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Andy's Updates is the city of Anaheim's monthly email newsletter, bringing the latest Anaheim news right to your inbox.

See the news for February below, and scroll to the bottom to subscribe to the newsletter email alert to make sure you don't miss out! 

Census

Census 2020 is coming, and there’s a lot at stake for Anaheim.

Each year, we see more than $100 million in federal funding for roads, affordable housing, parks, community centers and other projects that make life better for everyone who lives here.

So we need everyone in your home to be counted, from babies to grandparents.

It doesn’t matter where you were born or your immigration status.

Filling out the Census is completely safe and confidential. No one — not even a judge — can access your personal Census information.

So do it for Anaheim. It’s your city — help us make it count.

In mid-March, you’ll receive a letter inviting you to take part on the Census online.

It takes about 10 minutes to fill out the Census form online.

If you need help, we have more than a dozen Census assistance centers at our community centers, libraries and partner organizations.

Staff on hand can help you take the Census and answer any questions you might have.

In late March and early April, you’ll see a follow-up Census postcard in the mail.

From April through July, homes that haven’t taken the Census will get a follow-up hard copy of the form mailed to them.

Census workers will also go out into neighborhoods to encourage everyone to take the Census.

If you’d like to work for the Census, you can check out jobs here.

It’s critical that everyone in Anaheim gets counted. We are Orange County’s largest city by population, and the Census helps steer federal money to our city.

Each year, federal funding helps more than 6,000 households afford to live in Anaheim with rental-assistance vouchers.

Outdoor spaces at Anaheim’s Central and Euclid libraries recently were improved with funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

And we’re creating a teen center at Brookhurst Community Center with CDBG funding too!

We’re also improving storm drains, streets, bridges, sidewalks, trails with federal grants.

The more we’re counted, the more our neighborhoods will benefit. So do it for Anaheim! You can learn more at Anaheim.net/Census.

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It’s been a little more than a year since we launched the Police Review Board, and we’re looking forward to what year two will bring. 

We also hope you can add your voice to the discussion about policing in our city as we seek to strengthen ties between Anaheim Police and our community.

The Police Review Board is our resident oversight group for the Anaheim Police Department.

It was created to increase police transparency, accountability and responsiveness — and to give residents a better understanding of police operations and how we go about keeping Anaheim safe. 

With the Police Review Board, Anaheim’s model for oversight is one of the most rigorous in Southern California. The board’s responsibilities include:

• Real-time notification of and access to the scenes of officer-involved shootings

• Private briefings on major incidents, including access to body-worn camera footage

• Publishing statistics on officer-involved shootings, uses of force, complaints and outcomes

• Receiving community complaints and concerns and referring them to Anaheim’s city manager, Anaheim Police or our police consultant, OIR Group, for review and response

The board is off to a strong start. Members have completed an annual report with recommendations that have already changed police practices in Anaheim.

And they’ve held regular public meetings on topics including officer-involved shootings, school lock-downs, homelessness and parking enforcement. 

Now, the board hopes to increase community involvement as it continues to grow and evolve.

We welcome all to share their perspectives on police issues in the city. Our meetings are a chance to be heard — by us, Police Chief Jorge Cisneros and his command staff, who regularly attend.

The board meets on the fourth Thursday of the month and meetings are open to the community. The next meeting will be on Feb. 27 at the Gordon Hoyt Conference Center in Anaheim West Tower, 201 S. Anaheim Blvd.

Help us shape the future of community policing in Anaheim.

Find out more at Anaheim.net/PRB.

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Anaheim, Orange County’s leader in addressing homelessness, is joining with The Salvation Army to add shelter beds at the Anaheim Emergency Shelter.

In the next few months, we are looking to add 101 beds at the shelter, in an industrial area off Lewis Street south of Ball Road.

The additional beds will help address lingering homelessness on our streets, particularly for women, couples and families with pets.

As with the opening of Anaheim’s two shelters in early 2019, the additional beds will allow us to help people out of homelessness while also restoring our parks, sidewalks and other public spaces and preventing the growth of encampments.

The move also fills a gap before our neighbors Fullerton, Buena Park and Placentia open shelters in coming months.

The 101 additional beds will be added to the Anaheim Emergency Shelter, a 224-bed shelter that opened in February 2019. The additional beds will go on an open gravel lot now used for parking.

Four modular dormitory buildings with beds and personal spaces will be added, along with new restrooms, showers, storage, laundry and office space.

One-time construction costs would be $1.8 million. Added operating costs would be $1.7 million annually.

The city expects to fund the construction and operating costs using California Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program funding from the state.

Anaheim opened 326 beds at two emergency shelters in early 2019, helping hundreds get on a pathway out of homelessness and restoring parks, streets and neighborhoods.

The shelters allowed us to clear major encampments at Maxwell, La Palma and Schweitzer parks, as well as along railways and other public spaces.

In all, Anaheim has helped more than 2,400 people transition out of homelessness since 2014.

The Anaheim Emergency Shelter is on the site of the future Center of Hope homeless service center.

The proposed project by the Salvation Army would include a 325-bed shelter, longer-term supportive housing with counseling and other resources as part of a comprehensive campus.

The Center of Hope is also set to include at least 100 affordable, supportive housing apartments, with more potentially coming in a second phase.

