By Ana Del Rio-Barba
On July 16th, Ventura County Planning Commissioners voted to submit their draft 2040 General Plan to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Thank you, Commissioner McPhail, for voting NO until Spanish documents were produced and the Latino community could review and provide input.
Community voices were heard after long hours of public comments asking the question of WHY the rush to pass the 2040 General Plan? This plan, once approved, will dictate and govern on regulations affecting Ventura County. Numerous examples of deficiencies were presented in the flawed proposal. These deficiencies include addressing loss of jobs, rising costs of housing and utilities and their effects post-COVID. There was NO mention of this pandemic and how to address its challenges.
Of greater concern is the County’s lack of focused outreach to the Latino Community, which makes up over 40% of the population, including NO Spanish or Mixteco translation of the General Plan. Not even a summary of the policies or programs was provided.
This plan is NOT a viable plan for our future but is a plan to destroy hope for Ventura County’s young Latino residents. This generation will have very limited employment opportunities thus making it difficult to afford housing or cost of living.
Now is NOT the time to pass new polices that will create more hardship for Ventura County’s Latino Community. Our Board of Supervisors needs to pass policies that assure our next generation will have affordable housing, job opportunities and growth. A legacy in which Ventura County can be a viable place to live with dignity and respect.
So the question remains – WHY the rush to pass the 2040 General Plan?
Ana Del Rio-Barba is a resident of Oxnard