Honoring Miriam Lopez/Honrando a Miriam Lopez

English Below:

Compeñerxs, Amigxs, Comunidad de Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities (SABHC)

Como muchos, el 2021 ha sido muy difícil para el equipo de SABHC HUB. Hemos sufrido una gran pérdida en nuestro equipo, familia y comunidad. Aquellos de nosotros que conociamos a Miriam la conociamos como una feroz defensora de la comunidad, que durante los últimos 10 años ha estado organizando en Santa Ana para transformar las condiciones de la juventud. Es posible que se haya conectado con Miriam a través de su trabajo y dedicación a su comunidad de Santa Ana. Formo parte de diversos espacios, como KidWorks, SAAS, OCDT, OCIYU, SABHC, Jovenes Cultivando Cambio, El Centro Cultural de México, Noche de Altares, Corazón de Mariposas, YPOC, Santa Ana Public Library, TeenSpace y Fondo de apoyo In'Lakesh y otros espacios. 

Miriam se unió al equipo de SABHC HUB en Julio del 2019 como coordinadora administrativa part-time para luego convertirse en tiempo completo. Ella fue parte del Proceso de Planificación de Sostenibilidad para transformar la forma en que trabajamos en Santa Ana, ayudando a desarrollar los principios transformativos para probar una nueva forma de organizar. Miriam también fue una parte crucial del fondo de apoyo In’Lakesh, de la creación de la aplicación hasta organización de los datos, haciendo que el proceso fuera lo más fluido posible. Esto nos permitió procesar 7 fases de solicitudes del fondo de apoyo y distribuir fondos directamente a los residentes de Santa Ana y OC.

El Equipo de SABHC HUB

Éramos un equipo pequeño que se convirtió en familia. Te extrañaremos amigx, colega, familia y luchona Miriams. Será un proceso lento a medida que volvamos al trabajo, ponernos al día con los correos electrónicos, volvernos a conectar con la gente y ir a la oficina ahora con una estación de trabajo vacía. Permítanos un poco de espacio y paciencia mientras honramos y recordamos a Miriam López. Hemos estado en contacto con su familia y continuaremos brindando el apoyo necesario. Si desea donar, su familia tiene una cuenta GoFundMe en el enlace a continuación.

Distribución del fondo de apoyo In'Lakesh

GoFundMe Donation Link

Rest in Power Miriam,


Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities (SABHC) Partners, Friends, Community

Like so many, 2021 has been a very difficult time for the SABHC HUB team. We have suffered a great loss in our team, family, and community. Those of us who know Miriam know her as a fierce community advocate, who for the past 10+ years has been organizing in Santa Ana to transform the conditions for youth. You may have connected with Miriam through her work and dedication to her Santa Ana community. She was a part of many different spaces, such as KidWorks, SAAS, OCDT, OCIYU, SABHC, Jovenes Cultivando Cambio, El Centro Cultural de México, Noche de Altares, Corazón de Mariposas, YPOC, Santa Ana Public Library, TeenSpace, In’Lakesh Fund, and other spaces.

Miriam joined the SABHC HUB team in July 2019 as the part-time Admin Coordinator later becoming full-time. She was part of the Sustainability Planning Process to transform the way we work in Santa Ana, helping to develop the transformative principles to test a new way of organizing. Miriam was also a crucial part of the In’Lakesh Relief Fund, from creating the application to cleaning and organizing the data making the process as smooth as possible. This allowed us to process 7 application phases of the relief fund and get funds directly to Santa Ana and OC residents.

The SABHC HUB team

We were a small team that became a familia. We will miss you friend, colleague, familia, and badass Miriams. It will be a slow process as we get back into work mode, catch up on emails, reconnect with folks and go into our office with an empty workstation. Please allow us some space and patience as we honor and remember Miriam Lopez. We have been in contact with her family and will continue to provide any support necessary. If you would like to donate, her family has a GoFundMe account in the link below. 

In'Lakesh Relief Fund Distribution

Rest in Power Miriam,


TU ERES MI OTRO YO, YOU ARE MY OTHER ME: How Three Santa Ana Community Organizations Created a $2 Million Emergency Fund


Sí, muy agradecida por todo lo que hacen por nosotros, especialmente los que no tenemos papeles. Es una alegría para nosotros contar con ayudas como ustedes. Que Dios les bendiga y que les siga dando mucho más.” InLakesh Recipient

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic unveiled broken systems and stark inequities in existing health disparities, racial inequalities and the stretched capacity of existing social welfare networks in the United States. 

In CA, African-American and Latinx working-class communities in particular have been hardest hit by the pandemic. For example, Latinxs while making up roughly 35 percent of Orange County’s population are nearly half of the total COVID confirmed cases according to the County Health Care agency.  Latinxs also make up nearly half- 44 percent- of virus deaths.

