The Chamber's Political Action Committee recently announced two additional city council candidate endorsements. Gabriela Basua and Vianey Lopez are running in districts 5 and 6, respectively. The PAC scrutinized their written questionnaire responses and interviewed both as well.
"We believe Basua and Lopez will be excellent additions to the Oxnard city council," noted Steve Buenger, Chair of the PAC. "They both understand how local government operates and how important it is to have a healthy business community."
Gabriela Basua lives in the College Estates neighborhood of Oxnard. She is the housing manager for the city of Port Hueneme. When asked what is the greatest challenge facing Oxnard, she replied that Oxnard's economic sustainability could affect public safety and infrastructure needs. She also noted that the city needs to maximize its revenue by partnering with businesses to ensure they are successful in order to maximize tax revenues. Ms. Basua is passionate about providing options for the homeless population in Oxnard.
Vianey Lopez currently serves on the Hueneme Elementary School District Board of Trustees and works for Assemblymember Monique Limon. She lives in the Redwood neighborhood of south Oxnard. Public safety is one of her priorities. She is also very concerned about the city's infrastructure needs – such as the wastewater treatment plant – and the city's bond rating. Vianey believes there are grant opportunities that should be explored to help with capital projects.
Gabriela and Vianey join Ken Oplinger as Chamber-endorsed city council candidates. Ken has a long list of public service on planning commissions and served on the city council in Blaine, Washington. He currently chairs the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board and serves on the City of Santa Barbara Living Wage Advisory Board. He was recently appointed to the City of Santa Barbara Sales Tax Oversight Committee.
Ken Oplinger is the President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region, where he has been since May 2013. He has been leading Chambers of Commerce in the Western US for over 25 years. Ken and his family live near the beach in Oxnard.