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    POLITICS | Latino Issues Forum featured Ventura County Fifth Supervisorial District candidates

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    By Michael Hernandez

    Spanish translation/La traducción al español seguirá

    OXNARD–The Latino Issues Forum featured five candidates for Ventura County Fifth Supervisorial District (Oxnard area) on Thursday, Jan. 23rd at the Performing Arts Center Ventura Room.  Sponsoring organizations included:  LULAC, Clincas, LiUNA, CAUSE, the CAUSE Action Fund, CEDC, and the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project.   Moderator Arnoldo Torres has testified in front of Congress over 250 times.  Panelists asking questions included:  Jessica Vargas (LULAC), Armando Delgado (Carpenters), Carolina Gallardo (Community Activist), and Adam Casillas (Expo).  Chair was Roberto Juarez (Las Clinicas Camino del Real). The first forum was over 20 years ago.  More recently a Latino Issues Forum was held in Santa Paula.  A future Latino Issues Forum will feature State Assembly candidates in February.

    Event Video by Dan Pinedo:

    The Latino Issues Forum opened up with a poll sponsored by Las Clincas Camino del Real called Strategies 360 which included a three-page poll summary and a full report over 300 pages.  The summary showed:  Latino votes in Ventura County face significant challenges:

    • 24 percent report they are living comfortably, compared to 34% of white voters;
    • 70 percent of Latino voters say housing costs are a significant concern;
    • Ventura County is now 43 percent Latino/White-only is 45 percent;
    • 60 percent identify housing costs as a concern for them and their family;
    • 47 percent of all voters and 51 percent of Latino voters say adding more affordable housing is the absolute top priority for elected leaders in Ventura County;
    • Only a quarter of voters (27 percent) say their local and county elected officials are focusing on the right priorities;
    • 28 percent of voters and 24 percent of low-income individuals say elected officials do a good job for underserved communities;
    • Fewer than a third (32 percent) say their local and county elected officials do a good job supporting measures to serve the Latino community;
    • Only 6 percent say elected officials do and excellent job;
    • Latinos voters are less upbeat; only 36 percent rate the economy in positive terms, including just 26% of Latina women.

    Candidate Opening Statements: 

    Jeff Burum: “I want you to know that I am the only candidate with proper education and credentials.  I am a graduate of the Air Force Academy.  I am a licensed Certified Public Accountant (retired CPA) and a very active community volunteer.   I want to thank the  Latino Issues Forum for agreeing with me on serious issues that effect every one of us. I also want to thank the Latino Business  Association for their state endorsement as”Hero of the Year.”  Latino issues are everyone issues.  Our elected officials have abandoned us. We have had years of lack of jobs, while the rest of the county is thriving.  Many go silent and blame previous administrations.  Despite being on the Oxnard City Council for a decade, Mayor Tim Flynn and Mayor Pro-Tem Carmen Ramirez,  you have not addressed these issues.  I am the only independent on the ballot.  I will bring action and performance back to  Ventura County.   God Bless!” 

    Tim Flynn:  “My name is Tim Flynn, Mayor of the City of Oxnard.  Thank you for the chance to engage you on the basis of  my candidacy.  My dad represented the 5th District for 32 years. My model is walking door to door and engaging each one of you.  The statistics we saw, shows  the middle class has eluded people who are not realizing the American dream.  I have 25 years as a high school teacher elevating student and parent expectations—they can become part of the American dream.  We can elevate  economic development and job growth and public safety and mental health.  Too many people have had to leave because they can’t afford housing.  We need to help you and your children.” 

