Benjamin Vazquez, Renowned High School Teacher/Activist, to Run for Santa Ana Mayor!

Ben's currently wearing a beard now, but still guapo
Ben's currently wearing a beard now, but still guapo
John Gilhooley

In four years, the long civic nightmare known as Miguel Pulido's four-decade-plus reign on the SanTana City Council—eight as councilman, 22 (so far) as mayor—will finally come to an end gracias to term limits. He's running for re-election this year, and it remains to be seen which current council member will draw straws this year to take him on and suffer a humiliating defeat, just as David Benavides, Michele Martinez and Ted Moreno did in years past.

But now an unlikely, exciting candidate has announced he wants to take on Don Papi Pulido. We profiled Benjamin Vaquez back in 2013, and the Valley High history teacher's star has only increased since. He has done multiple art workshops through the Centro Cultural de México (where he's been a longtime volunteer); helped organize within the fights against gang injunctions, police brutality and gentrification in his hometown of SanTana; and is starting to unite OC's far-flung Chicano activists from San Clemente to Oak View in Huntington Beach. Most recently, he and another OC People Issue alum, Rida Hamida, made national news with their food tours of Little Arabia. 

And now, Don Benjamín running for SanTana mayor against the Don Papi—BOOM.

"Investment in our youth and families needs to be a priority and vision that has been lacking in our city," Vazquez told the Weekly. "Together, we win!"

A kickoff event should be announced in the coming days—and, given Vazquez is a zacatecano, you know it's going to be puro pinche pari. Good luck, Vazquez, and #santaaanalookslikethis!


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