Bio – Carmen Ramirez

I, Maria “Carmen” Ramirez, am proud to have served the residents of Oxnard since 2010.  I am now seeking your continued support again this November to ensure the progress we’ve made continues.

I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley with my six siblings and enjoyed a semi-rural childhood which has influenced my life and values. I have been a homeowner in Oxnard since 1992 and have worked in Ventura County since 1978. I do not ever want to live anywhere else.

I graduated from Loyola School of Law Los Angeles in 1974.  Since then I have been a lawyer in legal aid programs in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, representing individuals and families with difficult issues affecting their health and well-being.  As Executive Director of Channel Counties Legal Services Association, for 16 years, here in Oxnard I represented clients in cases involving education, housing, consumer rights, employment, and government benefits. I know that I and my colleagues made a positive difference in many lives.

I worked for the Ventura Superior Court in its Self-Help Legal Access Center in the Colonia from 1998-2007, primarily serving Spanish-speakers.  I helped people understand the justice system and know their rights and obligations.

I am still practicing law focusing on consumer matters and Social Security Disability cases.  I am proud of my service and grateful that I have had this career.

Throughout my life, I have dedicated myself, both personally and professionally, to advancing the causes of those who do not have a voice, while securing a more just and sustainable government.  If re-elected, I pledge to use my experience to bring sensible solutions to the needs of our city.

Please get to know the issues we are facing here in Oxnard, as well as all of the candidates for District 2. Our city has had many challenges in the past and I have made decisions only with the interests of our entire community in mind.

Please be sure to VOTE on November 6th. Our future depends on it.

Thanks for your support, 
Carmen

Oxnard City Council Committees

As a member of the Oxnard City Council, she serves on the city’s Transportation Policy Committee, the Financial Policy Task Force, the Cultural Arts Committee, and the City Wide Enhancement Program.

She was also appointed to serve on the Ventura County Animal Regulation Commission and the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District where she is currently the vice-chair.

As Executive Director of Channel Counties Legal Services

From 1975 until 1998, Ms. Ramirez worked in legal aid programs in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. For 16 years she was Executive Director of Channel Counties Legal Services Association, which was located in Oxnard, serving the legal needs of the low-income and disabled clients and their families in both counties. Her responsibilities included overseeing litigation, financial planning, grant management, fundraising, personnel matters, board, community, government, and labor-management relations. Ms. Ramirez has represented hundreds of clients in cases involving education, housing, consumer rights, employment, and government benefits such as Social Security Disability.

Professional Accomplishments

In April 2012, Governor Edmund Brown, Jr., appointed Carmen to the Commission on State Mandates, where she serves with state officeholders, including designees of the State Treasurer, Controller, and other public officials to determine whether or not a local governmental agency is legally entitled to reimbursement from state funds based upon state law.

She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Colleges of Law for Santa Barbara and Ventura and has taught law school courses in landlord-tenant law, consumer law, and collaborative advocacy.

In June 2005, she was elected to the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California for a three-year term, representing the attorneys of five counties, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. She has served on the statewide Executive Committee of the Bench Bar Coalition, which promotes the needs of the public to access to justice as well as the budgetary needs of the California judicial system before the California legislature.

In 1998, Ms. Ramirez served as President of the Ventura County Bar Association and remains active in the Volunteer Lawyers Services Program Committee and the Lawyers’ Referral and Information Service Committee.

Actively Involved In the Community

Ms. Ramirez is active in many aspects of the Oxnard and greater Ventura County communities, including as board member of the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF), a trustee of the Colleges of Law for Santa Barbara and Ventura County, a member of the Ventura County Civic Alliance, the past president and current board member of the bilingual Ventura County theater company, Teatro de Las Américas and board member of the Center for Civic Education, a national program, headquartered in Calabasas, California.

In past years, she served as president of El Concilio Del Condado De Ventura County, the Ventura County Women Lawyers’ Association, Ventura County Mexican American Bar Association, and Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo.

Award and Recognitions

Ms. Ramirez has been honored by numerous awards, including the Ben E. Nordman Public Service Award of the Ventura County Bar Association, the Ventura Chapter of Rotary’s Paul Harris Award, and the El Concilio del Condado de Ventura Community Service Award, the Human Rights Award of the Baha’i of Ventura.

She was named Woman of the Year for the 35th Assembly District in 2003 by Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson and in 2009 as Senator Fran Pavley’s Woman of the Year for California Senate District 23. On March 27, 2012, she received recognition for Women’s Leadership from the Multicultural Programs of California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo. In May 2010, she received the “Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Literacy” by the Ventura County Council of the International Reading Association.

Volunteer Work

Her volunteer work includes a focus on environmental justice and sustainable development in Ventura County, the clean up of Halaco Metal Recycling Plant, an EPA designated Superfund site, located on Oxnard’s Ormond Beach and promoting a healthier community economically, socially and environmentally. She was a leader in the successful effort to defeat the proposed Cabrillo Port Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal off Oxnard’s Coast in 2007.

Previous Employment

From 1998 to 2007, she coordinated the Ventura Superior Court’s Self-Help Legal Access Center, located in the Colonia area of Oxnard, serving primarily the Spanish-speaking community. From 2008 until July 2009, she was the Community Planning Director for Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, which worked on community issues involving environmental, economic and social justice in Ventura County.