    Jess Herrera:  “I am a life resident and Vietnam veteran advocating for working families.  I’m a job creator and seven-term president of the Oxnard Harbor District in Port Hueneme.  I’ve created over 15,000 jobs while maintaining the cleanest jobs all at no cost to taxpayers  I negotiated a joint use agreement that would provide economic development.  As your supervisor, I  would provide the same skills for the benefit of my district.  I would meet to identify issues of common concern–many of these reflect my community.  Through collaboration and transparency, we can build a better future, an maintain jobs and eliminate poverty.  I am for making Ventura County a better place to live.  We can bring great changes to Ventura County and give children the type of life you would like to have.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “Thank you for the groups that organized this forum.  I came to Ventura County in 1978 to be a legal-aid attorney representing exclusively poor people getting health care and housing benefits.   I have the pulse of the community.  My goal is to protect the health and environment of our community. In 2007, I led the community against a natural gas terminal and became  a leader in the City Council—the first Latina to be elected and the first to ask that meetings be translated into Spanish.  I believe in a safe Oxnard and am not afraid of immigration consequences.  Oxnard is the only city that did that.   I will always support this over special interests and will protect the future of all of us, including our children.  I want to serve you.”

    Veronica Robles-Solis: “I am running because I believe in Ventura County. I am a life- long social worker and mother of three as well as an Oxnard School trustee. I seek to address our most pressing issues—to listen to as many residents as possible  on what we can do and how we need to progress.  I am passionate  about representing my community with better health and transparency in District 5.”

    Question 1:  Three of you have not served on the Oxnard City Council.  What has been your approach to deciding and preparing to run for the 5th District Supervisor seat?  Did you research key policy issues facing the county such as budget deficits, lack of economic growth, countywide consequences of climate change, had meetings with key community and business leaders in your district and/or countywide?

    Jeff Burum:  “I have done a lot of work over the  last 40 years.  I have frequently attended City Council and Supervisors meetings.  We have got to change. I have read the  entire County Health Needs Assessment and the Survey is dismal.  We have no growth.  We can rebuild Oxnard; but it starts with jobs that give us hope and dignity.”

    Jess Herrera:   “Everything you are unhappy about in the report–the housing, the homelessness did not happen overnight but over years of neglect. The urgency to get it done in one night, is not possible. We need leaders who are not putting it off for year after year. We can  prevent these things from happening with action.  We have not had collaboration and innovation.  I have a record of proving that.” 

    Veronica Solis:   “As a school trustee for the  last 10 years and a social worker for 17 years and a lifelong resident who has.raised a family, I know the needs—the homeless crisis—and what we need to do is make a better quality of life.”

    Question 2:   Two of you currently serve on the Oxnard City Council, however during your time serving, the city has experienced constant budget deficits.  What have you done, or will you do to avoid Ventura County from continuing its deficit?

    Tim Flynn:  “The City of Oxnard experienced decades of borrowing and financial mismanagement centered on previous leaders. I came up with a good fiscal management plan at the highest levels of government and have placed the financial  health of this city (as financial chairman) in such a way that the county has tripled our rating.”

    Carmen Ramirez:   “The City of Oxnard has suffered decades of mismanagement. We have gotten a handle on it.   The  financial health of the city or county is the  number one priority or people so are jobs and pensions; so   residents don’t lose services. We have had tremendous turnover. We have raised our sewer rates which  brought our credit level up.  We have had to do difficult things.  I voted for that.” 

    Question 3:  How do you explain that the socio-economic standing of Hispanics has not improved much since the first Latino was elected to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors more than 10 years ago?  What are your thoughts about the lack of improvement?

    Tim Flynn:  ”Agriculture is a two billion industry.  It does pay in some sectors high salaries; however, far  too many have low salaries.  We need to find how to elevate those salaries through technological advancements.” 

    Jess Herrera:    “I would put together a roundtable on jobs and how we can partner with community colleges to have jobs in the future since they are the future.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “The problem is we need better educational facilities–that is why I support schools in the community first, so we can have better education.  Some 57 percent of our children are working in jobs that didn’t use to exist. We need technological education.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “Our schools need to be more competitive.  I support education, school districts and the .community to make a difference.  We are going to have to start with education.” 

