Santa Ana Councilwoman Jessie Lopez Recall Election to Soon Take Place

Santa Ana Councilwoman Jessie Lopez Recall Election to Soon Take Place
Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Jessie Lopez speaks about a recall campaign against her at city hall in Santa Ana, Calif., on Jan. 30, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Micaela Ricaforte

Santa Ana Councilwoman Jessie Lopez’s seat will be up for special election later this year after recall proponents submitted enough signatures to trigger an election.

Ms. Lopez’s support of rent control policies and her opposition to large police pay raises prompted the recall, according to the recall campaign’s webpage.

The recall campaign, which needed 5,274 voter signatures to prompt a recall election, submitted 6,617 signatures to the City Clerk in June.

The signatures were verified by the Orange County Registrar of Voters on July 17—with 5,284 signatures found valid.

The recall campaign’s webpage cited Ms. Lopez’s support of exploring tax proposals such as a “vacancy tax” on rental properties without tenants—as well as her support for a housing fee that would make it more expensive for developers to build residential housing in Santa Ana—as reasons for the recall.

It also follows a vote by Ms. Lopez, along with the council’s liberal majority, in favor of protections against rent increases and evictions in 2021.

Additionally, in December, Ms. Lopez along with the council majority voted in support of a police labor union contract that did not meet the union’s pay raise demands and eliminated the city’s health retirement contribution to union members. The council also denied the union’s request for its president, Gerry Serrano, to get a full-time release from police work to head the union.

Mr. Serrano was not immediately available for comment.

Top donors for the recall include the Santa Ana Police Officers Association and the Republican Party of Orange County.

“[Lopez’s] rabid anti-police policies are putting all Santa Ana families in danger,” said Fred Whitaker, chairman of the OC Republican Party in a statement on the recall group’s website. “She voted to lift the 30 year ban on street cruising and opposed stopping street racing and street take-overs. … Her housing policies are sending rents through the roof and hurting families when they can afford it the least.”

The city spent $22,936 to verify the signatures at $3.40 per signature, according to the registrar.

Ms. Lopez was elected in Nov. 2020 to represent Ward 3, which covers the northern portion of Santa Ana from Mar Les Drive to the 55 Interstate.

The council will likely decide the date of the recall election in the coming weeks.

Ms. Lopez was not immediately available for comment.

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.
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