Oscar Madrigal

32, from Oxnard, California. I am running for Oxnard City Council. I am a High School Spanish Teacher at Oaks Christian School.

What are the major city issues of concern to you in the future?

 Everyone wants to bring new businesses to the city to improve revenue, which is great, however, we are to repeat a never-ending process of not succeeding. Unless we work with our local school districts to improve our school we will not see long-term growth in the city. No one is going to want to move into Oxnard because of low-performing schools. If schools are not up to par then our future is not bright because who will be our leaders. Those kids that succeed are not going to want to give back to their city. We need to think of our youth, provide them better schooling and offer after-school program through the city, the schools, the churches and nonprofits.

What issues in the past do you feel are not being addressed?

 The city continues to have a short-term view of many things. The city only deals with things at the time, not looking at long-term effects or leaving a burden to future generations. The city has been improperly run for a long time; we are taking strides in the right direction but not enough. The utility rate increase is a great example, although rate increases may be because of poor management, water is an essential need and we cannot leave the bill to our future generation.

What are your thoughts on the state of local businesses in the city?

 Local businesses are not thriving in the city of Oxnard. We need to work our local businesses as they are the backbone of the city. They are directly contributing to our local economy.

What are your thoughts on current public safety issues?

We have a way to go when it comes to public safety; the city and police department is bashed locally and countywide fairly or unfairly. The city has a negative stigma, this will only go away once we come together as a community and make our city safe. In order to revitalize and make Downtown vibrant we need to make residents feel safe in the area. Not just residents driving into Downtown but them walking through the area of Downtown.

What are your housing concerns for the city?  How will you address them in the future?

 This is the largest city in Ventura County. Many may argue that we are up to capacity, however, eventually we will need to continue growing. We need to think long-term and be smart about the decisions we make concerning housing. We need to use smart growth as long-term it will best serve all residents of the city of Oxnard. The city needs to improve its public transportation to better serve its residents and to cause less traffic in the city.

How important are the city’s natural resources to you and what are you doing about it?

We have lots of agricultural land that is essential to our economy and we have the Ormond Beach Wetlands. The agricultural land is our image, we cannot lose all of this precious land. Ormond Beach should be taken care of as we should not build on this land.

Discuss other concerns you have with your city and what you will do to address them. This may include water issues, the state of your city’s school districts, the city’s financial stability, unemployment, etc.

As previously stated, water is an essential need; we cannot just wait for bad things to happen we need to be proactive and know that water will be an issue soon. The school districts are below other cities in the county; we need to work together as a city to help our youth succeed. I know that there are many districts in the city; it cannot be an excuse as we have to do more for our future leaders. The city has been on the brink of bankruptcy. The city may even be more in the red than what the public knows. What we know is that financially we are not very stable. Unemployment is an issue as it causes other things, we need to help our residents get back on their feet. As city leaders we can do more for those who are down on their luck.