“En lo personal  creo que antes de la pandemia en nuestra comunidad ya se vivían tiempos difíciles. Cuando llega una pandemia de esta magnitud,  ahí es donde podemos observar más las inequidades  que existen dentro de nuestra comunidad.” Idalia Rios (SABHC)

Three Santa Ana organizations, Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities (SABHC), Resilience OC (ROC), and Cooperacion Santa Ana took action by creating an emergency fund upon the announcement of the stay at home order issued by Governor Newsom in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency fund carries the name of InLakesh, a Mayan phrase that conveys a feeling of connectivity and directly translates to “I am you, as you are me.” 

The emergency fund is one of solidarity and mutual aid, created first and foremost to support the residents that have been part of the Building Healthy Communities Initiative and have been working on strategies to remain, reclaim and thrive in Santa Ana since 2009.


“It comes from a lot of practices from our ancestors. Some of the things we have practiced in the past are mutual exchange like a timebank. If I help you with an hour for anything, then that hour I invested in you, you can invest in another community member doing their lawn, repairs, anything.” Joel Cazares, SABHC

A disproportionate number of essential workers who have kept the economy running during the pandemic did not have the privilege to stay at home. They also did not receive federal aid due to their immigration status. They include farmworkers and those in the service sector like grocery and retail workers. The $2 trillion CARES Act gave most workers unemployment benefits and a one-time $1,200 in cash benefits. However, the bill inauspiciously omitted undocumented immigrants because although they pay taxes, they may not have social security numbers and therefore, cannot receive the stimulus checks.

“Por ejemplo, yo tardé dos meses y medio sin trabajar, ahorita empiezo a trabajar, pero me dan solamente unas horas. Es difícil, ya tengo deudas atrasadas, biles, es difícil. Aunque sea poquito, se nos hace mucho, de verdad es mucha la ayuda. Por ejemplo, como ustedes que están ahorita aquí, están trabajando, está el calor y está la gente aquí. Esto ya es más de corazón que de otra cosa.” InLakesh Recipient

While observing that neither federal or local programs were providing timely aid, the three groups at the forefront of the pandemic created an emergency fund that was up and running by mid-April of 2020.

“Absolutely, the intention with the InLakesh Fund was that we could take matters into our own hands, especially when we weren’t seeing any strategies coming from the government, whether it was federally or locally.” Ana Urzua, Cooperaccion Santa Ana

The InLakesh fund, therefore, is an invitation for those that had the privilege to continue to stay at home; who had access to federal relief; who had the ability to maintain a job, to contribute to a fund that would support those in a more precarious situation.


How could these three grassroots organizations act so quickly?

The organizations that came together to create and support the InLakesh Fund have been embedded in the community for years and have established deep relationships with residents. However, it is important to point out that these groups are not direct service organizations, and establishing a fund of this magnitude proved to be challenging on many fronts. Two reasons are highlighted here:

  1. The three organizations worked quickly to divert funds from existing grants, which meant they had to push against conventional non-profit structures that are not set up to act quickly in shifting strategies and modes for direct aid and are more grant and deliverable driven.   
  2. Setting up the infrastructure for distribution was challenging. Keeping applicant's information confidential has been of utmost importance which under conventional non-profit structures can be challenging for the reporting that needs to take place especially in the distribution and movement of funds. Moreover, working collectively with the group's fiscal sponsor has given light and alternatives to how this can be done.

Once it became clear that the pandemic would be ongoing, the groups divided the work into different functioning committees including fundraising, logistics, finance, review, and a liaison committee that currently communicates directly with residents. Seven people between the three organizations have driven the work.

The more clearly everyone seeks the roles in society/family/community that give them pleasure and fulfillment, the more effective and creative any collective action, resistance and living will be” Adrienne Marie Brown, Emergent Strategy


The residents, youth and organization partners that collaborate with SABHC have been rethinking the way community organizing is done as part of a process called sustainability planning. Throughout this planning process Transformative Principles have been identified and the hope is to articulate and support new ways of organizing, working in and with the community. One of those transformative principles is to build spaces that address the needs of participants including basic livelihood needs like food, water and shelter.

“Something we discovered last year through our sustainability process is that we cannot continue to ask community members to be at the frontlines when they’re having so many hardships limiting their capacity to be involved and engaged . . . We have to be ready to support our community during emergency times.” Joel Cazares, SABHC

Although the idea of meeting basic needs seems simple, the fund pushes against the structures that currently exist and works to make funding and capital more flexible. It illustrates the larger shifts that need to happen of valuing the capacity and power of the people on the ground and the necessity to transform the patriarchal, white supremacist structures that undergird our government, the nonprofit industrial complex, and traditional foundations.


To date 1,300 families in Santa Ana and Orange County have been supported and the organizations just opened Phase 6 of the application process. 

Mutual aid is a strategy that has existed in multiple traditions and is vibrant because it lives outside conventional structures. The InLakesh fund is one of solidarity and an invitation for everyone to take part and responsibility in how we address the unequal distribution of resources.

