Excitement and anticipation filled the room as Mayor of Oxnard John C. Zaragoza addressed the state of the city. The event was held on June 17 at the Marriott Hotel and was hosted by the West Ventura Business Alliance. Nancy Lindholm, the alliance president/CEO, hopes that through these type of events people will “engage local business with local government.” The event invited businessmen from all different fields and politicians to bridge the gap between business and political interests. Throughout all the laughs and comradery, Zaragoza addressed the State of the City and returned optimism to the people of Oxnard as he revised his blueprint to make Oxnard a safer, cleaner, and more prosperous city.
Zaragoza affirmed that he gave the people of Oxnard a chance to voice their opinions and concerns regarding the condition of the city through a survey that was sent out to residents. The results of the survey allowed Zaragoza to construct his five main focuses to best address the needs and concerns of the residents of Oxnard. Zaragoza claims his five-year priorities of; quality of life, economic development, public safety, infrastructure and natural resources, and organizational effectiveness will revitalize Oxnard. Zaragoza also reminded residents that patience is needed in order to see change. He affirmed that the changes Oxnard will endure would not happen overnight.
As part of his infrastructure and natural resources priority, the mayor stated the city would invest ten million dollars into repaving streets and maintaining parks open and clean. To also ensure the safety of the community, Zaragoza will restore neighborhood policing programs and increase the number of security cameras placed around the city. To address the concerns of many residents who merely want to see the quality of life improve in Oxnard, Zaragoza will restore and enhance youth programs and launch the Oxnard Arts Academy in South Oxnard.
As part of his five-year priorities, the city is also planning to replenish the city’s financial reserves and establish sufficient reserves to respond to disasters such as earthquakes and floods, and invest in cyber security. In regards to Oxnard’s economic development, the city of Oxnard partnered with Amazon and created more than 1,500 competitive paying jobs for the community. Sixty percent of the new hires for Amazon were Oxnard residents. Attracting major businesses and corporations to Oxnard is part of the mayor’s plan to economically revitalize Oxnard.
Zaragoza also addressed the problems in Oxnard such as homelessness, infrastructure, and safety. He reassured the community that there are plans already in place meant to address and resolve these societal issues. Zaragoza reminded the people how like many other cities, Oxnard is still a work in progress that is striving to become a better and more prosperous city. Additional funding will be directed to uplift the “Visit Oxnard” program, with the hopes that Oxnard will become a more tourist attraction and a place where small businesses can flourish.
The state of the city address reinforced the idea that Oxnard is a continuous work in progress and that the deterrents that the city currently faces will not be permanent. Mayor Zaragoza’s five-year priority plan will slowly but surely make Oxnard a better place for its residents. Although change does not happen overnight, the mayor ensured that there are people in office trying to make change happen as quickly as they can. The mayor’s economic vision for Oxnard will help small businesses flourish and will help preserve Oxnard’s cultural essence. Ultimately, Zaragoza assured the people of Oxnard, that even though the current situation of Oxnard may seem tough, there are only brighter days ahead.