    Jeff Burum:  “We have lots of Latino leadership here.  You tell us what you want.  Jobs and education are the key to a future vison of our county.  We get the ideas, we develop a strategic plan, run with it, and evaluate it.”

    Question 4:  If elected, will you focus on matters solely within the 5th district or focus on Ventura County concerns or seek a balance between these two interests?  Are these competing interests?  Please explain your thinking? 

    Jeff Burum:  “You champion  the county.  We have failed—it hasn’t happened for education or health.  I am a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).  I have worked federal budgets.  I have been an investment officer with many agencies:  federal, state and local.  I can do this.  I will represent the county based on a consensus from my district.  I may have to get feedback to get what I need.  I will bring this back to the city but we will get the job done—no promises but action and performance.” 

    Tim Flynn:  “I am elected over the entire city.  I will look at individual needs of our unique supervisorial district.  Let’s look at job growth and the 2017 strategic economic resiliency plan and implement the plan to spread wealth all over the county.  My goal is to bring as many jobs as possible to the 5th district.”

    Jess Herrera:  “This is not an issue of any conflict.  My job would be to bring together supervisors with the difficulties we are having to correct issues in our district.”

    Carmen Ramirez:   “There is an equity of issues.  We need equal services and equal benefits to get our fair share.  If one area takes a lot of resources, it effects the other part of the city.  We need to look at balance.  Oxnard has a lack of health services.

    Everybody can get (something) so they all can thrive.”

    Veronica Solis:  “You can’t compare districts.  We need to look at what our county needs and in our district we have homelessness, which is not seen as much in other districts.”

    Question 5:  Community partnerships are important.  How will you approach partners and grow these relationships?  Keep in mind that a Huffington Post published a poll of what readers believed should be the priorities for their elected officials and the top priorities were: health care (43 percent); immigration (37 percent); the economy (27 percent);  and the environment (23 percent).

    Jeff Burum:  “I would focus on affordable housing, homelessness, jobs and education as well as health, immigration, and environmental issues.  I would use technology and create jobs.  We need immigrants to come and work. We want them to come but we need housing and there are medical needs.  Government should work with nonprofits and business so we can solve our health problems and pay for health care.   We need more institutions like Las Clinicas del Camino Real.  What’s stopping us?  Let’s do it.”

    Tim Flynn:  “This is about children and children living with parents and living the American Dream.  Our kids and their well-being is the core issue.  I know as a teacher of 25 years in the Oxnard High School District we need to be focused on the right opportunities and the needs of our county.”

    Jess Herrera:  “We have a need for good paying jobs then health care follows.  We need to help working families get jobs.  Our kids need opportunities and need make more money.  We need scholarships.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I am all about health, pesticides and children having clean air without pesticides  My number one issues is comprehensive immigration reform.  Families need to have dignity.   I pushed for a farmworker resource center.”

    Veronica Solis:  “Our issues are the rise of homelessness, behavioral health, mental health and transparency within Ventura County where funds are distributed to voters in our county.”

    (Public) Question 6:  How do we stay connected in the 5th District?  How should we do constituent outreach? 

    Veronica Solis:  “We stay active by communicating with voters and letting the community see what is happening and asking what are the needs?”

    Jeff Burum:  “I would go to the Neighborhood Councils.  This is a great way to outreach.  I would create a Ventura County economic development collaborative with our businesses, our chambers, and other community organizations.  It is what you do when you’re a community volunteers, or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or an investment officer. I can do that.”

    Tim Flynn:    “I would go door to door and if need be wear out my shoes (took his shoe off).”

    Jess Herrera: “I would  identify and fix issues.  Let’s innovate and collaborate with all stakeholders.  Together, we can do something.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I’m most responsible in our city and would be in our county.  I am on the phone all the time and respond to emails.  I meet with people, go to their homes and keep in touch.  People know my phone number and how to reach me.” 

