Oxnard Recall: Partisanship, and Accountability

By Chuck Hamm
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Since our family has a business in Oxnard, I’ve taken an interest and supporting role in the Oxnard Recall campaign to oust 4 members of the Oxnard City Council. My main reasoning is that a recall and special election is a great tool for accountability, which our government in Oxnard needs. During this recall campaign, I’ve been to able to get to know some new people and learn more about people I’ve been acquainted with. Some of these people are in favor of the recall and some are against it. My observation is the positions they take on the recall follow a pattern that we know, which helps predict their position on the issue.  The pattern is that those that have a “substantial” relationship (business or personal) with someone in Oxnard government are against the recall. If they do not, they are either in favor of the recall or they are neutral (or no opinion). This is not absolute, but it is the prevailing pattern that I see. And of course, it is not a surprise. 
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The Oxnard Recall is not really a partisan issue because there is no Republican or Democrat element here. It’s about the issues in Oxnard, starting with Wastewater rates. Voters in Oxnard have shown with a vote that they are fed up, so much that in November 2016, they passed Measure M which was a resolution to not raise wastewater rates. Since then, City Council has raised rates 3 times, additionally voting to increase Oxnard’s debt through substantial capital improvements that again, Oxnard voters do not approve of.  It is no wonder the Oxnard signature gathering effort has also been overwhelmingly popular. And we are still gaining momentum. In less than 12 hours from posting our last video, we had over 2200 video views and reached over 7500 people (last I checked early Wednesday morning, 9/13/2017). This was all organic reach, with no paid promotion.
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This is our democratic process at work. It isn’t perfect, but this process we are engaged in is doing a pretty good job representing what our Oxnard voters want. The passage of Measure M was the voice of Oxnard voters, but it was not heard. Now, through the progress of our petition which will prompt a special election early next year, and the results of the election, the voters of Oxnard will have a voice once again.
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So, back to my original point: our elected officials have relationships with people in the City, and these relationships do not “do” accountability the way it should for constituents. Unfortunately, this is normal. But when our elected officials, and their supporters, put their relationships and interests above the interests of the voters, something has to be done. This is why we need Oxnard Recall. Our government needs to be held accountable.
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Editor’s note: Pro and con recall articles are welcome- editor@citizensjournal.us
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Chuck Hamm is a real estate broker. His office and family’s bicycle shop are in Oxnard. 

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