First, I must begin by acknowledging the hard work of SACRED, OCCO and other community groups for coming together and demanding an open process for the Station District. Apparently this has spurred the City of Santa Ana into action and they have responded with several planned community meetings. A confidential source has informed me of aÂ Â memo to the City Manager from the Planning Department details the planned meetings. Here is the memo for your reading pleasure.
The City of Santa Ana has a history of refusing to work with the community. They, along with the school district, seem to take an attitude that they know what is best for everyone and the common person speaking out is only getting in the way. They seemed to be taking this attitude once again, determined to conduct this project under the veil of secrecy. Two things guaranteed they would not be able to do that this time. First, the community had been brought together by the Rennaisance Plan debacle, and the group SACRED had been formed. With essential help from Alfredo Amezcua, they have become a force in this community and one that is going to ensure their spot at the table to improve their community.
Second is the developers the city chose. Related and Griffen (Related in particular) have a history of actually working with the surrounding residents when it comes to developments. Shocking concept I know, but it is a good way to do business. They had already been working with SACRED in the meetings they have been holding at the Public Law Center. That combination finally spurred the city to action.
I am glad the city has taken action and is conducting these community meetings, but once again I am saddened that it has to take the actions of residents to push them into acting. This attitude needs to change, the leadership needs to realize they work for the residents, not the other way around.
It is great when the activists of this city remind the city of that. Let us hope the City actually listens to the suggestions of SACRED and do a development that is responsible and that truly provides for the community. Let us hope they develop housing that includes all income levels, especially affordable homes, with appropriateÂ park space and infrastucture included. Let the residents and the interested parties continue to pressure the city to provide a project we all can be proud of.