‘We now have misplaced an unimaginable champion.’ Ventura County mourns beloved public servant


We’ve misplaced the loveliest human being.

A champion for the surroundings.

A voice for many who didn’t all the time really feel heard.

She all the time put Oxnard first.

The record of tributes and condolences grew ever longer on Saturday, as pals and colleagues mourned Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez, a longtime legal professional and beloved public servant, who died Friday evening after being hit by a truck in a crosswalk in downtown Oxnard.

The 73-year-old, who was the present chair of the county’s board of supervisors, was the first Latina ever elected to the influential board, in addition to the primary to function its chair. A candlelight vigil to honor her was deliberate for Saturday at 7 p.m. at Plaza Park in Oxnard, the place she beforehand served on town council.

“We now have misplaced an unimaginable champion,” mentioned Linda Parks, a fellow supervisor and shut good friend. “Such a gaping gap.”

Oxnard police mentioned that the person driving the truck that hit Ramirez remained on the scene and had cooperated with investigators.

Born Maria Carmen Ramirez, she grew up certainly one of seven siblings within the San Gabriel Valley however went on to construct her life in Ventura County.

A graduate of Loyola Regulation College, she started her profession as a authorized support legal professional within the metropolis’s La Colonia neighborhood within the late Seventies, based on her marketing campaign web site.

“I used to be grateful to signify these with out the means to rent a lawyer,” she mentioned in a video, which she recorded in English and Spanish.

Ramirez, who spoke with The Instances for a 2020 piece commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Nationwide Chicano Moratorium Towards the Vietnam Warfare, mentioned that becoming a member of the demonstrations years earlier had been a defining a part of solidifying her burgeoning id as a politically engaged Mexican American.

The moratorium, she mentioned, “gave me the view that we simply must battle for justice.”

Ramirez served, for a time, because the president of the Ventura County Bar Assn. and was later elected to the State Bar of California’s board of governors— now referred to as the board of trustees. She additionally served as a longtime board member for the Middle for Civic Training, a nonprofit that promotes the examine and follow of democracy, and was appointed to the Fee on State Mandates by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012.

When it got here to subjects she felt passionately about — and there have been many, pals and colleagues say — she didn’t mince her phrases.

When talking to The Instances in 2017, Ramirez, then Oxnard’s mayor professional tem, expressed her disgust on the historical past of contamination at a neighborhood seashore.

“It’s clear who will get caught with all of the soiled stuff,” she mentioned. “What different metropolis has three energy crops and a Superfund website on the seashore? The folks of Oxnard have paid their dues.”

Parks, her fellow supervisor, mentioned she’s going to bear in mind her good friend for her seemingly limitless record of passions, together with social justice, good authorities and the surroundings.

“She walked the stroll,” Parks mentioned. “She would give donations to each trigger that got here earlier than us. A few of us would simply say good phrases. She could be on the market writing $25 checks.”

Ramirez led with a spirit of power and care, Parks mentioned, noting how impressed she’d been by her colleague final 12 months, as she navigated grieving her brother, who died of COVID-19, whereas concurrently sitting by conferences the place some folks droned on about how they didn’t suppose coronavirus was actual.

Ramirez was the kind of good friend, Parks mentioned, who observed whenever you had been having a tricky day and made it a degree to textual content you an image of flowers — perhaps a snap from her rose backyard or an image of a bouquet in a vase she’d seen in somebody’s dwelling.

“To me, that was such a kindness,” Parks mentioned. “We had been so fortunate to have her.”

Ramirez is survived by her husband, Roy Prince.



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