“The name came about, In’Lakesh, because we thought about how much our community is hurting. As they’re hurting there’s so much solidarity still happening, and folks are figuring out how to stay afloat, but stay connected with each other at the same time . . . It’s like if you are hurting, I’m also hurting. If I love and respect my community, then I love and respect myself.” Claudia Perez, Resilience OC

If you’d like to stand in solidarity with the communities of Santa Ana and Orange County, please consider using the link below to donate

Santa Ana BHC - Coronavirus

English Below

Querida Comunidad,

En estos momentos de incertidumbre y preocupación sobre la propagación del Coronavirus, Covid-19, Santa Ana Construyendo Comunidades Saludables (SABHC) tiene el compromiso de hacer nuestra parte para evitar la creciente crisis nacional de salud pública. Sabemos que las personas más afectadas en estos momentos son personas que no tienen seguro médico, personas mayores de 60 años que tienen un sistema inmunitario debilitado o tienen una condición de salud subyacente, personas que trabajan 2-3 trabajos solo para sobrevivir y que están perdiendo su trabajo sin ningún ingreso, y toda la comunidad inmigrante indocumentada. En estos momentos necesitamos apoyarnos el uno al otro en comunidad para poder salir adelante con esta emergencia no solo nacional pero mundial. Con esto en mente hemos tomado algunas medidas para hacer nuestra parte y apoyar a la comunidad con  la que colaboramos. 

La oficina del HUB

Para tomar medidas de precaución y siguiendo las recomendaciones del estado y del Centro Nacional de Programas Preventivos y de Control de Enfermedades (CDC), el personal del HUB va a trabajar remotamente empezando esta semana. Durante este tiempo nuestras oficinas no estarán disponibles para juntas, reuniones, u otros eventos de nuestra parte, ni de otros socios de SABHC.


Los programas de SABHC que requerían juntas de 1-1 o en grupos ahora se convertirán en llamadas por internet, llamas por teléfono o mensajes de texto. El programa de Mini-Becas Censo 2020 será pausado para enfocarnos en el bienestar de nuestra comunidad. 

Escuelas de Santa Ana/Comida para Estudiantes  

El Viernes 13 de Marzo la Mesa Directiva de SAUSD determinó que, en interés de la salud pública, las escuelas de SAUSD cerrarán a partir del lunes 16 de marzo al 10 de abril del 2020. 

Durante estas fechas, las escuelas estarán haciendo disponible comida para llevar SIN COSTO para todos los niños de 1 a 18 años. Visite estos lugares para recoger su desayuno y almuerzo entre las 8 y 10 de la mañana.

  • Escuela primaria Esqueda
  • Escuela primaria Monte Vista
  • Escuela primaria Martin
  • Escuela primaria Madison
  • Academia Romero Cruz
  • Escuela Intermedia Carr
  • Escuela Intermedia Méndez
  • Academia Sierra
  • Escuela Intermedia Villa
  • Escuela Intermedia Willard
  • Escuela Secundaria Saddleback
  • Escuela Secundaria Santa Ana High School
  • Escuela Secundaria Segerstrom

Visite la pagina de Distrito Escolar: https://bit.ly/2QqYYOq

Información y Recursos Sobre Coronavirus, Covid-19

Para informacion de:

  • Cómo se propaga el COVID-19
  • Síntomas
  • Prevención y tratamiento
  • Prevenir la propagación de la enfermedad del coronavirus 2019
  • Respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes
  • Viajeros que llegan a los Estados Unidos,

Visite https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html

Visite http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus

Orange County COVID-19 Resource Guide (Inglés)


Ayuda Economica 

Es estos momentos se está creando un fondo de apoyo para las personas mas afectadas de nuestra comunidad, en cuanto tengamos más información la haremos pública para que personas tengan acceso a un apoyo inmediato. Por ahora para las personas que fueron despedidas o descansadas y puedan pedir ayuda del estado aquí pueden ver más sobre Beneficios del Seguro de Desempleo.



Nuestra comunidad ha pasado por muchos retos desde inmigración, separación de familias, desplazamiento, deportaciones y aun así seguimos luchando y siempre viendo hacia delante. Este será otro reto para muchas personas de nuestra comunidad y seguiremos unidos para luchar contra esto y todo lo que venga en el futuro.  Les recomendamos mantener la calma y actuar siempre con el beneficio colectivo en mente. Siendo así, procuren dormir lo suficiente, alimentarse sanamente, fortalecerse con remedios naturales, y hacer cada quien su parte en las medidas preventivas, incluyendo el distanciamiento físico. Tratémonos con amabilidad, y procuremos a nuestras familia y amistades por teléfono para crecer nuestras redes de apoyo. Estaremos mandando una encuesta para tener en cuenta nuestras necesidades y compartirlas para generar acción colectiva hacia el apoyo mutuo.

