Message from the Mayor
May 2019

Since taking office my council colleagues and I have taken action to address the immediate needs of our city while looking toward the future, ensuring Anaheim remains a city of choice for residents, businesses and visitors.

$250 Million to be Invested in Anaheim Neighborhoods by 2030

For years, the promise of Anaheim has been that as our economy thrives, our people will thrive with it. We’ve done a good job of meeting this promise, but we can do better. During my State of the City address, I announced an initiative to invest $250 million of city revenue – revenue that can be generated from new investment – directly into our neighborhoods.

I am pleased to share that our City Council approved the 2030 Neighborhood Investment Program that will focus the benefits of Anaheim’s growth on the priorities and needs of our neighborhoods.

As a first step, Anaheim is providing $250,000 toward a community assessment study that will look at existing city services, programs and facilities as well as resident priorities for the future. The Anaheim First Neighborhood Leadership Council, a group of residents plus business, community and nonprofit representatives, will conduct the assessment through a series of town halls, community meetings and an online survey.

Started by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and Visit Anaheim, the Neighborhood Leadership Council includes 90 residents with 15 drawn from each of Anaheim’s six City Council districts as well as 10 business, community and nonprofit representatives.

I am proud of the volunteers who have already dedicated time to begin this process and look forward to the opportunities we now have to make a difference in our entire city’s future. I look forward to sharing more about this program and the community assessment process. Learn more at www.anaheimfirst.org.

 

Empowering the American Dream

Anaheim is a place of opportunity. I immigrated to this great country 44 years ago from India, with little more than the hopes and dreams I brought with me. To now be the 46th mayor of one of California’s largest cities is proof the American Dream is alive and well in Anaheim. As your mayor, I am working with my council colleagues to enact policies to ensure Anaheim is recognized as a city that Empowers the American Dream.

We have made that promise a visual commitment to be seen by anyone who comes to our city. We are blessed with a tremendous history of dreamers and doers, from Walt Disney to Gene Autry to Carl Karcher. Each day, across the city, I am reminded that Anaheim is a place that continues to celebrate innovation and hard work. I look forward to helping to make this commitment real for anyone who chooses to have their dream come true in Anaheim.

Addressing Homelessness

Preliminary data from the most recent federally mandated Point in Time count found 6,860 homeless people in Orange County. As one of Orange County’s largest cities, Anaheim also has one of the largest numbers of unsheltered people. We have been working diligently to both provide shelter and give back our parks and libraries for the benefit of everyone.

The city opened two shelters since the first of the year, providing 326 beds. The Salvation Army is planning a 600-bed comprehensive homeless care center, which will provide transitional housing and services to help those living in homelessness get into permanent housing. Known as the Center of Hope, the facility is expected to open in 2021 and replace our two temporary shelters.

Now we’re working with our service partners to identify ways we can provide necessary services and job placement opportunities to those living in homelessness in our city.

Earlier this year I joined 13 Big City Mayors from across California who met with Gov. Gavin Newsom to discuss the need for more funding to address homelessness. Last year, cities received $500 million in state grants for homelessness prevention efforts. This year, we are asking for more funding from Gov. Newsom as homelessness remains a humanitarian crisis in our city and across the state.

I want more money distributed at the city level so that we can continue this work as well as fund the important efforts of partners such as Illumination Foundation and Chrysalis who provide individuals with the resources they need as they strive to get back on their feet.

I am honored that Anaheim is a city leading the way in addressing homelessness. We will continue to do our part to help our citizens gain access to the relief and services they need to further decrease dependency.

 

Angels: Next Steps

As I took office, this upcoming season was likely to be the Angels last in Anaheim. I reached out to the team’s owner, Arte Moreno, to see what we could do to keep the team here and unlock the potential of the land around the stadium.

In addition to approval of a one-year extension for Angels Baseball at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, through 2020, the city has enlisted an appraiser to determine the current value for the stadium site land while the Angels have engaged development consultant Brooks Street to help them look at opportunities as part of a potential agreement.

Any new lease must benefit our residents, businesses and visitors by helping us realize the vision of the Platinum Triangle – the area around the stadium and Honda Center. And, of course, it has to work for the Angels and all the team’s fans.

In the near future, we expect the team to make a proposal to stay in its longtime home stadium.

Across The City

Emprendedor@s: Congratulations to the 21 graduates of Emprendedor@s – an eight-week, entrepreneurship program presented in Spanish for new businesses in Anaheim. This free course provided an important jump start to many strong business ideas. I hope to see these entrepreneurs actively pursue their American Dream in Anaheim. Thank you to the Anaheim Community and Economic Development Department in partnership with the Small Business Development Center who presented the program.

Youth in Government Day: We had so many future leaders at our annual Youth in Government Day. It was a great honor to meet and talk with the high school students at the kick off before they spent the day seeing government in action and meeting with our city departments. I have no doubt there was a future mayor of Anaheim in the group!