    (Public) Question 7:  An Oxnard child was recently injured by a stray bullet. What would you do about gun violence?

    Jeff Burum:   “This is about people, not guns.  What about knives?  We need to talk (with our children) about being kind and take the time to see what is going on with each other.  We all need to be alert to understand mental illness issues, medical issues and get information to the right authorities.”

    Tim Flynn:  “This is a national epidemic that is pervasive in the City of Oxnard.  There is gang violence.  We need to solve these social ills.  The key is education and that’s why I spent 25 years as a teacher.  I met someone just today who perhaps could have been going the wrong direction.  Education must be a top priority.”

    Jess Herrera:  “We need to work with law enforcement.  We need to have programs so we don’t have violence.  It is our responsibility to reach kids and work with them and give them an opportunity to change their lives.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I have led the effort to promote gun control.  People think it’s cool to have guns.  Our police are taking away guns from young men who feel insecure and want to hurt people  There are too many guns.  We promote a gun culture where people hurt other people.”

    Veronica Solis:   “I am an Oxnard School District board member and I know how to keep children safe, how we do lockdowns.  We need to communicate with the public, with the police and with our kids.  We can’t wait till our kids are in high school.”

    (Public) Question 8:  How can we end the dependency of the Latino community on social services?.

    Tim Flynn:  “Through education.  We need to do a better job in our schools.  I am a big advocate of magnet schools.  I believe they offer great promise.”

    Jess Herrera:  “My wife is an educator.  We do not have enough money in education to support kids.  We need preschool education.  This is important for the entire community.  We need to be pointed this direction.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “We need to help people with better jobs and not do business as usual.  The youth of our community are not prepared so we have to bridge the gap.  We can do better.  Our children can learn how to read and believe in their dreams so as not to join gangs.”

    Veronica Solis:  “We can start in the school, support the Parent Teachers Association and parent involvement.  We need to support after-school groups.  Our children are left alone.  They need to finish school.”

    Jeff Burum:   “Jobs create hope and dignity and self-respect. Jobs open up people to the American Dream.  This is the issue in teen suicides.  It’s all about collaboration.   We need to reach out and give kids skills and motivate them about their future.

    (Public) Question 9:  Will you accept contributions from oil and gas companies? Yes or No.

    Jess Herrera:          Not offered any.

    Carmen Ramirez:  No

    Veronica Solis:       No

    Jeff Burum:              Yes

    Tim Flynn:                Yes

    (Public) Question 10: Will you support a gang injunction ordinance in the 5th District?  Yes or No.

    Carmen Ramirez:  Yes

    Veronica Solis:       No

    Jeff Burum:             Yes

    Tim Flynn:                Yes

    Jess Herrera:           Yes

    Question 11:  Have you met with local businesses in the downtown area of the City of Oxnard to discuss the concerns about the economic consequences to their businesses of the growing homelessness challenge?  If so, do you have any proposal that would provide some relief and/or partial solutions to maintaining the importance of what small businesses contribute to a community life the City of Oxnard?

    Veronica Solis:  “We have a shelter shortage.  We need beds.  We see the rise of homelessness.  These individuals are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.”

    Jeff Burum:  “Yes, I have met with many downtown business owners.  They are upset.  Our City Council members could have done something sooner.  We need to enforce the law.  Business owners have rights; just like the homeless.   Businesses have suffered.  We need and intervention for our city.  Who are the alcoholics and drug abusers?  We need to work with business owners, nonprofits like the Hope Boyz and Hope Girlz and government (like SCAG—the Southern California Association of Governments).”

    Tim Flynn: “We need community action for the streets and for Richmond.  Homeless congregate around 5th Street and Plaza Park.   We need to get people into shelters which we need more than just 110 beds.   We have a disproportional number of homeless in this city and other cities need to step up.”