En Solidaridad,

Santa Ana Construyendo Comunidades Saludables (SABHC)


Dear Community,

In these times of uncertainty and concern about the spread of the Coronavirus, Covid-19, Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities (SABHC) is committed to doing our part to prevent the growing national public health crisis. We know that the people most affected right now are people who don't have health insurance, people over 60, people who have a weakened immune system or have an underlying health condition, people who work 2-3 jobs just to survive and are losing their work without any income, and our undocumented immigrant community. At this time we need to support each other in community to be able to cope with this emergency not only nationally but worldwide. With this in mind, we have taken some steps to do our part and support the community with which we collaborate.

HUB Office

To take precautionary measures and following recommendations from the state and the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CDC), HUB staff will be working remotely starting this week. During this time our offices will not be available for meetings or other events on our part, nor for other SABHC partners.


SABHC programs that required 1-1 or group meetings will now be converted to web meetings, phone calls, or text messages. The Census 2020 Mini-Scholarship program will be paused to focus on the well-being of our community.

Santa Ana Schools / Student Meals

On Friday, March 13, the SAUSD Board of Trustees determined that, in the interest of public health, SAUSD schools will close from Monday, March 16 to April 10, 2020.

During these dates, schools will be making FREE takeaway food available to all children ages 1-18. Visit these locations to pick up breakfast and lunch between 8 and 10 in the morning.

  • Esqueda Elementary School
  • Monte Vista Elementary School
  • Martin Elementary School
  • Madison Elementary School
  • Romero Cruz Academy
  • Carr Intermediate School
  • Mendez Intermediate School
  • Sierra Preparatory Academy
  • Villa Intermediate School
  • Willard Intermediate School
  • Saddleback High School
  • Santa Ana High School
  • Segerstrom High School

Visit Santa Ana Unified School District https://bit.ly/2QqYYOq 

Information and Resources About Coronavirus, Covid-19

For information on:

  • How COVID-19 is spread
  • Symptom
  • Prevention and treatment
  • Prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in 2019
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Travelers arriving in the United States,

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html


Orange County COVID-19 Resource Guide (English)


Financial Assistance

During this time an emergency fund is being created for the most affected in our community, as soon as we have more information we will make it public so that people have access to immediate support. For now, people who have been laid off and are able to seek help from the state, here you can see more about Unemployment Insurance Benefits.



Our community has gone through many challenges from immigration, family separation, displacement, deportation and yet we continue to fight and always look ahead. This will be another challenge for many in our community and we will continue to unite to fight this and everything that comes in the future. We recommend that you remain calm and always act with the collective benefit in mind. As such, try to get enough sleep, eat healthy food, strengthen yourself with natural remedies, and do your part in preventive measures, including physical distancing. Let's treat each other with kindness, and reach out to our family and friends over the phone to grow our support networks. We will be sending a survey to take into account immediate needs and share them to generate collective action towards mutual support.

In Solidarity,

Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities (SABHC)



"Actualmente, la mayoría de los recursos se invierten para apoyar las estrategias tradicionales de represión por parte de las agencias policiales, sin mucho reconocimiento de los proveedores de servicios existentes que ofrecen servicios a los jóvenes y familias de manera más preventiva. Este análisis ha expuesto preocupaciones y oportunidades de seguridad significativas para fortalecer la visión de seguridad comunitaria de la ciudad, a través de la coordinación y colaboración estratégica."


1) Santa Ana tiene la capacidad de crear soluciones nuevas para viejos problemas. Hay que mantenerse en el curso y expandir lo que está funcionando.

2) Ampliar la visión y definición de la seguridad pública. Considerar la naturaleza integral de la seguridad púbica que no solo responde a la violencia, sino previene, interviene y trata la violencia.

3) Crear áreas geográficas priorizadas por índices de delincuencia y violencia, indicadores de salud pública, servicios sociales y pobreza para poder activar un sistema localizado de respuesta coordinada.

4) Dado el regionalismo de los asuntos, aprovechar la infraestructura de servicios a nivel condado. Santa Ana no está sola.

5) El Departamento de Policía de Santa Ana necesita ampliar y expandir su definición actual sobre el patrullaje comunitario. Las soluciones antiguas no responden a los asuntos del 2019, se necesita evolucionar para ser efectivos y eficientes.

6) Invertir y desarrollar capacidad comunitaria a través de la participación cívica, creación de poder y de base, abogacía, rendición de cuentas, inclusión y representación.

7) Fortalecer la comunicación y colaboración de diversos sectores para impactar el cambio de narrativa para la Ciudad de Santa Ana.


Letter to The LGBT Center OC Leadership

Youth of YETA outside the LGBT Center to delivering a letter to the leadership inviting them to the community forum

This letter is written on behalf of the Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities (SABHC) Board Committee composed of Adult, Youth, and Organization representatives from the Education for All, Equity for All, and Health for All workgroups. 

The SABHC Board Committee is compelled to write this letter to express its disappointment in the actions of our SABHC partner, The LGBT Center OC (The Center), specifically their leadership, its Board of Directors and Executive Director, Peg Corley. The Center’s leadership decided to march with uniformed and armed law enforcement officers in the Pride Parade despite vocal opposition from members of the LGBTQIA community and other SABHC partners.   

