Carmen Wins Environmental Award

Public Press Release (Not an Endorsement of City Staff)

“Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez Receives
2020 Environmental Justice Decision Maker Award 

OXNARD, Calif. – Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez was awarded the 2020 Environmental Justice Decision Maker Award by the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) for her work fighting for environmental justice and protecting residents in the City of Oxnard.

“I’m honored to be recognized by CEJA, a vital community-led alliance addressing environmental and social justice issues throughout California,” said Ramirez. “When we come together as a community, we have the power to influence the decisions that will protect the health and wellbeing of both current and future generations of Oxnard residents. CEJA plays an important role in this movement as an advocate for low-income communities and communities of color.”

In 2007, Ramirez worked together with members of the Oxnard community to defeat a proposal for an offshore liquefied natural gas facility off of Ormond beach. She was elected as a City of Oxnard Councilmember in 2010, after a long career as a legal aid attorney serving low-income communities in Ventura County. 

She continues to address environmental justice topics in Oxnard, speaking up against industries and projects that could cause harm to lower socioeconomic communities. “I salute my Council colleagues for opposing the building of another power plant on the Oxnard coast, which will now be replaced by a renewable energy 100MGW battery storage facility in El Rio,” said Ramirez. 

As a member of the Clean Power Alliance Board of Directors, Ramirez is committed to providing residents, businesses, and organizations with cleaner energy options at competitive rates. She remains dedicated to championing the transition to renewable clean energy and the restoration of an industrialized coastline, as well as social and economic justice for her constituents. 

For more information about the CEJA Environmental Justice Leadership Awards, please visit https://caleja.org/congreso

Katie Casey
Communications Manager
City of Oxnard

Ramirez Backs Housing Options

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE VENTURA COUNTY STAR

Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez defends the housing security for homeowners investing in our community and the availability of housing options for those on fixed incomes, her opponent does not. 

From the article:

“Oxnard residents will likely see many more granny flats in their neighborhood, and there’s not much local officials can do about it.

New state guidelines on accessory dwelling units — sometimes commonly referred to as “granny flats” or in-law units — went into effect this year. The mandates pave the way for more of these secondary units to be constructed as a way to address the state housing crisis.     

With the state lifting some of the restrictions on this type of housing, Oxnard has seen a significant uptick in applications. Before 2017, there wasn’t much interest in building these secondary units. The city received just one application in 2014.

Last year, the city received 50 applications and so far this year, the city has already received 68. Applications, however, do not necessarily mean these units get built. Of the 50 applications last year, just 13 received building permits and nine were built…

The state has eased parking requirements associated with these secondary units and has temporarily lifted a requirement for the owner to live at the property. Flynn said what the state has done is essentially turning single-family neighborhoods into multi-family neighborhoods. He said this paves the way for “ethically challenged” owners to pack renters in a unit…

Councilwoman Carmen Ramirez does not believe these mandates are disastrous. She said this is a way for fixed-income property owners to keep their home by renting it out to a relative or tenant.

“I would not paint these people with the same brush that they would be unethical,” Ramirez said. “I would ask you to be more optimistic about the folks who are building and investing in the city and in their homes.”

Ramirez Defends Postal Service

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE VENTURA COUNTY STAR

Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez joins Congresswoman Julia Brownley for a press conference to defend the United States Postal Service from political interference and voter suppression by President Trump. 

Congresswoman Brownley shares:

“I also know that (Veterans Affairs) ships 80% of veterans’ prescription drugs via the post office,” Brownley said. “This has been, and continues to be, an important and critical service to our nation’s veterans.”

Brownley also invited Oxnard Mayor Pro Tempore Carmen Ramirez to share her thoughts on the issue. Ramirez, who brought mail to the press conference, cited an article describing the delays in mail have led to live animals dying and food rotting while waiting to be shipped.”

Ramirez Starts Push to Election Day

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE TRI-COUNTY SENTRY 

Oxnard– As the summer of Covid-19 rages on, election day is coming and Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem and Ventura County Supervisor District Five candidate Carmen Ramirez has launched her campaign with her sights set on the Nov 3 election.

