Vicente Sarmiento Elected Santa Ana Mayor

Santa Ana City Councilman Vicente Sarmiento is set to take office Dec. 8

A photo of Vicente Sarmiento who led in early voting. He won with a 33% share of the votes on November 3, 2020.

Courtesy of Sarmientoformayor website

A photo of Vicente Sarmiento who led in early voting. He won with a 33% share of the votes on November 3, 2020.

Aryam Suarez, Reporter

Vicente Sarmiento won the election for Santa Ana, Calif. mayor with an overall 22,585 votes replacing Miguel A. Pulido who has been mayor since 1994. 

This election was historic since Pulido served as one of the longest serving mayors in an American city. Sarmiento was the first ever Bolivian American candidate in the U.S. to run for mayor. 

Claudia Alvarez, Cecilia Iglesias, Jose Solorio, George Collins, and Mark Lopez, are also candidates who ran for Santa Ana mayor to take Pulido’s place but lost to Sarmiento. 

With all votes counted, Sarmiento will take office today along with three newly voted city  council members, at a special virtual Santa Ana City Council meeting.

“It appears the voters in Santa Ana spoke early and decisively that they want change in their city. More than 50% of the votes were cast before Election Day, and most were from young voters,” said Sarmiento. 

Sarmiento’s goals and priorities include the following: affording housing, reducing homelessness, creating safer neighborhoods, improving public health, breaking ICE and providing protection for immigrants. 

Sarmiento is also investing his time to increase parking space, invest in youth programs, and establish alternatives to juvenile incarceration.

“The message was clear to me that the youth in Santa Ana want a role in deciding the future of their city. I’m proud to stand with them to usher in a new era,” said Sarmiento.

Since 2007, Sarmiento has worked as an attorney helping people with bankruptcy and advising nonprofits. He advised and helped the Housing Opportunity Ordinance create a fiscal reserve fund after the 2008 Economic Recession. 

Sarmiento has been a major component for the protection of immigrants by supporting a city council’s adoption of public policies for immigrants in Santa Ana. 

Apart from Sarmiento, the candidates who won seats on the Santa Ana City Council are: Thai Viet Phan from Santa Ana Ward 1, Jessie Lopez from Ward 3, and Johnathan Ryan Hernandez from Ward 5. 

Phan won with an overall 6,909 number of votes. She addresses her will to afford housing, help the American Dream stay in reach, and help renters. Thus, helping small businesses during COVID-19, everyone receiving financial and translation assistance and opening businesses. 

Phan wants to implement public safety by reducing 911 response times, as well as establish professionally-managed care facilities and affordable housing options for the homeless. 

Conversely, Lopez won with 6,786 votes. Lopez assures she will protect neighborhoods from overdevelopment, invest in and strengthen early childhood education, public schools, and job training opportunities, as well as finding solutions to beat homelessness. 

Lopez hopes for a fair and clear government towards other Ward residents. 

Another election winner was Hernandez who won with 4,179 votes. As a councilman, Hernandez has promised to maintain a safe policy so that everyone can feel safe in a community. As well as creating a free citywide WiFi program. Thus, supporting a homelessness and affordable housing and rent. 

Every candidate supports a facemask rule for protection of all residents regardless of their citizenship status. They want to maintain Santa Ana as a “sanctuary city” for those people that are in the country illegally. 

The candidates have assumed and accepted the positions they have been given.  

And as the city of Santa Ana enters another stay-at-home order, residents look forward to changes that each candidate and mayor have to offer.