After this event, The Center’s leadership failed to engage with the community that opposed this decision and instead dismissed and silenced their voices time and time again. The lack of genuine community accountability specially to impacted youth has been unacceptable. The youth from Youth Empowered To Act (YETA) have done the work that The Center’s leadership has refused to. When the youth of YETA met with the Executive Director (ED) Peg Corley, they were invited to bring their concerns to the Centers Board of Directors meeting. The youth prepared a letter to hand-deliver to the board meeting on August 12th, only to find out that it was canceled. Following the last-minute cancellation, the Youth of YETA visited the Center on Spurgeon to hand-deliver the letter to invite the Board and ED to a community forum. The YETA youth have been proactive in providing a community forum for impacted community members to come together.  They invited The Center’s Board of Directors and Executive Director, Peg Corley, to attend; and no leadership attended. We are proud of the YETA youth for hosting a community forum and disappointed that The Center’s leadership has not been willing to engage.

As the Building Healthy Communities initiative reaches its 10th year we are developing a plan for beyond 2020. At the core of this plan is a Transformative Framework that CENTERS Youth and Adult residents in the work and campaigns making it community-Led/ resident-driven. This means partner organizations and their leadership who see themselves as part of this new framework will make sure the roles of power reflect the participation of impacted communities.  Under this Transformative Framework and the values that support it, we see a clear disconnect between the values of SABHC and those that The Center’s leadership displays.  

We stand in support of LGBTQIA community members that have been hurt by the actions of The LGBT Center of OC’s leadership.  We stand in support of the YETA youth and their demands of The LGBT Center OC’s leadership. 


Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities 

Board Committee

Youth of YETA Invite the LGBT Center of OC’s Executive Director Peg Corley and Board of Directors to Community Forum

By: Youth of YETA

Intersectional. Safe. Supported. In a space meant to “advocate on behalf of the Orange County Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer/Questioning communities and provide services that ensure its well-being and positive identity,” many youth believed the LGBT Center of Orange County (the Center OC)would prioritize these core values. When we came to understand and accept our own identities, we went to the Center OC to find a community that recognizes and uplifts our experiences. For these reasons we plan to host a public community forum to dialogue with the Center OC’s leadership and the Board of Directors, and we invite their attendance so that our community may begin to heal.

Our relationship with the LGBT Center of OC began with their youth social justice, activist, and advocacy group, Youth Empowered to Act (YETA). For many of us, this is where we have grown and developed as leaders and individuals. YETA was a safe place to be our authentic selves with like-minded people who desired to improve our community. We dreamt of broadening the narratives of  LGBTQ experiences. The Center provided us with great mentors, who taught us how to advocate, lead, and think critically about issues surrounding the LGBTQ community. We learned to take note of which community members were missing from our spaces and to ask why they were missing. 

It is for all these reasons we view the Center OC’s response to criticism, raised in opposition to the inclusion of armed police officers in the Center OC’s Pride Parade contingent, as an attack. A week before the Pride parade, we were informed that the Center had decided to invite armed police officers to march alongside LGBT Center staff, community members, and volunteers. Community members immediately began to raise concerns when the decision was announced. The community reached out to the Center via social media, only to have their comments deleted and their social media accounts blocked. The Center OC’s active censorship of criticism demonstrates what little value the Center OC’s leadership places in the community they claim to serve. Many individuals in YETA felt betrayed, and the decision created a disconnect between YETA and the the Center OC. YETA prides itself on being a coalition of LGBTQ and allied youth leaders working to create a safe, supportive, and intersectional space in order to engage in advocacy and social justice. This group fostered community change, but given the Center’s actions, it is difficult to believe that our work is supported by the Center OC. 

Members of YETA participated in the “die-in” during Pride. Though it felt strange to stand in opposition to those with whom we usually work alongside, it was more important for us to stand with the victims of violence and discrimination from police forces across all communities. We needed to show our opposition to the Center OC leadership’s decision to include armed police officers in its Pride Parade contingent.  As we lay in the street the Center instructed people to march over us and around us. The Center OC’s actions evidence their dismissal of the experience of LGBTQ+ people of color, especially Black and Brown individuals in their own communities. After the parade, a member of the Center OC Board of Trustees commented that youth taking part in the demonstration were “misguided.” How are we misguided, if the Center OC’s own leadership taught us to self-empower and take action in making our voices heard?

After being offered the opportunity to discuss events in a listening circle hosted by Orange County Human Relations (OCHR), we decided that we ultimately wanted to meet directly with the Center OC leadership with the intention of facilitating open and direct dialogue. After reaching out, we were able to schedule a meeting with Executive Director Peg Corley for July 28, 2019, and we were glad to hear that she was open to having direct dialogue with us. Going into the meeting, we hoped that Peg Corley would acknowledge the harm caused and take accountability. We came to the meeting with intentions to heal and move forward. 

