Undocumented residents can now serve on all city boards and commissions in Santa Ana

Undocumented residents can now serve on all city boards and commissions in Santa Ana

Originally Published in The Los Angeles Times

Ben Brazil - March 17, 2021

Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento

Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento and the City Council approved a motion this week that benefits undocumented residents. (Gustavo Arellano / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Ana’s thousands of undocumented residents will now be able to serve on city boards, commissions and committees.

The Santa Ana City Council this week voted to remove the requirement that residents must be “qualified electors,” or be eligible to vote, to serve on the advisory bodies.

More than 100,000 undocumented immigrants live in Santa Ana, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. The Santa Ana rule received initial unanimous approval earlier this month and was passed Tuesday night as part of the consent calendar without any council discussion.

The city has 10 boards, commissions and committees. Two of the advisory bodies — the Youth Commission and Measure X Citizens Oversight Committee — have not required members to be qualified electors.

Undocumented residents will now be able to serve on the Arts and Culture Commission, Personnel Board, Community Development Commission, Planning Commission, Environmental and Transportation Advisory Commission, Historic Resources Commission, Workforce Development Board, and Board of Recreation and Parks.

Brazil writes for Times Community News.

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