    Jess Herrera:  “We have a lack of action.  We need to get other jurisdictions together to help the homeless get back on track.   I have talked to business owners and have heard their disgust on homelessness.  We need to collaborate, to change things.  We don’t have the answer now.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I have talked to business owners and they are very upset.  Where are the housing services?  The country controls the money.  We need community buy-in.”

    Question 12:  The cost of housing has caused tradesmen to move out of the county.  What would you do to assist the community workforce particularly women, veterans and the disadvantaged? 

    Jeff Burum:  “We need more housing permits.  Supply and demand works well.  We can create opportunity zones as an incentive for developers to come here.  This is about land, capital and about pre-arranged labor agreements for developers to come here.  We need to promote and create jobs.   I will continue to work with all of you to make it happen, finally.”

    Tim Flynn:  “The City of Oxnard leads in affordable housing development.  Some 10 to 15 percent of housing units are affordable (for 5,500 residents).  I support apprenticeships.  The county needs more affordable housing.”

    Jess Herrera:  “Affordable housing is needed.  We can create a trust fund for building homes.  We need to build homes at low rates.   A trust would help this issue.  We could have more duplex and fourplex properties like we have in the Port of Hueneme.  We can reduce the cost of fees for construction and reduce delays for permits.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “We in Oxnard are doing a good job.  We have Wagon Wheel.  Our cities need to step up and be denser and not destroy the quality of life.  We need better funding.  We need to vote for every affordable housing project.  We need to ask you to support affordable housing projects.”

    Veronica Solis:  “We need more affordable housing.  We have families struggling to make ends meet.  We need to leverage federal, state and local funds.”

    Question 13:  Many local jurisdictions have followed policies that impose excessive infrastructure and other conditions on low income affordable housing projects.  What are your views on this approach and what do you intend to do on this specific matter?

    Tim Flynn:  “Fees have not been adjusted in 30-40 years.  Less fees could get more developers into our communities.   Our infrastructure has been neglected for 50 years.”

    Jess Herrera:  “Housing delay is housing denied.  We expect results right now.  It is more difficult with zoning requirements.  We delay construction and substantial ways to get grant money.  We need funding for the homeless.”

    Carmen Ramirez:.  “Infrastructure costs money.  I support SOAR, not no growth but growth in the right areas.  We need townhomes.  We need our seniors to think about senior living   A tsunami is coming.  We need zoning in downtown Oxnard.”

    Veronica Solis:  “This comes down to infrastructure.  We need to look at a zoning map and what is best for our community.   We need more low income housing.” 

    Jeff Burum: “We do not need fees.  We need less taxes.  How about a capital budget?  We have no financial management in the county.  The Harbor can focus on opportunity zones.  With free enterprise, the builders have the labor, the capital and with enterprise zones we have an inviting place.”

    Question 14:  How can you bring businesses into Ventura County and what would you do about business permits licenses and signage?

    Jess Herrera:  “We can expand the Port, create thousands of jobs in Oxnard.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I am running on my record.  Permits need to be streamlined.  We should consider if a project is good for the community?  Are there health consequences?”

    Veronica Solis:  “We need to keep staff accountable.  We need to change the process.  Individuals need to be kept accountable.”

    Jeff Burum:   “We can do more with less government.  We need to change the permit process.  We need to help families first.  We need to waive regulations.  Let’s do it.”

    Tim Flynn:   “We have a staff shortage in the City but I have led the effort with City Council support to make us a one-stop shop for pulling permits.  We have fiscal management.  We are open for business.  You can get permits.”

    Question 15:  How do we tackle homelessness, mental health and the lack of jobs?

    Carmen Ramirez:  “This is complicated.  We do have a lack of housing and mental health services.  There is no one solution.  We don’t have enough supportive services.  Homeless would rather be at the park than in a shelter.  Cities don’t have resources.   We can use the general fund that comes from the county.”

    Veronica Solis:  “The county needs to provide in order to improve.  We need to know what is working and not working.  We need to revamp the wheel when dealing with the homeless.”