Unfortunately, the meeting created an even bigger disconnect. To Peg Corley, accountability means being accountable to only her bosses, the Center OC’s Board of Directors. To us, being accountable means being accountable to the community. In our meeting Corley stated, “I have a problem with the word accountable.” Corley then argued that “I did my job.” When further questioned about the decision, the Center’s Executive Director reiterated that decisions made are based on the Center OC’s Board of Directors opinions, not the community. “The community does not drive the Center,” stated Corley. 

The Center OC’s Board of Directors cannot claim to represent and meet the community’s needs when its decision making process is self-contained and its perspective is limited. The Board of Directors must seek out community members’ lived experiences and listen to the community from which it capitalizes. We left the meeting with Peg Corley feeling disillusioned with the Center OC because everything we had learned there was turned upside down in Corley’s words and actions. In that moment, the divide between the Center and the community became a chasm. 

As young people who learned advocacy from the Center, we seek to mobilize and host a community forum. We believe the best path forward honors the community through honest and open dialogue while the Center OC acknowledges accountability for the harm done. During the forum, we plan to discuss the harms caused by the Center OC’s actions and ways to bridge the community divide. If the Center OC truly wants to “advocate on behalf of the Orange County Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer/Questioning communities,” they must reexamine their actions and decision-making processes, while they engage with community members through transparent dialogue. 

This past week at their Monday, August 12 meeting, we intended to invite the Board of Directors to our community forum, but Board of Directors abruptly canceled their meeting. We suspect this happened because we intended to attend. In place of speaking to the Board of Directors at their meeting, we instead delivered a letter in person to the Center OC staff, asking them to pass along the invitation to Executive Director Peg Corley. 

We are thankful for the space the Center provides the community, and that is exactly why we remain critical of leadership and the Center OC’s decision-making processes. The Center of OC is a hub for LGBTQ+ and allied community members. We want it to remain as such. 

We implore the Center OC’s Executive Director and the Board of Directors to take part in community dialogue. We want the Center to be what we believed it could be, a place where community voices are at the heart of the Center OC’s decisions and where the community it serves is valued and supported. As the Youth of YETA, we believe this is the only way to truly fulfill their mission statement.

Community Demands for the LGBT Center OC Forum

Thursday, August 15, 6:30pm-9pm

El Centro Cultural de Mexico 

837 N Ross St, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Youth of YETA Biographies:

Melanie Michel is a queer activist from Orange County. She is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and had been an active member of Youth Empowered to Act (Y.E.T.A.) at the LGBT Center of OC since 2017.

Esmeralda Michel is queer civic engagement organizer with Resilience Orange County. She has been involved with Y.E.T.A at the LGBT Center of OC for the past two and a half years. She recently graduated high school and will be attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall.  

Em Jensen is a queer activist and organizer in Orange County. They have been involved with Y.E.T.A since 2018 and supported with communications and graphic design.

AJ Jensen is a queer youth organizer and activists from Orange County. They have been a part of Y.E.T.A since summer 2018 and have supported with communications and graphic design. They are majoring in graphic design and photography.


El LGBT Center de OC Necesita Participar en un Diálogo

De Stevie Vu y Victoria Nguyen

En el último mes, el LGBT Center de OC ha demostrado estar gravemente desconectado de la comunidad que pretende servir. Es decepcionante que una organización que se auto designó para abogar por la comunidad LGBTQ+ decida silenciar las voces de la comunidad en defensa de unas cuantas personas en su mesa directiva.

El 20 de junio de 2019, el LGBT Center de OC, conocido como “the Center”, invitó a agentes de policía armados y con uniforme a marchar con ellos durante el Desfile del Orgullo OC (“OC Pride”). A pesar de que “Pride” es una celebración de nuestras múltiples identidades, es ahistórico ignorar su origen como el resultado de una lucha de varias décadas liderada por mujeres transgénero y de color contra la brutalidad policial. El trauma que resulta de la brutalidad policial continúa existiendo hoy en día en las comunidades LGBTQ+ negras y latinas. Sabiendo esto, el LGBT Center de OC avanzó con su decisión. No se permitió la oportunidad para discutirlo.

Miembros de la comunidad y organizaciones comunitarias representativas, incluyendo Resilience OC (ROC, por sus siglas en inglés), VietRISE, Centro Coreano de Recursos (KRC, por sus siglas en inglés), Viet Arcoíris del Condado de Orange (VROC, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Equipo Asiático Pacífico para la intervención del VIH (APAIT, por sus siglas en inglés) se expresaron en contra de la decisión. Como respuesta, el LGBT Center de OC borró comentarios, bloqueó individuos e ignoró nuestras peticiones por un diálogo.

Al contrario, nos pidieron comprobar que nuestro trauma es continuo. En el Desfile del Orgullo OC, organizamos una manifestación “hacerse el muerto” para elevar a las personas víctimas de la violencia policial en nuestras comunidades. Dentro y fuera de las redes, el Centro LGBT OC se rehusó a reconocer nuestros esfuerzos. Al contrario, se mantuvieron firmes con su decisión pisando sobre nuestros cuerpos y publicando fotos de agentes policiales armados en varios eventos del orgullo LGBTQ en las redes sociales, aprovechándose de fotos que no fueron tomadas en el Desfile del Orgullo OC para justificar sus propias acciones.

