U.S. Rep. Brownley (CA-26) visits Oxnard to brave constituents’ questions

Julia Browley in Oxnard 8-22-13 002By George Miller

Oxnard, 8-22-13- Most Congresspersons are cowards this year, when it comes to meeting with constituents during the summer recess. Stories and videos of past fiascoes, where embarrassing questions/issues were raised, scared most of them away this year- but not Brownley, who braved tough questions unflinchingly. Granted that her venue could not possibly been any friendlier than this weekday morning stint at the Oxnard Farmers’ Market. This is true because Oxnard is a working class coastal city of nearly 200,000- agricultural, industrial, military bases, manufacturing and service industries), 73% Latino per 2010 census. More than a quarter of Brownley’s constituents live within 15 minutes of Thursday’s venue.

The biggest issues seemed to be Obamacare (divided opinions) and immigration (mostly pro “reform”/amnesty).

A highly diverse group awaited her 10:30 A.M. arrival, at a booth displaying literature and staffed by very helpful aides. Questions by Jeanne Joneson started off attacking Obamacare.

RockerSpeakswithBrownleyJoneson then raised objections to the Common Core curriculum and standards (see multiple articles on it in Citizensjournal.us). She wanted to know why parents have no control over what and how their children are instructed in the schools and why the UN has so much influence over this all, via UNESCO.  She said that the privacy stipulations of Common Core were most alarming and raised the danger of children using government owned iPads, which can track the when, where and what of childerns’ activities on them. 

Brownley asserted that Common Core would bring a significant improvement in depth and quality of education. She stated that she was the Chair of The CA Senate Education committee before she went to Congress. Several people there were not buying it (multiple articles on the subject can be found on this site).  It appeared that only a few people at this event were even aware of the existence of Common Core.

Four or five people had objections to Obamacare and its implementation, some very specific. For example Rich Tuten of Oxnard engaged Ms. Brownley the longest (we have a video being readied), with objections about the complexity, obnoxious features, data, and waivers demanded by various constituencies, some which strongly supported passage of the bill. Brownley strenuously took exception to his assertion that Congress had obtained an exception for itself, but promised to check up on the exact situation.  She expressed sympathy for people struggling with its complexity but did not concede that costs would be higher. She said only a small percentage of people don’t have insurance, if we heard her correctly. Nothing was said about those who will lose their existing insurance plans because of Obamacare and those who are experiencing huge cost increases.  She stressed the advantages, such as coverage of prior conditions, non-cancellation clause, etc.  The Congresswoman said her emphasis is on making it work now that it is passed.

Due to a crowded and noisy venue, no one else was able to get much audible video, but we recorded a couple of marginally usable segments:


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Quite a few people were concerned about immigration reform, wanting residency even more than Citizenshp, benefits, etc.   It was very difficult to understand some speakers, because of the noise level, crowds and accents.  I only heard a couple of objections voiced.  It is our understanding that Brownley supports the Senate immigration bill, which contains generous provisions for amnesty,  entitlements, and forgiveness of certain activities of identity fraud and violations of immigration law, which could otherwise land people in jail and/or have them deported.

Congresswoman Brownley stated that agriculture is very important in Ventura County. She statedthat farmers were mostly in favor of immigration reform.  This because of persistent labor shoratges.  It was not discussed Citizenship is required to address them, or whether residency, or work permits would suffice.

Julia Browley in Oxnard 8-22-13 008

Because of the multiplicity and duration of questions we wanted to ask, Congresswoman Brownley agreed to a separate discussion with Citizens Journal .

Brownley has clearly demonstrated that she is unafraid to face constituents and to state her positions, unlike some others, who don’t hold public constituent meetings and don’t clearly articulate their true views.  The only drawbacks are that this venue didn’t lend itself to effective mass communication and was not widely announced. No mention of it appeared on her web or fecebook sites that we could find. Note that Rep.Brownley will appear at the Ventura Farmers Market Saturday, August 24 at 11 and at the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, August 27 at noon.

Julia Browley in Oxnard 8-22-13 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One participant had a letter all ready to mail to Obama.

George Miller is a Citizens Journalist, retired management consultant, very active in civic affairs, residing in Oxnard.

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