Don’t count Gawronski out in Santa Ana’s Ward 2

The race for Santa Ana’s Ward 2 on the City Council is unbelievably crowded. I have previously interviewed Michele Martinez and Tish Leon. They both offer unique perspectives, and at this point I am fairly convinced that neither one will automatically do Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido’s bidding.

Pulido’s horse in this campaign is Tino Rivera, but I am not going to waste my time with him – he shot himself in the foot by going after the OC Democrat endorsement while telling everyone within earshot that he was going to become a Republican after the election.

That leaves one more candidate to talk about – Evangeline Gawronski. She has perhaps the most extensive record of community service and civic activism of the four candidates in Ward 2. A glance at her website tells the story about Gawronski:

  • Member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Orange County
  • President of St. Anne Church Women’s Council (13 yrs.)
  • Manager of bingo fundraising, for Saint Anne School, profiting more than $365,000 over a six year period
  • Library Volunteer at Mater Dei High School (13 yrs.)
  • Honored by S.A. Police Reserve Officers by Volunteerism (1990)
  • Received “Exceptional Citizen” Award from Mayor Pulido and City Council (1996)
  • Nominated by Chief Paul Walters for award for Citizen Excellence & Woman of the Year (2000)
  • Selected as Neighborhood Hero by ComLink (Santa Ana Neighborhood Assns.) (2000)
  • Co-founder and Executive Board member of the Santa Ana Police Museum and Heritage Society. (2006)
  • Organized and conducted a public forum for city officials, state officials, and residents of Orange County to discuss overcrowding throughout the County (over 200 guests attended)
  • Organized the Public Safety Committee for ComLink to work with the city’s N.I.C.E. Committee (Neighborhood Improvement Code Enforcement)
  • On behalf of ComLink, recommended new rules for large work trucks (commercial vehicles) parked in residential neighborhoods; commercial and recreational vehicles must park off property, in back yards, and/or out of sight
  • Children’s Choir Director (St. Anne School) 6 yrs.
  • Long Term Substitute teacher (Mater Dei High School) 20 yrs.

You would think, with Gawronski’s background and experience, that she would have been backed by Pulido. However, he apparently has changes his mind about Mexicans. My readers might recall that a few years ago when Carlos Bustamante ran for the City Council, he was opposed by Pulido, because the latter felt that there were already too many Mexicans on the City Council. Bustamante himself told me that – and of course he has since become Pulido’s best friend on the Council. Pulido apparently now likes some Mexicans. However, he should have gone with Gawronski. Rivera is already finished and we’re not even in October yet.

Gawronski’s take on the issues is also on her website, as follows:

  1. I believe that Santa Ana has one of the best police and fire departments in the country and that residents need to learn how to work with them.
  2. I believe that all future city executives such as City Manager, Public Works, Police Dept., who make decisions on a day to day basis, that affect the quality of life for Santa Ana residents, should have to live in the city of Santa Ana as a condition of employment.
  3. I believe that the city and the school board should work together to see that the school buses are parked in school yards and not use the neighborhoods as their private parking lots at any time.
  4. I believe that success in business depends on the reputation of all neighborhoods. Businesses can help improve many of the neighborhoods by encouraging residents and city officials to take action on a variety of issues. This relationship could be a win-win situation.
  5. I believe that the second City Council meeting (3rd Monday of the month) should be televised or taped and played back on TV for the residents. Adelphia is always looking for new material.
  6. I believe that in working together and setting our differences aside, we can make needed improvements in Santa Ana.

I totally agree with Gawronski with regards to her second and fifth points in particular, although most of her points make sense. It is interesting that she did not include the PIP program in her list. That’s a good thing!

Does Gawronski have a chance? I think she does. Rivera, Martinez and Leo will effectively split the Latino vote. And all three are Democrats – Martinez in fact was endorsed by both the OC Democrat Party and the OC Young Democrats. Gawronski is a Republican – and she is in fact up for endorsement by the Republican Party of Orange County. However, many of her supporters are Democrats, and she figures to have plenty of bipartisan support. Rivera will outspend the field, and Martinez won’t be far behind, so Gawronski will have to raise money in order to ccompete, but she has a lot of very vocal and active supporters on her side. I would not underestimate her.

I have a feeling that the Rivera camp is going to end up going negative on Martinez, who will be perceived as their most serious competitor. Leon is not getting much traction. However, she will take some Latino votes away from Martinez and Rivera. Gawronski won’t have to win a huge majority of the votes to move on to the council. She will just need to garner more votes than each of the other three candidates. That is certainly possible.

If you are interested in donating to Gawronski’s campaign, send your check to TAXPAYERS for EVANGELINE GAWRONSKI, I.D. #1286901, at: 1426 S. Birch St., Santa Ana, CA, 92707. You can email her at this link.


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.