El 23 de junio, OC Human Relations (OCHR, por sus siglas en inglés) envió un correo electrónico a VROC con la intención de desempeñarse como un tercer partido neutral para facilitar la comunicación entre VROC y el LGBT Center de OC. VROC aclaró con OCHR que la conversación no era para realizarse entre dos organizaciones, sino entre el LGBT Center de OC y la comunidad en general. Se logró un acuerdo para que organizaciones representativas y OCHR se reunieran el 19 de julio.

El 17 de julio, diez días antes de su evento Orgullo Trans, el LGBT Center de OC publicó un post de Facebook agradeciendo a OCHR y declarando que están trabajando en tándem para “realizar círculos para escuchar” con la comunidad sobre la presencia policial en su grupo. Esta declaración fue una falsa representación de OCHR, un tercer partido neutral que no había hecho ningún plan por realizar tales círculos. A petición de las organizaciones comunitarias involucradas, la Directora Ejecutiva de OCHR, Norma López, envió un correo electrónico a la Directora Ejecutiva del LGBT Center de OC, Peg Corley, el 18 de julio, aclarando el papel de OCHR y el proceso de diálogo. Las organizaciones comunitarias involucradas procedieron de buena fe con la reunión planificada con OCHR.

Tres puntos fueron enfatizados y propuestos durante la reunión el 19 de julio con OCHR. Primero, queremos un diálogo comunitario, no un “círculo para escuchar”. Es posible que un círculo para escuchar permita que el LGBT Center de OC adopte una pose de simpatizar con nuestras preocupaciones, pero no garantiza que nos darán respuestas, y mucho menos que tomarán acción. De hecho, remueve por completo la responsabilidad del LGBT Center de OC. Segundo, todas las organizaciones presentes en la junta acordaron que cualquier diálogo comunitario debe estar abierto a la comunidad entera, no solo a los miembros de las organizaciones representativas. Esto no es negociable. Por último, para que quede claro: nuestra cuestión principal con el LGBT Center de OC es su desprecio flagrante hacia el aporte comunitario en su toma de decisiones. Representar la situación de otra manera sería deliberadamente obtuso. OCHR tenía el cargo de compartir nuestras preocupaciones y peticiones expresadas directamente al LGBT Center de OC.

Al contrario, el 24 de julio el LGBT Center de OC decidió divulgar una encuesta de cinco preguntas como parte de las sesiones “para escuchar” que habían prometido:

  • Del 1 al 5, 1 siendo no participar para nada y 5 participar con regularidad, ¿cuánto participas con el LGBT Center de OC?
  • Del 1 al 5, 1 siendo muy negativo y 5 muy positivo, ¿cómo calificarías tu propia experiencia personal con las autoridades policiales locales?
  • Del 1 al 5, 1 siendo muy negativo y 5 muy positivo, ¿cómo te sientes cuando nuestros agentes policiales LGBTQ y aliados marchan con el LGBT Centrer de OC en desfiles del orgullo y el Día de la Memoria Transgénero para demostrar su apoyo [a la] comunidad LGBTQ?
  • Por favor escribe tu respuesta abajo: ¿Cómo podemos mejorar nuestra relación con las autoridades policiales como comunidad en el Condado de Orange?
  • Por favor escribe tu respuesta abajo: Describe tu participación actual con el Centro LGBT OC.

Esta encuesta fue percibida por muchas personas en la comunidad como un fracaso. Cinco preguntas breves, inductivas y mal informadas, no es la manera genuina para invocar la participación comunitaria. Esta encuesta no solo demuestra la falta del LGBT Center de OC de poder presentar preguntas significativas y objetivas, también establece a quién sirven. Para el LGBT Center de OC, “la comunidad” es un proceso selectivo.

Las organizaciones comunitarias representativas procedieron con su participación con OCHR con una petición definitiva de un diálogo comunitario público. No queríamos continuar reuniéndonos detrás de puertas cerradas y dejar la comunidad fuera. Después de tres semanas, recibimos un aviso el 7 de agosto que el LGBT Center de OC ha declinado la modificación a la propuesta que garantiza un foro comunitario público.

Hoy por hoy, cualquier tipo de diálogo, en todo caso, realizado bajo el LGBT Center de OC no reflejará las verdaderas necesidades de nuestra comunidad. Cuando el grupo de abogacía juvenil del propio LGBT Center de OC—Personas Jóvenes Empoderadas para tomar Acción (YETA, por sus siglas en inglés)—preguntó al liderazgo del LGBT Center de OC por qué no consultaron con la comunidad, la Directora Ejecutiva Peg Corley dijo, “la comunidad no impulsa lo que hacemos.” Dada la negligencia sin resolver del Centro LGBT OC, continuamos tomando rienda de la situación.