She faces Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn in a runoff. During Super Tuesday, the unofficial results had Flynn with 3,254 votes, while Ramirez had 2,284.  Neither candidate reached 50 percent of the electorate, so they’ll match up again in Nov.

Although it may seem like Ramirez has done nothing because of Covid-19, Campaign Manager Robert O’Reilly said volunteers have over 2,000 postcards to send out on Ramirez’s behalf that will be mailed in late Aug.

“We’ve done many Zoom calls,” he said. “We have a fundraiser lined up for tonight, Aug. 13, and we’ll have another one lined up in a couple of weeks.”

When you compare the two candidates, Ramirez said, although she and Flynn both like campaigning door-to-door, right now, that might not be the best idea because of Covid-19.

“If there is a way to do that safely, I will do it,” Ramirez said. “I have always loved getting somebody who’s intimidated by that because you will encounter people who don’t want to hear it. We have to all transition and do it safely. I have volunteers, a phone, and Zoom.”

She stands on her record of social, economic, and environmental justice.

“I’m not new to the game, and I have been working on this for pretty much all my life,” she said. “Especially with social justice, and I am a lawyer since before you were born. I have fought for the rights of all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. I’ve taught law school, and I have been on the governing board in my profession and believe in the rule of law. I believe in getting to yes, but I never lie about what we have to do. That has earned me some enemies and adversaries, but it also earned me support.”

She sees a better way forward and will never be the status quo candidate.

“I am not saying my opponent is status quo, but I am the leader in a lot of things,” she said. “I appreciate the rest of the council, including the mayor, that has gone along with what I have initiated.”

Ramirez said Ventura County faces less of a precarious financial situation because of Covid-19 than Oxnard, which faced a difficult decision before the pandemic.

“We were about to come out of this,” she said. “We’d already hit bottom, and we were starting to ascend with stability. Our S&P ratings were going up, and we were considered stable. Then, the pandemic hit, businesses had to close, people lost their jobs, and people were afraid to buy, shop, and spend.”

Ventura County is stable economically, she said, and its pension system is in great shape.

“They’re not tied into the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS),” she said. “They have their own way of investing, and I am a pensioner. I worked for the court for almost 10 years. I have a modest pension, and I am appreciative of it.”

She said the county, along with cities, is hoping the federal government will help with funding.

“All of the relief bills we’ve been hearing about did not include cities or states to support essential services,” Ramirez said. “Meanwhile, the state has dug into its rainy-day fund. Our city has spent down to the bone and is borrowing from its enterprise funds. We really need that federal relief.”

As a supervisor, Ramirez said she would do what’s needed to get people to shop on Main Street and stop ordering online from big-box retailers.

“I was contacted by a group that supports small businesses, and I think that small businesses have not gotten their fair share of assistance,” she said. “The Lakers got paycheck protection. There has not been a lot of accountability at the federal government. Who got the money and how we are going to spend it. The majority of these businesses are doing the right thing and keeping their employees on the payroll. It is a problem for small businesses.”

She wants to help small businesses use the internet so people can make purchases.

“People can make purchases and pick up curbside,” she said. “There’s a safe way to go to the grocery store, and there is a safe way to go to our smaller retailers. With restaurants, a lot of them have curbside pickup, but a lot of them are switching to outdoor dining. The City of Oxnard is facilitating that, but some people don’t have space.”

She’s been contacted about closing streets to spur business, and Ramirez supports that idea.

“I want to see our small businesses survive and thrive,” she said. “The more ways we can encourage these creative ways, the curbside and outdoor dining, let’s do that.”

She noted that Covid-19 is not going away soon.

“We’re not going to have a vaccine soon, no matter what Vladimir Putin says, that’s effective and safe,” Ramirez said.

With the Harbor Department and the city locked in a dispute over Fisherman’s Wharf, she said the relationship is not broken, although it might look that way to the casual observer.

“The county supervisors have been good about a lot of things and have supported the city’s efforts for a long time about the homeless shelter, including the armory, where it already is,” she said. “They have bent over backward to provide support to small businesses. I am on the oversight committee that was formed by the Ventura County Community Foundation. They, along with the Economic Development Collaborative that I chaired last year, have agreed to oversee the Business Grant Program, the Rental Grant Program, and the Undocufund. That’s a lot of work for the Community Foundation.”

