favored Comprehensive Crime Reduction which includes non-police first responders, social workers, and community intervention works over suppression-based activities.
#6 The least favored priorities were City Management-related discretionary spending and Police Salary Increases.
Issue Specific Priorities
Keeping Families Together
- 97% of respondents believe the City should be involved in keeping families together. This can be achieved by protecting the due process rights for immigrants facing separation in the legal system.
- 66% felt like the City could spend $200,000 or more a year on helping 50+ individuals fight their deportation cases.
Develop a Comprehensive Youth Strategic Plan
- 96% of responders want a Comprehensive Youth Strategic Plan. The City is home to one of the youngest youth populations in the nation, however, it is operating without a plan in place.
- Residents want a plan in place that calls for more youth centers, city-funded mental health services, career pathways for undocumented and formerly incarcerated youth, and transportation supports to name a few.
Protect Vulnerable Renters from Evictions.
- 90% of responders believe that Santa Ana City should support a Legal Defense Fund to protect vulnerable renters from evictions.
- Support for renters includes renter protections through policies such as Just Cause Evictions, rent control enforcement, eviction defense, and homeless prevention efforts.
Redefining Public Safety
- Likewise, 66% of respondents felt like the Santa Ana jail should be closed in order to eliminate the $10 million deficit the facility is incurring annually.
- In the instances where more public safety spending is called for, respondents preferred the City take a comprehensive crime reduction approach that focuses on social workers and community intervention specialists over methods that rely on incarceration and suppression.