Carmen Ramirez enters Oxnard’s mayoral race

April 23, 2012

Carmen Ramirez

Oxnard City Councilmember Carmen Ramirez has declared her candidacy for mayor of the city of Oxnard. She made her official announcement on the David Cruz show on KOXR AM-910 on Monday, April 23.

“I have decided I want to throw my hat in the ring for the position of mayor for the city of Oxnard. It’s very important for the public to be involved, to have a choice. It’s your obligation to vote. It’s important for people to get involved, understand the issues and make the best decision for their families and their future,” she said.

The League of United Latin American Citizens — District 17, first reported late Sunday that Ramirez would run for mayor. The Ventura County Star also reported on Sunday that Oxnard Councilmember Irene Pinkard has decided to run for mayor in the Nov. 6 election, with both Ramirez and Pinkard going against incumbent Tom Holden.

Ramirez said she decided to run after the Ventura County District Attorney’s office released its report last week detailing problems with the city’s tracking of expenses and possible conflicts-of-interest. While no charges were file, the DA made a number of recommendations in the report.

“I have a copy of the report from the DA’s office. It tells of many disturbing practices in our city that I feel we have to change totally,” Ramirez said. “We need to have an investigation inside the city, another independent person, to see what we are doing right and wrong.”

Ramirez has already received the support from leading community members.

“I would love to congratulate Councilwoman Carmen Ramirez for her vision, her love of the city and her decision to run for the mayor of Oxnard,” said Irma Lopez, wife of former Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez. “We have known Carmen for more than 30 years and have seen you serve the city for many years. In this past year-and-a-half we have seen how she wants to work for the community. I think she is wonderful, she has proven that she is not here to enrich herself and she wants to do the right things for this city and its citizens.”

Ramirez said she has the ability to review issues fairly to reach decisions in the best interest of the residents of Oxnard.

“I think I’m able to access both sides of the issue and make the best decision for the city of Oxnard. I have been respected for my fairness,” she said. “I have offered my time and services to the city. Normally, when you are in these local positions, it’s not a full-time job. You have little to gain. In my case it has cost me to be on the city council because I cannot devote myself to my client’s cases. I have had the opportunity to be on the city council for the past year and a half, but I have always been involved in city issues.”

Ramirez said she seeks to represent all residents of Oxnard.

“I have a record of bringing people together from all communities. Yes, I’m a Mexican-American, but I have a cultural connect to all communities,” she said. “When I ran for city council, I was supported by people from all walks of life and ethnicities.”

As an attorney for near 40 years, Ramirez has worked on a number of immigration cases and believes the system is broken and there is a great need to for comprehensive immigration reform.

“The undocumented community is part of our family. The ranchers say they need those workers and I want to live in a world where those who are working are fully documented,” she said.

Undocumented immigrants have also been hard hit at police checkpoints where their vehicles have been taken away, causing financial hardships for field workers and others who have to find other transportation to their work.

“Our police department has to follow the state law on the impounding of vehicles of unlicensed drivers, but there has been a recent change in the law,” she said. “I have talked to our police officials and the city is up against some requirements. We need a national change. Unless people are driving drunk,” they should not lose their cars at the checkpoints.

Most importantly, Ramirez urges residents, especially Spanish-speaking residents, to attend city council meetings and speak about the issues that affect them.

“I attended a neighborhood meeting in Rose Park where the residents asked about improvements to the local park as there was no bathroom for their children,” Ramirez told Amigos805. “I let them know that residents in another area had successfully lobbied the city for setting aside a portion of campus park for their dogs to have exercise.  I asked them to get involved and not hesitate to ask the city council for what they need for their community even in Spanish.”

Ramirez urges all residents to participate in the political process.

“If you can vote, please vote. Please register,” she said. “If you can’t vote, tell friends and neighbors who can vote to please vote.”

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