The 101 additional temporary shelter beds would be a stepping stone toward our ultimate vision for the site, partnering with The Salvation Army, and our long-term plan for addressing homelessness in Anaheim.

Vote

There’s an election coming up, and things will be a little different this time.

For the upcoming presidential primary election on March 3, every registered voter in Orange County will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

And there are several ways to turn it in and have your vote counted.

We have 10 ballot drop boxes across the city at libraries, community centers and other public locations. They’re already out there, so if you want to get your vote in early you can turn it in now.

Find a full list of drop boxes and vote centers at OCvote.com/dropbox or OCvote.com/votecenter.

In addition, there will be 17 “vote centers” throughout Anaheim where you can drop off your ballot, vote in person, get a new ballot, register to vote on the spot and get general voter assistance.

Vote center will be open for up to 10 days before and on Election Day, so you can go any time that is convenient for you.

You can also just mail in your ballot.

March 3 will be a good practice for the upcoming presidential election in November, when we’ll also have a City Council election.

Questions? Head to Anaheim.net/Elections.

Budget

It’s Anaheim’s great big book of everything.

Our city budget covers everything in Anaheim — the roads we drive on, the parks we play at, the police and firefighters who keep us safe, the water and electricity we use every day and many other things.

Our budget is on a fiscal year, covering the 12 months starting in July and running through June of the following year.

We’re midway through our current 2019-20 budget and starting to look forward to our next budget for 2020-21.

We’ll be out in the community starting in April to share more about your city budget. Our finance director, police chief, fire chief and others will be at community district meetings throughout the city.

It’s a chance to learn more about where Anaheim’s revenue comes from, where it goes and projects that might be planned or taking place in your neighborhood.

We’re looking to hear from residents as we work on our 2020-21 budget.

At the midway point, Anaheim’s current 2019-20 budget is on track with projections.

Revenue from hotel stays, our largest source of funding, is projected to grow by 9 percent from a year earlier to $178 million. That’s 2 percent ahead of what was budgeted for the year.

Hotel revenue makes up the biggest piece of Anaheim’s general fund, the city’s main source of funding for police, fire, libraries, parks staffing and other community services that touch the daily lives of residents.

Revenue from hotel stays makes up nearly half of what we spend on services for residents and businesses.

After lighter than expected summer crowds at the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort, visitors picked up in late summer and early fall, with October hitting an all-time monthly high for Anaheim hotel revenue.

Anaheim’s other two main sources of revenue, the city’s share of sales and property taxes, are growing or holding steady.

Sales tax is projected to come in at $91.3 million, about 3 percent ahead of budget and up 7 percent from a year earlier.

Anaheim keeps 1 percent of the state sales tax generated in our city.

Property tax is seen holding roughly steady as budgeted and from a year earlier at $81.9 million.

Anaheim receives 20 percent of the 1 percent county property tax collected in our city.

Anaheim’s budget also includes other sources of revenue, including federal, state and other grants, as well as the operations of Anaheim Public Utilities and the Anaheim Convention Center.

Each year, Anaheim’s budget funds projects across the city. 

In December, we debuted an awesome remodeled outdoor space at Central Library.

The project transformed an underused area alongside the library into an inviting outdoor space with landscaping, murals, a trike track, sandbox, planters, seating and a community garden.

The space is being used for storytime, where kids and families hear and watch interactive stories presented by our library staff.

In April, AnaCon — our annual comics and science fiction gathering — will use the outdoor space as part of one of our most popular library events.

Black History Month

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We had a blast kicking off the celebration of African American history and heritage at the 40th annual Orange County Black History Parade & Cultural Faire this past weekend.

But we’re not done commemorating Black History Month.

Head over to the Muzeo Museum & Cultural Center for two exciting exhibits chronicling the history and contributions of African Americans in Anaheim and Orange County.

The first exhibit, called “Celebrating Our Heritage, Embracing Our Past and Building Our Future,” shows photographs from 40 years of the OC Black History Parade.

The parade has become a staple in our community, but it started out as just a small group of entries in a Santa Ana neighborhood. The exhibit shows the parade’s roots and how it has flourished in four decades.

The exhibit goes through Feb. 29.

The second exhibit is a display by the Historical Society of the Second Baptist Church showcasing the oldest African American church in Orange County.

The exhibit includes photos, articles and other memorabilia from the church’s decades-long history.

It goes through March 29.

More at Muzeo.org.

Utilities

Looking for ways to make your home more green but not sure where to start?

Anaheim Public Utilities is hosting free workshops that will teach you how to plant a sustainable landscape in your yard. You’ll learn about drought tolerant landscapes that save water and energy, while also lowering your utility bill.

Each workshop will have a different theme, and one will be offered in Spanish.

California Friendly/Native Plant Landscape Workshop

  • March 4
  • 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Downtown Anaheim Community Center

Turf Removal/Garden Transformation Workshop

  • April 11
  • 9 a.m. to noon
  • Brookhurst Community Center

 California Friendly/Native Plant Landscape Workshop (en Español)

  • May 9
  • 9 a.m. to noon
  • Ponderosa Family Resource Center

Please RSVP by emailing bzimmerman@anaheim.net or calling (714) 765-4412.

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