You may think that numbers really matter, and they do. But is that the case for Port Hueneme? I happen to think numbers really matter to our community. The fact that we have two, very viable economic engines sitting within our city limits makes a huge difference with who we are and what we can do to build a community and make it vibrant. As these entities effectively use ½ of the total square miles that encompass our city limits (4.4 square miles in total, and these two entities and the city use 2.2 square miles each), these organizations are at the core of our work, our impact, our collaboration, our future, and our ability to enhance the quality of life. Our city is juxtaposed between a beach, a naval base, a port, and another city. Being land-and water-locked gives us both the good and bad of the situation. By having Naval Base Ventura County siting along our westerly side, and Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District sitting to the south, we have two of the largest economic throughputs, employing thousands of people on an annual basis, contributing directly and indirectly to our community.
When you look up the word “intentionality”, you will find that it means “the fact of being deliberate or purposive.” To be intentional is every single bit of what our lives are about right now in this time of Ventura County’s Red Phase of Covid-19. It means that when we step out for the day, to be purposeful in shopping or going to the office, we have to be intentional. Intentional about taking and wearing our face masks, practicing social distancing, speaking as clearly as we can and not assuming the folks to which we are talking can understand or hear our muffled voices behind the gear covering our mouth.
Intentionality harnesses and expounds the power of each relationship you and I believe to be important. If we give attention and appreciate the relationship, it then grows.
Intentionality also is about this time of elections that is taking place as I write this blog. We must be intentional to vote, for if we are not, our vote won’t count. Our vote only matters if we a purposeful and mail in our ballot, walk it up to a drop-off box (our box for the city is located in front of city hall), take it to a polling place during early voting or vote in person at our designated polling place.
Now more than ever, the way we live speaks volumes as to our intent. Let’s make sure to live out 2020 not by looking in the rear-view mirror, but by looking ahead to the fullness of life. And those things we took for granted in the past have been given to us intense and inner reflection.
Be a person of intentionality this season. Vote.
The role of the electorate is now more important than ever. My re-election to City Council 2020 will most likely include first-time registered voters, first-time voters (those previously registered but never voted), irregular voters (those who infrequently vote or only vote during presidential elections), and high propensity voters.
Usually on the high end, our city will engage 20-50% of registered voters in elections.
But 2020 presidential election would the anomaly. Why so?
Well for one thing, if you are registered to vote by Oct. 17, you will receive a ballot in the mail. This option was reserved in past elections for only those who have a designation as permanent absentee (always casting their vote by mail) and absentee (those requesting a ballot by mail because on Election Day they will be out of town). Never in the history of years and years of voting have we mailed out ballots to 100% of registered voters.
Then all the ballots could be mailed back in or dropped off at ballot boxes or dropped off at limited number of polling places that will be located throughout the county.
We also have early voting, which will allow polling places to be open for voters not only on Election Day, but a few days before and through Election Day.
The role of the electorate is to read the detail on the entire ballot. Let’s start with the ballot initiatives, which requires voters to understand how to vote in favor or against and how that would weigh out for the initiatives. Being for the initiative may mean you are against what was spelled out, and vice-versa. Read up on initiatives, read your legislative analysts viewpoint, then vote.
Same goes for candidates. Know who they are, what their platform is and if they align with who you are. This is very crucial, and requires all voters to do a little research, to understand the party’s platform or understand what they will be interested in changing, implementing or what they’ve done so far. Read all the pieces of mail they send you. Don’t just go by the fact that they have more signs in the community. A large number of signs may mean that they are shallow or egocentric and don’t really have a valid reason to be running in the first place. Large signs don’t mean they have the community support but maybe too much time on their hands and deep pockets. Too many signs and no other material is a cautionary tale and not known who the candidate is by the signs in the community may tell you, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. They can be all show and no substance.
Then we have the media. They really are pushing a few candidates. I face this in my community where some candidates may get all the glory. It may not be that they deserve it but have friends controlling the posts on Facebook, Nextdoor, etc., that creates this ambience of support but in reality local social media pages are very skewed and biased, more so than national media. Be careful about this one.
Lastly, speak to the candidates. Have coffee with them. If they don’t want to talk to voters, than maybe they really don’t want to talk to you. Call them on their phone, send them an email, and engage in conversations past the social media messenger thing. See who they are past their flashy photos and poses, and go for substance. If they haven’t been involved in the community up until they run for office, they haven’t lived. So be careful in choosing someone who isn’t fully formed yet. Choose candidates who resonate with you, those qualified, having experience, knowing the history and details about the city, knowing more of the why but still asking the why not. Choose those that can work with city staff, other community members and other communities. Those who don’t have experience may need to get experience first.
After serving 12 years on the City Council and living in our community for 35 years, I truly have a heart for Port Hueneme, our residents, our military partners and businesses. I pray for all of us each and every day. I’m here to continue serving and I ask all those who will vote to vote for me. Vote for the candidate who you believe can and will make a difference to help our community as a whole. Vote for the experience of the candidate instead of the inexperience. Vote for sincerity, honesty, integrity, character and commitment. These are now more important than ever.
Re-Elect Sylvia For City Council