For small businesses and rental assistance, she said the county put in the money, and the supervisors voted for the programs.

“There’s the effort on the pandemic, and we can always improve that,” Ramirez said. “The big thing is getting the word out to the public, and the public that wants to do the right thing will do the right thing.”

She applauds the work done by the Ventura County Animal Shelter Commission, where she serves with Supervisor Steve Bennet and council members from every city that’s part of the contract.

“I think they’re doing a fantastic job with the animal services,” she said. “The shelter has been impacted like every other aspect of our lives, by the pandemic, and the county supports that. So, when you say our relationship is broken, it’s a longstanding problem that I think Jack Ainsworth, who’s the director of the Coastal Commission, he said it yesterday, and I agree that the county has gotten itself into a tight spot with the developer. To me, that is the crux of the problem. The developer, they have a plan; they have never moved an inch from it. The community, and not just the people who live near the harbor, are not pleased with it because it is only this huge number of units. It takes away public access from an existing park; it takes away a lot of public space; it takes parking away and is a gated community with high-end luxury places.”

Ramirez said there is collateral damage in play.

“You heard from people in construction trades that want to build,” she said. “I don’t blame them. They are hurting for work. They have to go to L.A., and I know that. They want to build wherever and whenever, so they oppose SOAR (A series of voter initiatives that require a vote of the people before agricultural land or open space areas can be rezoned for development). SOAR doesn’t mean no housing; it means housing in the right place, vertical, not horizontal, to keep our quality of life.”

We Will All Benefit From Ramirez’s Wisdom & Integrity

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE VCSTAR

I was very disappointed to read that voters may be confused by the huge amounts of money pouring into the Ventura County Board of Supervisors races. California Resources Corp. (formerly known as Occidental Petroleum) is spending money on hit pieces, misleading commercials and push polls. Don’t reward this mean-spirited attempt to buy your election. Vote for Carmen Ramirez for supervisor.

Oxnard’s mayor pro tem, Ramirez is an honest, hardworking, ethical and smart local resident who deserves to be elected to the board. I know that she has spent years protecting the health and safety of local residents. You will want her highly respected, independent voice to continue to make a positive difference in improving the quality of life for thousands of people who live, work and enjoy visiting Ventura County. Our family owns a home in Oxnard and is well-aware of what is at stake.

Send a strong message that this type of politics is not OK. Don’t let powerful special interests know they can win by spending nearly $1 million interfering in your election and misleading voters. Tell them your vote cannot be bought. Oil money cannot buy this election.

As a legislator and teacher who had the honor to represent and work in Ventura County for many years, the results of this election will be felt for decades. We will all benefit from Ramirez’s wisdom and integrity as a member of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.

Fran Pavley is a former state senator from Agoura Hills.

PAC Sponsored Push Poll

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE VC REPORTER

The California Resources Corp. (Oil and Gas) PAC [political action committee], “For A Better Ventura County,” reported out in this newspaper, which supports supervisor candidates Tim Flynn, Kelly Long and Matt LaVere with an $825,000 pot of money, is now running a push poll.

The poll targets 5th district candidate Carmen Ramirez. The survey presents positive accomplishments of candidate Flynn followed by negatively characterized statements about Ramirez’s work, for example, to remove fossil fuel plants from Oxnard beaches, omitting the fact that votes to oppose the proposed Puente Peaker Plant were always unanimous.

There are other misleading statements attributed only to Ramirez, mistakes of the full [Oxnard City] Council and management. These dirty political tactics, seen in national elections, are rare locally, and not welcome in election campaigns in our small community.

Voters should understand that, while the PAC is running the poll, candidates who are receiving “campaign assistance” from this PAC have already declared their willingness to take money from the oil and gas industry. We should, then, expect to see more wells and fossil fuel plants at a time when the county is already feeling the effects of climate change. On the other hand, candidate Ramirez has taken a “no fossil fuel money” pledge, the only candidate to do so in the 5th district race.

Lauraine Effress
Oxnard