    Jeff Burum:  “More government, more services–we can”t afford this.   Give homeless a job, give them intervention.  We need a wholistic approach between health care, businesses and non-profits.  We must help the next person.”

    Tim Flynn:  “There are 1,600 homeless in Ventura County and half of them are chronically homeless year after year.  These people are mentally ill and have dependency issues.   They can’t get a job or hold a job.  Since the closing of the Camarillo State Hospital 30-40 years ago, we have the mentally ill loose on our streets.   The state has not re-opened one mental hospital that was closed.”

    Jess Herrera:  “We have high rents, expensive homes and low wages.  We have no urgency to look after this population or those in danger of becoming homeless.  We need to identify people and help those with mental illness.  Our mental health providers receive billions of dollars.  We can provide help.”

    (Public) Question 16:  We have a Harbor and Fisherman Wharf that is underdeveloped and underutilized.  How can we make the wharf a tourist attraction but keep it a livable place?

    Veronica Solis:  “There is not much there.  (We need to ask)  what is best?  How can we attract more tourism?  The beautiful harbor can be revitalized”

    Jeff Burum:    “Fisherman Wharf got targeted by both the City and  County Coastal Commission.  For years the city and county cannot get anything done.  This is difficult for the Channel Island Neighborhood Council and for downtown Oxnard.  We should encourage free enterprise and an opportunity zone.”

    Tim Flynn:  “Fisherman Wharf use to attract people all over the county.  Redevelopment is the number one priority.   We need engagement with the community.  Enough is enough.  We need those most effected to engage and sit at the table.   We need to redevelop Fisherman Wharf.”

    Jess Herrera:  “We have not had the political will.  We need to create a joint powers agreement to save taxpayers money and to have the leadership.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “Not an affordable project.  The county has been asking the city to give up their jurisdiction over the property within the city.   We can work out something more acceptable to the entire city instead.” 

    (Public) Question 17:  Do you commit to repair our public streets in what ever form?

    Tim Flynn                 “Yes.”

    Jess Herrera:           “Yes.”

    Carmen Ramirez:    “Not possible.”

    Veronica Solis:       “Yes.”

    Jeff Burum:              “Yes.”

     (Public) Question 18:  Would you support a climate change tax?  Yes or No?

    Carmen Ramirez:   “I haven’t studied it; not a yes or no.

    Veronica Solis:        “I haven’t seen it.”

    Jeff Burum:              “No.”

    Tim Flynn:                “Know nothing about it.”

    Jess Herrera:           “What will money be used for?”

    Question 19:  Gold Coast Health Plan has been in the news consistently over the many years since its inception.  The news articles document poor management, fiscal problems, and poor performance metrics.  Gold Coast has consistently been ranked in the last third of health plans and managed Medi-Cal.  Since District 5 has the highest number of Medi-Cal users (79,000) what do you intend to do to hold this plan more accountable? 

    Tom Flynn:   “Reimbursement and insurance dilemma is in quandry.  We will not have answers tonight.  We need to get financial woes under control.”

    Jess Herrera:      “There is a  lack of oversight and lack of urgency to take care of issues in this community.  This has to be changed.  Dishonesty is unacceptable.  I am appalled to hear about this situation What is going on needs to be rectified. and corrected immediately.”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I represent patients of other systems.  I am disappointed.  We need more Spanish speaking therapists who have the ability to deal with the community so patients don’t have to wait for months to get an appointment.  Oversight of this agency is needed as well as every other agency under county control.”

    Veronica Solis:  “I believe in audits.  We need to keep our senior facilities accountable   We need to prioritize the needs of individuals.  We can get information in audits.”

    Jeff Burum:   “I am disappointed.  I woul conduct a roundtable and document and take it up to state authorities.   We need financial management and transparency  We need to get Oxnard’s budget under control.”

