.‘Ana From Roseland’: A Politician Emerges

Ana Diaz is an elected member of Santa Rosa’s Roseland district school board and an appointed member of Sonoma County’s Commission on the Status of Women, but as she prefers to say, she is simply “Ana from Roseland.”

A few days out from Roseland’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, as Diaz was assisting with volunteer coordination, I sat down with the 26-year-old emerging politician.

CH: Ana, the annexation of Santa Rosa in 2017 created fears of the gradual gentrification of Roseland and the displacement of its current residents. What can be done to develop Roseland for Roseland?

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AD: No new market-rate housing. That would only remove the current people and culture.

CH: What do you think of the county’s centerpiece Tierra De Rosa re-development of Roseland’s unofficial town square?

AD: I think public space for the area’s many children needs to be better represented in the plans. We need a public pool too.

CH: What key Roseland institutions do we most need to protect?

AD: Lola’s Market, the oldest Latino supermarket; Camacho Market; La Fonita, the longest surviving taco truck in the area; Roseland Community Building Initiative; and KBBF, the first bilingual radio station in the whole nation.

CH: Ana, your political career was launched when you spontaneously told Santa Rosa’s City Council that you would one day lead them as mayor in public comment, causing you to be approached by council member Eddie Alvarez with an appointment. What would you do as mayor of Santa Rosa?

AD: As future mayor of Santa Rosa, I would improve council transparency. I would also try to make Cotija, Michoacán a sister city to the City of Santa Rosa, since so many of our citizens have roots there. And more than anything, I would love for citizens of the city to come out and voice any comments and concerns within our city limits and make sure that our students are aware that their voices matter just as much as any elected official. 

This Q&A is part of a longer and deeper conversation recorded with Diaz. In it, Diaz opens up about the personal tragedy that turned her away from youth gangs, her take on the wave of youth violence in Santa Rosa City Schools and her love of Harley Davidson motorcycles. ‘Sonoma County: A Community Portrait’ is available on most podcast platforms.


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