Leadership Program meets with people and organizations dedicated to public safety, health and human services
As the 2022 Oxnard Leadership program winds down, participants experienced two eye-opening sessions in late September and mid-October. From SWAT demonstrations to packing food for the homeless, Public Safety Day and Health & Human Services Day highlighted two different - yet in many ways connected - aspects of our community.
On September 30, Leadership participants got a firsthand look at the people and agencies protecting the community with session coordinator Tom Cady, former Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Oxnard and the Chair of the Oxnard Leadership Steering Committee. Public Safety Day began at Oxnard Police Department (OPD) with an overview from Community Affairs Manager Paul Carganilla and a presentation on body cameras from Corina Gardner. At OPD's Sturgis Annex, the group met with Chief Jason Benites, who delivered the keynote address later that day for Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center’s Academy graduation. They also got an up-close look at SWAT equipment and training exercises. To understand safety services county wide, the group went inside the county's Juvenile Justice Center and the county's jail facility at the Government Center. The day ended by meeting with Sheriff Bill Ayub and Chief Parole Officer Mark Varela for an open Q&A session.
Health & Human Services Day on Friday, October 21, explored local organizations, agencies, and topics addressing some basic human needs in the community. The morning began at Community Action of Ventura County meeting with Executive Director Susana Lopez-Garcia, session coordinator and 2020-21 Leadership Program alumna. After explaining their services, there was a panel discussion with Jennifer Harkey of Ventura County Continuum of Care Alliance, Sonia Kroth of Ventura County Human Services Agency, James Boyd with Ventura County Health Care Agency, and John Garcia of Community Action of Ventura County, who detailed his own experiences with being homeless.
The group also visited Clinicas del Camino Real's Karen R. Burnham Health Center meeting with COO Anna Monroy, and Food Share of Ventura County meeting with COO Brian Fisher and Facilities and Food Safety Supervisor Laura Thomson. The Leadership cohort also packed 50 food distribution bags for the homeless that included items that didn't require heating, refrigeration or can openers. Food Share also generously opened their meeting space to the group for insightful discussions about the county's opioid epidemic with Dan Hicks of Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, and about local indigenous migrant communities with Vanessa Terán of the Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP).
There's only one month left to apply to the 2023 program! Scholarships are available thanks to the generous support of the Gene Haas Foundation so please inquire when you email your application. The deadline is November 30. apply now>>