As the immigration debate only becomes more heated, California Lutheran University’s Center for Leadership and Values will host an expert voice on the subject. The Center for Leadership and Values, housed within the school of business, was founded to encourage an open exchange of ideas and a free discussion of values, social progress, character and leadership. Dolores Huerta of United Farm Workers will appear as part of an ongoing series of speakers to address topical issues.
In the public address, Huerta will draw on her over 50 years of experience working with Cesar Chavez (with whom she co-founded the National Farm Workers Association), leading classes on community organization at the University of Southern California and running her own organization to promote leadership training and economic justice.
Huerta’s “Human Side of the Immigration Policy Debate” is free and open to the public. Nov. 8, 4 p.m., at Samuelson Chapel, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks.
Preparing for the worst
Six Ventura County law enforcement agencies joined with the Behavioral Health Department and Ventura County Medical Center five years ago to form the Ventura County Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Team program. The program, better known as CIT, aims to prepare members of the police force for scenarios involving mental illness and psychosis, and to increase the dialogue between the medical, mental health and law enforcement sectors.
The 40-hour program prepares participants to address potential suicides, nonviolent crises and post traumatic stress disorder. Courses are led by mental health experts and trained law enforcement personnel, and participants can expect role-play scenarios, site visits and lectures.
CIT will hold its 17th training session at Oxnard City Hall, Oct. 23 – 27, ultimately graduating a grand total of 500 people since its inception.
Voting with your feet
“There’s no longer any doubt that a clear majority of the American people want the U.S. out of Iraq without further delay. It’s time now for voters to make clear to the politicians that they will continue to ignore that message at their peril,” states the Peace Coalition of Greater Ventura. With that sentiment in mind, the organization is preparing for the Nov. 7 midterm election with a 3-day event Nov. 4 – 6. Termed “Power of the People,” the information fair will feature volunteers on hand at the Downtown mini park between Oak and Palm Streets, an area dubbed “Voters’ Peace Headquarters,” each day from noon to 5 p.m. Information regarding candidates’ positions on the Iraq war will be provided, and voters are encouraged to sign a pledge to affirm that they will only support presidential and congressional candidates who pursue an expedient end to the war.
On the final day, the Peace Coalition will lead a rally in front of the Ventura City Hall at 6 p.m., to be followed by a torchlight peace march on California and Main Streets. The public, as well as candidates pledged to end the war now, have been invited to march.
Not in my backyard
Two years after a permanent injunction was issued for the Colonia Chiques gang of Oxnard, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Vincent O\’Neill has issued a similar injunction for the area’s second-largest gang, the Southside Chiques, whose membership runs about 200 strong.
While a 6.6 square mile area was affected by the older ruling, O’Neill has declared that a 4.26 square mile area will be of particular concern to Southside Chiques, meaning that, within that zone, members are forbidden from socializing, wearing specific clothing, leaving the house after 10 p.m., abusing substances and taking part in gang behaviors.
Penalties for infraction include arrest and heavy fines.
Although there had been a push from many sides for a permanent gang injunction in the area, Port Hueneme City Councilmember Murray Rosenbluth was one of many official representatives to argue for alternative solutions, like an increase in law enforcement, outreach in the area public schools, and scholarships for underpriviledged youth.
While he noted that “the council had absolutely no authority one way or another on the injunction,” he points out that members voted unanimously to give the district attorney all the information at their disposal to properly define the boundaries of the injunction.
Meanwhile, Rosenbluth notes, the city of Port Hueneme has increased the police force by four additional officers.
“We believe we are combating violent crime very, very effectively,” Rosenbluth says.
As the cost of living in the county remains high, the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation has joined with the City of Simi Valley to help an underserved group — the elderly — acquire affordable housing.
Together, the two parties were able to help nine seniors purchase units at the newly built Wood Ranch Senior Condominiums. Applicants had to be at least 55 years old and designated “lower-income” under the income guidelines of Ventura County to qualify for assistance. Special consideration was given to Simi Valley residents and employees, as well as applicants who had siblings or children in the area.
Financing was done primarily through the non-profit Ventura County Community Development Corporation, with interest much lower than the current market rate.