    Closing Statements:

    Veronica Solis:   “I have Oxnard family roots. I’ve been involved in the schools and the PTA (Parent Teachers Association).   I have volunteered in the community and lived in the community.  I will represent District 5.  We need a get together and meet the needs for our community members, our homeless, and Veterans.  The last few days I have been walking in precincts talking to individuals.  Vote Veronic4Supervisor2020.”

    Jeff Burum:  “The Latino Business Association” endorsed me statewide as their ‘Hero of the Year.’  Latino issues are all our issues.  We are tired of career politicians with empty promises.   They can’t do it for our city.  They can’t do it for our county and a community we all can call home.  Look at our economy.  We need fiscal responsibility and transparency.  We are tired of empty promises.  It is the same individuals running on  empty promises.   I have been a chief financial officer over 40 years and I have the financial experience to get the job one.  We can have economic prosperity and financial management to get the job done.  I graduated from the Air Force Academy; am a combat veteran; and retired professor. I am a fresh face who will give you performance and not promises.  Vote Jeff Burum.  I am number one on the ballot.  Thank you so much and God Bless all of you.”

    Tim Flynn:  “I am for economic development and job growth; revitalization of Channel Island Harbor. Fisherman Wharf and beach areas; youth interests, especially at El Rio and the Safe Passages program; and mental health provided as a solution for homelessness (the 1,600 homeless and the 3-4,000 that have some form of mental illness).  As Mayor, I located my office in the district.  I will walk the beat.”

    Jess Herrera:   “I run on my record, not on promises.  I have had success at the Port of Hueneme.  This is an economic engine like no other. I am going to fix problems with economic development.  I will support families with jobs.  The Port of Hueneme has thousands of jobs.  Do you want a supervisor available to fight for you or do you want to choose empty promises?”

    Carmen Ramirez:  “I want to thank the groups that put this Latino Issues Forum together.  I also want to thank my colleagues running for office.   I have worked to clean up (this area).  I showed how another 50 years of a power plant was unnecessary.  Our county can do better.   I will be your leader.”


    (Editor’s Note:  To see the promotional video about the Latino Issues Forum, see link at:  This video features the fifth district of Ventura which is made of the City of Oxnard—the largest city in the county with 73 percent Latinos, the median household income at $68,303 with a large percentage of residents employed in the agriculture industry and the median value of home ownership at $427,900.  Rents have increased 41.2 percent over the past four years.  The video points toward a “stagnant economy and fiscal deficits challenging the stability of the county and the City of Oxnard” and focuses  on “lack of transparency and engagement with current leaders.”  Problems include:  increased homelessness and lack of mental health services.  The Latino Issues Forum prepared 24 questions for candidates and also collected questions from attendees.  Below are candidate answers to 19 questions.)

    (Editor’s Note:  Another free  County 5th District Supervisor Candidate Forum will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at Oxnard College, 4000 S. Rose Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033.  For updates, see or for questions email:  [email protected].). Still another sponsored by INCO will be held at 6 pm on Feb 5 at Oxnard City Hall on 3rd St.


    Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.  Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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    William Hicks
    William Hicks
    2 years ago

    Keep us abreast of this election process.

    2 years ago

    POLITICS | Latino Issues Forum featured Ventura County Fifth Supervisorial District candidates
    Added by Debra Tash on January 30, 2020.
    Saved under County, Headlines, News, Politics
    Tags: Board of Supervisors, Carmen Ramirez, District 5, Jeff Burum, Jess Herrera, Michael Hernandez, Tim Flynn, Ventura County, Veronica Robles-Solis

    By Michael Hernandez

    OXNARD–The Latino Issues Forum featured five candidates for Ventura County Fifth Supervisorial District (Oxnard area) on Thursday, Jan. 23rd at the Performing Arts Center Ventura Room. Sponsoring organizations included: LULAC, Clincas, LiUNA, CAUSE, the CAUSE Action Fund, CEDC, and the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project. Moderator Arnoldo

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