Lorrie Brown running for Ventura City Council- more info



Lorrie Brown, The Qualified Choice


Why am I running?

I am running because I plan to promote equitable policies, lead important initiatives and be a voice for the underserved populations of VenturaBrownLorrie

I am running because I garnered 6883 votes, coming sixth in the running and being within 53 votes of unseating an incumbent of 26 years in 2013

I am running because I will provide practical leadership, I have experience working directly with city council members, resolutions, contracts, city attorneys, city managers, reading state legislative summaries, applying those laws directly to city programs and researching grant opportunities.

I am running because I am a strong proponent for women, families and children and that voice is currently lacking on the council – there has not been a minority woman on the council ever

I am running because there are not enough fair affordable housing options in Ventura

I am running because I believe in sustainable growth and the council does not currently represent all the communities of Ventura such as minorities, college students and the working class

I am running because I am the right choice for Ventura with a post graduate degree in Public Policy and Administration, and as an active community donor/volunteer to countless charitable organizations such as Ventura County Women’s Political Council, Ventura County Women’s Economic Roundtable, Ventura County Art’s Council, CAUSE, Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas and United Way of Ventura.

I am running because I will be a fair and unbiased voice on the council

Run with Me!

The Qualified Choice for Ventura

Read Why I am Qualified here:

First, I have first-hand experience working as a staffer for city councilmembers, preparing supporting documents for agenda items, resolutions and agendas. Working directly with the City Clerks office, the Planning Department, Building Safety & Engineering , Code Compliance, the City Attorny’s office, summarizing state legislation as it applied to city ordinance, policy and regulation. Reviewing city agreements, contracts, deeds and promissory notes. Assisting residents through the planning permit process, working with related agencies on behalf of the city such as the Downtown Business Association and the Downtown Design Review Committee.  Working directly with contractors, property owners, property management firms, architects and residents as interim project manager and department liaison.

Second as a Community professional who understands what it takes to work together, I have experience as a decision maker and have participated in many long term strategic planning initiatives.  I have chaired committees, sat on various boards, lead focus group sessions, written policy and managed staff.  I respect Ventura’s unique surroundings, appreciate Ventura’s diverse economic populations and communities, has dedicated her life to a career of service, is committed to moving forward, together, in Ventura – I am committed to helping guide Ventura past the mistakes other cities have made and use best practices to continue to build Ventura’s unique brand while respecting our limited water resources and Ventura’s Vision.

Third as an educated woman, who has been active in the community for over 18 years. I have made it my mission to build and encourage women and make myself available to be used for the cause of social justice, economic justice and education. I chose a career in public service because I sought to understand the community I grew up in, which is reflective of the fields of study I chose, the university I attended and the work I do. In my undergraduate studies I learned to be conversationally fluent in the Spanish language because my parents taught me to respect working class people and I felt compelled to understand a culture I was not taught about in public schools. I went on to become a communications major because I knew that misunderstanding, lack of agreement, failure to discover common ground were the seeds of poor policy and management.  When I chose my post graduate studies in Public Policy and Administration I was clear that I wanted to make a difference but needed the right tools to help give back to a city that gave to me.

Finally, I believe in working together, moving forward and continuing to make Ventura the best place to live for all.  We are one city with many voices and I hear you.

Remember – This is the first year ever that the City of Ventura will be casting their votes for a local election during an even – ‘presidential year’ election cycle, so don’t forget to locate my name on the ballot and vote for Lorrie Brown November 8th!

Thank you!

More Details on Lorrie Brown

I am a candidate for the people, with a firm handle on the issues as a Ventura native with an invested interest in local issues. I was born at Community Memorial Hospital and raised on the East side. I played at Barranca Vista Park as a child and later graduating from Buena High School.  My parents have been in Ventura for over 50 years. My father is a Vietnam Veteran who came to Ventura to work for Union 76, my mother is a Retired Registered Nurse, my brother is a plumbing contractor and my son is a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. I come from a family that serves and we are three generations.

I am running because I am the qualified choice for Ventura as an educated and experienced woman who is committed to action. Bringing a diverse perspective and standing up for progressive policies. It is important that Ventura have a council member who can not only take a proactive approach but also offer balanced leadership for competing interests that directly affect our community such as water and development. I am in a unique position as an administrator for the Watershed Protection District to understand the complex issues surrounding the Ventura River and the Mound Basin and as a former Redevelopment project manager it would be prudent to have a council member who understands the revenue gap left by Proposition 13, the local budget deficit caused by the end of redevelopment and the potential revenue streams that can be tapped in to in the interim. Money is always the pivotal issue. How much money do we have?  What are our expenses and do our revenues exceed that? The city’s budget is 104 million dollars annually, has been balanced every year per ordinance and according to an Op Ed piece written by VCTA and published by the Ventura County Star the city has been running a surplus in recent years. In light of these numbers I have chosen not to support Measure O at this time, because 1) the funds are not earmarked for a specific purpose and 2) the money under this measure will go directly into the general fund and although approximately 270 million dollars over the next 5 years would serve to benefit the city’s general fund I believe the voters should have the opportunity to vote for sales tax increases that go directly to fund specific projects they approve. I trust the voter and I am committed to transparency. I think it would be much harder to hold the council accountable for funds spent in the general fund. In addition, I plan to not only continue going through the budget line-by-line but as a former Ventura Parking Advisory Committee Member who made recommendations to the council regarding the Traffic Impact Mitigation funds, I would dig deeper to see how much more of that money is going to be paid out, where it has been spent and if there is any left. Funding the services we need is more about efficient use of what we have than it is about taxing the residents more in times of lean fiscal climates.

