Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez to host Town Hall Meeting about gang violence

Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez, who is challenging Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido for his seat on the Council, has announced a Town Hall Meeting to take place this Monday, in reaction to the slaying of a 13 year old this week while he walked his sister home from Santa Ana High School.

Martinez is the only Council member who has at least tried, publicly, to deal with this issue.  While her efforts have not been all that effective, part of the blame lies with Pulido and the rest of the City Council.  She put together a Walk for Peace shortly after she was elected – none of the other Council Members showed up.

Then Martinez convinced the Council to create a new anti-gang commission, but Pulido intervened and insisted that the name of this commission not include the word “gang.”  Thus we ended up with EPIC (Early Prevention and Intervention Commission).  Since then the Council’s Public Safety Committee has failed to fund the commission’s request for a gang assessment.  Bringing us back to square one.

Here is her press release with the meeting details:

For Immediate Release: Contacts:

September 11, 2008 Michele Martinez, Santa Ana Councilwoman

(714) 200-3181

Urgent Town Hall Meeting on Gang Violence to be held on Monday, September 15, 2008 at 4 pm.

Location: Angel Park on 3rd Street and Flower

Dear Students, Parents and Community Leaders,

In light of the shooting and death of 13-year-old, Rodrigo Valle, on Wednesday and the arrests made this morning, I will be holding a town hall meeting addressing the ongoing issue of gang violence. This forum will allow residents to voice their concerns about gang activity and share their ideas on how best to advance the City’s efforts to deter and combat local gangs.

The two gang affiliates suspected of the shooting were arrested this morning at 3:15 and 4:30 am. The Santa Ana community has been credited for playing a significant role in the arrest of the two suspects.

“There was an overwhelming amount of information and support from the community,” Chief Paul Walters said. “Our detectives went door to door talking to people and it paid off.”

It is imperative that we build on any positive development that has occurred in the community. Gang shootings have risen this year and we need to be proactive in reversing this trend. Our kids need a safe environment to attend school to continue their growth and our future.

I have received numerous calls from parents, teachers and students regarding this issue and pressing for a meeting to tackle this problem. Everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to be a part of the solution to this epidemic. The results of the meeting will help guide our community in enhancing anti-gang initiatives. Please join me in creating a better tomorrow for Santa Ana.


Michele Martinez**
Council Member
City of Santa Ana
(714) 200-3181 Cell

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