Action – Come to the meeting tonight and talk to the city council about your concerns. (Meeting begins at 6:00)
It is now clear that Oxnard has serious financial problems. However, people need to oversee that cuts are not unfairly placed upon minorities, the poor, the disabled and children. Unfortunately, beyond the employees who will actually lose their jobs, it appears that these groups will be hurt the most.
The city is targeting art and cultural mainstays, like the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center, home to mainstream musical acts, film festivals, dance classes, school graduations, Boys & Girls Club, Martin Luther King Day, and private events and the Carnegie Museum, which hosts art shows, poetry reading and free kids’ art workshops. Both these venues serve the soul of a community, bring pride to participants and draw in visitors to the area. (The PACC is running a support campaign here, with a gofundme page here.)
They also plan to close the La Colonia Library, a small neighborhood venue that offers 6 computers and pre-school storybook hours. It is one of few public facilities available within walking distance for that community and it serves as a safe gathering place for their children. The next nearest library is a least a half hour walk away over busy streets, for a community already strapped for resources, money and time. The library employees who would be laid off are also members of La Colonia. Though it is Oxnard’s smallest library, closing it will have a disproportionately large and negative effect on this community.
They are also laying off the entire staff of Public Relations & Community Affairs, who not only help promote festivals and concerts that bring in visitors to the city, but also help Oxnard citizens find necesary services and critical information. Their filming of city meetings increases the accessibility of government participation for those unable to attend in person. (Oxnard CityWatch Television broadcasting links here.) They also help coordinate Oxnard’s neighborhood councils.
Come, talk about these issues, and any others that we’ve missed, that will cause long-term and unintended damage to the community.