Political newcomer Michaela Perez’s pursuit of Oxnard City Council’s open slot got a boost Dec. 8 when she won the Greater Oxnard Organization of Democrats (GOOD Club) Club’s endorsement.
Perez is among three candidates who are running in a March 7 special election for South Oxnard’s 6th District, which includes several neighborhoods near Saviers Road and borders Port Hueneme.
“I’m so proud to have been endorsed by the GOOD Club,” said Perez, who is the club’s Legislative Committee Chair, said to VIDA Newspaper.
“It’s definitely a historic moment, being that I grew up in the South Oxnard area,” Perez said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and I look forward to advocating for our community.”
Perez said she wants to be a voice for “the next generation of youth” in local government, building on the environmental efforts of former city councilmember Carmen Ramirez.
The 6th district includes Ormond Beach, which conservationists have long fought to protect from developers and other threats to its marshland.
Perez is a policy advisor and community organizer who most recently worked for Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s 2022 campaign. Brownley has also endorsed Perez.
She was one of two candidates who sought the club’s endorsement, the other being fellow club member and former club president Arthur “A.J.” Valenzuela. The third candidate for the seat, Francine Castañon, did not ask the club for an endorsement.
Valenzuela told VIDA Newspaper that he is still excited about running despite not getting the club’s endorsement.
“The GOOD Club endorsement is just one out of many,” said Valenzuela, a Port of Hueneme longshoreman, noting that shortly after that Thursday’s meeting he got State Senator Monique Limon’s endorsement.
“Voters will make the decision, and when they learn about my experience, they’ll be excited,” Valenzuela said, adding he is going to do his best to engage voters in a typically low-turnout election.
Perez and Valenzuela filled out questionnaires prior to the club’s monthly 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting; both were given several minutes to make presentations to club members and then time to answer questions.
GOOD Club President Rick Sanchez said club members took about 90 minutes discussing what they had heard before casting the final vote that led to an endorsement for Perez.
“There was a lot of debating, for many club members it was a difficult decision,” said Sanchez. “I was on the fence myself.”
Sanchez credited Perez’s work as the club’s legislative analyst for much of her support.
“She’s really passionate about learning and listening to both sides of an argument, really thoughtful,” Sanchez said. “I’m pretty confident she’s going to catch on (with voters) pretty quickly.”
The 6th District was represented by Vianey Lopez until October, when she resigned after Governor Gavin Newsom named her to replace Carmen Ramirez on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.
Ramirez, who once represented District 2, was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2020 but died in August when she was struck by a truck while crossing 7th and A Street in downtown Oxnard.