Our three most important concerns are our: 1) Water Limitations 2) the General Plan Update and 3) the Protection of our natural resources. Our natural resources, water and business are all tied to the health, growth and ultimate sustainability of our city. These issues shape our discussions about how we as a city address our immediate needs such as increasing revenues, funding capital improvements and providing our city service needs. No business wants to lay a foundation in a community that does not have a comprehensive plan for their future. I support a balanced discussion about the best way to repair our crumbling infrastructure by leading a Community Advisors Reconvening to continue to drive a comprehensive path towards sustainability and gather input on the portions of the general plan that have been challenged over the years to ensure that proactive provisions for housing and business remain. I want to hear the various ideas that can make a real impact as adopted policy options to address our water crisis such as, the best ways to protect our ground water, recharge the water basins, additional methods to recapture clean water waste in our homes and decrease the amount of septic waste seeping into our water tables – all in collaboration with the Watershed Council. I would support the consideration of creating special districts and making parks an automatic requirement for all new residential developments above threshold (and only if water supports it). I would lead the establishment of a Unified Community Council in order to get the community on board with plans that affect our city as a whole.  I want to continue identifying all vacant properties that have remained vacant for over a year such as the building on Ralston that The Ventura County Star formerly resided in. In addition, I plan to lead an initiative to establish a mid-town business district and expand the west side recreational district. Establish a City-wide Business Advisory committee which includes the Chamber and any business in the City of Ventura to discuss the complex issues they face.  As a council member I would work hard to ensure that the general plan is consistent, that the planning staff and commission are on the same page and require staff to provide regular updates on what is coming before the planning commission to decrease the number of permitting inconsistencies so as not to discourage businesses that seek to follow ordinance.

I know there are some who believe all will be solved by simply halting all development, closing our doors to new business and reducing our population. I would like to challenge that conventional thinking and suggest that the shortage of affordable housing in the City of Ventura is a result of too many years of regressive development policies. In order to remain a city that remains economically and socially viable as touted in our General Plan we must invest in low and very low housing options as well as executive housing. We cannot continue to thrive as a city if we turn away our children and we cannot keep the business community moving forward without being able to retain business executives and it does not have to be accomplished at the expense of limited water resources or by striking down policies that have made Ventura the beautiful and balanced city that it is. This can be accomplished by a combination of using in-lieu fees, the existing inclusionary housing ordinance and updating zoning classifications to accommodate pressing needs such as the proposed permanent homeless shelter. Each policy attacks the issue from a different angle, neither one replaces the other. I also want to take the opportunity to say that the evangelical community has done a great job of providing services to those in need in the private sector but that does not mean the public sector should dissolve their involvement. As a licensed minister, I believe in private initiative and helping others but I also believe that public collaboration provides a means for checks and balances much like our federal government structure. The Residential Allocation Program would have been a great idea if it did not seek to undermine the inclusionary housing ordinance instead they should work in concert together. In addition, the state Regional Housing Needs Assessment determines how many affordable units each city needs in collaboration with the Ventura Council of Government. When we do not meet our numbers we are fined, period. This requirement has been handed down since the 70’s as a result of community redlining.

As head of my household and a mother of young men I am eager to work with local law enforcement. I believe that public safety is important. Crime, vagrancy and violence are very real public issues. I support our men and women in blue and I support increasing the police force with officers from the community they represent such as from the Westside, Saticoy and the area surrounding the Pacific View mall. We need more women officers, Latino officers and bilingual officers.

In the last 150 years since the inception of the City of Ventura only 18 women have served on the council and of those 18 women only three have been mayor and of those three none have been a woman of color. If elected to the Ventura City Council I would be the first woman of color ever elected. What is more important is that more women be elected. I do not run against other women, I run with them.

Remember – This is the first year ever that the City of Ventura will be casting their votes for a local election during an even – ‘presidential year’ election cycle, so don’t forget to locate my name is #10 on the ballot (they saved the best for last!) and vote for Lorrie Brown November 8th!

