For its second session, the 15 members of the 2023 Oxnard Leadership Program met with leaders to learn about important conversations happening around local housing, redevelopment, and transportation, and their impact on communities (and vice versa). Land Use and Transportation Day was first introduced in 2022 and is coordinated by Oxnard Planning Commissioner Daniel Chavez Jr, a Leadership '19 graduate.
The group convened inside Council Chambers at the City of Oxnard to meet with Joe Pearson II, City of Oxnard Planning Manager, who reviewed land use principals, new legislation impacting decision-making, and housing development in Downtown, including the Oxnard Navigation Center and Casa de Carmen. A planned walking tour of the area had to be scrapped due to the storm, so Oxnard's newest Planning Commissioner Anna Zielsdorf jumped in to share how her passion for being involved in the community and giving back led her to a role on the Planning Commission. Housing Director Emilio Ramirez also addressed the group. He answered questions related to the unhoused community and shared a presentation on redevelopment opportunities in Downtown Oxnard, asking everyone to tell him what they would like to see or experience there.
The afternoon was spent at Gold Coast Transit District's (GCTD) headquarters meeting with Martin Erikson, Executive Director of Ventura Coast Transportation Commission, and GCTD's General Manager Vanessa Rauschenberger and Director of Operations and Maintenance James Beck. Both presentations highlighted innovations in sustainability and zero-emission buses, the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and addressed rider safety as well as some of their lesser known offerings and services, like VCTC's Freeway Service Patrol and GCTD's Late Night Safe Rides.
Next up for Oxnard Leadership '23 is Public Safety Day when they'll meet with local leaders and experience hands-on demonstrations to gain a better understanding of the leadership, strategies and decision-making involved in ensuring the safety of our community.