Ya que la comunidad en general no ha recibido ninguna actualización comprehensiva de las acciones tomadas, es importante priorizar la transparencia. Aunque escribimos esto con la intención de actualizar a nuestra comunidad, también queremos documentar públicamente el proceso para asegurar que nuestras preocupaciones, nuestro trabajo y nuestras vidas no continúen siendo borradas.

Hacemos un llamado a la comunidad para apoyar a YETA en la junta de la mesa directiva del Centro LGBT OC el 12 de agosto de 2019. Ya que YETA es un programa del Centro LGBT OC, es sumamente importante que elevemos las voces de las personas jóvenes LGBTQ+ que están siendo ignoradas por las decisiones de la mesa directiva. ***ACTUALIZACION: El LGBT Center de OC cancelo su junta de la mesa directiva un dia antes sin avisar a la comunidad y el grupo de YETA que habian sido invitado*** 

Luego, planeamos organizar un foro abierto de y para la comunidad. En los últimos dos meses, personas de la comunidad se han comunicado continuamente con el LGBT Center de OC para ser parte de sus discusiones. Pero incluso esto representa sus prácticas de exclusión—debería ser el LGBT Center de OC los que hacen el alcance para ser parte de las nuestras.

Foro Comunitario: Demandas de la comunidad para el LGBT Center de OC

Jueves, 15 de Agosto, 2019


El Centro Cultural de Mexico

837 N Ross St, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Esperamos que Peg Corley y la Mesa Directiva del Centro LGBT OC acepten esta invitación para finalmente participar en el diálogo comunitario que supuestamente es importante para ellos.

Nadie en el poder es exento de comunicarse con las personas que se supone deben representar. Cualquier acción que requiere esfuerzo de la comunidad para prosperar es inherentemente impulsada por la comunidad.


Community Safety Assessment

Santa Ana Community Safety Assessment

In Santa Ana, UPI works with The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative to develop and promote coordinated violence reduction and prevention strategies. Beginning in Fall 2017, UPI concentrated its efforts to build cross-sector support for the completion of a community safety assessment.

UPI worked in partnership with Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities to assess residents’ top safety concerns. UPI met with nearly 1,000 residents, including a wide variety of populations, ranging from youth to seniors, and from persons experiencing homelessness to those coming out of jail. UPI also met with community leaders, and 15 partner organizations throughout the city of Santa Ana to conduct surveys, focus groups, and detailed interviews.

Our resulting Community Safety Assessment Report found:

  • Homelessness, Fear of Deportation, and Drug Sales/Use are among the top 3 safety concerns
  • Schools and Family are the most effective in addressing safety while Law Enforcement and Elected Officials are the least effective
  • Over the last 5 years, Santa Ana has experienced a 62% increase in homicides
  • Public trust and credibility of SAPD is only half of what it should be

Most importantly, our report concluded that Santa Ana’s “business as usual” approach is not working. Residents are not getting what they ask for or the public safety they are paying for.




Santa Ana Community Budget Survey/Encuesta Comunitaria del Presupuesto de Santa Ana



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.

Survey Findings 

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.

Santa Ana Community Budget Survey Results

Encuesta Comunitaria del Presupuesto de Santa Ana 



Dear Grantees, Partners, Colleagues:

I REALLY need 20 minutes of your brain’s time. We need your input in deciding on how to spend our next billion dollars. Now, is your chance to provide input, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TransitionPlanningSurvey.

On October 12 our Board of Directors released a visioning statement for the work of TCE beyond 2020, when the ten-year Building Healthy Communities (BHC) campaign draws to a close. In that statement, which was inspired and shaped by many of you during our BHC journey, the Board affirmed its support for a healthier, inclusive California, and put forth Three Bold Ideas to build a strategy around. Those Three California Ideas were, in short: 1) People Power, 2) Reimagining Our Institutions, and 3) 21st Century “Health for All” system. We believe a racial equity lens to this work is critical. These ideas have flowed from our experience with you as grantees and as our partners.

We have also heard from a number of you about the importance of support for the development of a shared vision or narrative for a healthier, more just, and equitable California, and we welcome your reaction to the idea of a community-driven “Social Contract” for our state and nation.

We want to assess the relevance of this vision and accompanying ideas to your work as you see it, and begin to gather some wisdom about the strategies needed to get there.

This survey represents a first step for us in a participatory design process in the months ahead; we’ll also embark on smaller group regional- and issue-based strategy sessions and conversations that we hope many of you can participate in.

This survey is due by December 14, and we pledge to share the highlights and findings of this survey with you by May 2019.

In closing, I’d like to convey, on behalf of our Board, our appreciation for the work of wellness, equity, and justice that you do. If the past two years of our divided nation’s political discourse has taught us anything, it is the role that philanthropy must play in being more intentional about voice, civic participation, youth engagement, and community organizing – what we have learned as People Power -- in pursuit of a vision of wellness for our state. We need your thinking to help more this vision and ideas forward.

Robert K. Ross, M.D.
President and CEO, The California Endowment