Lorrie Brown for Ventura City Council 2016

Bio and Commitment

Lorrie Brown is a native born resident of the City of Ventura.  She was born at Community Memorial Hospital and was raised on the Eastside in the “Bird” track. She grew up playing at Barranca Vista Park and is an alumni of Buena High School and Ventura College. She was appointed to the City of Ventura’s Parking Advisory Committee in 2012 and remains an active leader in her community.  In 2013 she ran for Ventura City Council with an all-volunteer kitchen cabinet team garnering unprecedented support and came within 53 votes of unseating an incumbent of over 26 years.

She was recently re-appointed by Supervisor Steve Bennett, in District one, to the Ventura County Women’s Economic Roundtable where she sits as the chair of the Youth Advisory Council.  She is also a member of the Ventura County Women’s Political Council and the National Women’s Political Caucus.  She has worked for agencies such as: California Children Services, the Ventura County Healthcare Agency, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura, Ventura County Behavioral Health and the Watershed Protection District. Currently she serves as an arts advocate for VCAC at VUSD Board meetings promoting the arts in public schools.  She is now a business owner as a candidate who has always believed in small businesses and economic development.

Lorrie was formerly an interim project manager for a local redevelopment agency. She worked in Community Development to administrate two million dollar capital improvement projects supported by economic development programs that funded city revitalization, affordable housing and public works projects.

She currently works for the Ventura County Public Works department.  This work services the county jurisdictions in cooperation with the ten cities that inhabit them, including the City of Ventura – to manage jurisdictional channels to help prevent residential and commercial flooding and protect our groundwater.  So any and all proposed projects in the City of Ventura that have the potential to impact certain protected areas or county facilities, the Planning and Permitting division she works in, reviews these.

She is also the Program Coordinator for a leadership development and service learning group for young women between the ages of 7-18 called the Young Ladies of Legacy.  She has volunteed for non-profit organizations including: CAUSE, Pacific Oaks Federal Credit Union, the United Women’s Leadership Council and the Ventura County Arts Council.  She is a member of organizations such as: Citizens For Responsible Oil and Gas, the Ventura Surfrider Foundation and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce.

At Ventura College she received an Associate degree in Bilingual Cross Cultural studies with a specific focus on the Spanish language and Chicano history.  Two years later she received a Bachelors degree in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism as a writer who saw the direct correlation between legislative policy and incremental change.  She then immediately completed a Master in Public Policy and Administration.

As a local mother with an invested interest in local issues Lorrie put herself through college while raising her children.  She instilled in her children that success must be won through hard work, diligence and peculiar discipline.  She likes to say that she comes from a family that serves. Her father is a Vietnam Veteran, her mother a retired Registered Nurse, her brother the plumbing contractor and her son a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps.

Lorrie is committed to public service in a way that many do not understand.  She has lost employment as a result of running for council. She does not run for special interest, money or position but to really add a proactive voice to City Hall.  She plans to be the councilmember that asks the hard questions and review the general plan and ordinances that serve to enforce the Vision laid out in 2005. So that Ventura populations that include recent graduates, underemployed families, seniors on a fixed income and the working class have some representation.

Lorrie is deeply concerned about Ventura’s families, mothers, youth, students and working class citizens, as a mother, as an alumn of local schools and as a woman who has experience underemployment.  She has an invested interest in the success of all hard working families.  We all deserve the opportunity to live decent lives with fair wages and basic benefits.

Lorrie is committed to accountability and progressive policies that reinforce protections for underserved communities and standing up for:

Practical Leadership – which means moving forward to protect affordable living and leading proactive initiatives important for all

Equitable Policies – which includes being fair and objective in decision-making by working together on progressive policy

Sustainable Growth –  which is providing balanced ideas for competing issues and preserving the best living in Ventura

Read All About it!

As a candidate for Ventura City Council in 2013 Lorrie ran an all grassroots campaign garnering unprecedented support and getting within 53 votes of unseating an incumbent of over 26 years!

As a true environmentalist, she was endorsed by the Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation and the Sierra Club:



The Hillside endorsement was covered by the Ventura County Star:


Lorrie has remained steadfast regarding the City of Ventura’s water resources and Arlene Martinez, journalist for The Star reported October 10th 2013 during Ventura Elections Special quoted Lorrie as saying, “It would not be in our best interest to approve a lot more developments because of our water restrictions.”

She was listed as a leader for social justice by the Ventura County Community Foundation in 2013:


…and she spoke at a city council meeting regarding inclusionary housing in 2013:


Shane Cohn, August 15th 2013 reported in the VC Reporter The Race Begins, that “People of color seem to elude capturing enough votes to win a seat on the council, (which as been)…the standard over the last couple of decades.”

…and after the race was over the Ventura County Star reported on how close the race really was:


 Today Lorrie does not run against women, she runs with them.


Email:   [email protected]

Call:      (805) 336-6900

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