Join the Schmidt shark attack

The time is now! Please please please come to my volunteer meeting tomorrow – SUNDAY – at 5:00 pm. It’s over Zoom. You can come to get more detail, and sign up for a volunteer activity in these final weeks until the election. Make sure to head into the event and register to attend the Zoom (details in this event).I appreciate the support! Hope to see some of you there!

More info on the Facebook event, or head straight to register for the Zoom (below)

https://fb.me/e/5rbhfJszV

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Sep 20, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIodO2hqzwjGtGygOFOM9nU8OahSg8Dm-3V

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Heal Camarillo

It’s election season. Eight weeks from today, exactly, we will be heading to the polls (or, for many of us, the ballot drop boxes), so it’s time for us to be able to talk about the issues that will affect us for the long term.

Which means… we need to stop bickering about semantics! Let’s come together in advance of the community forum on policing that is being held during the City Council meeting. We can support the Black community AND our police department.

Please join us for a peaceful, socially distanced, gathering at Constitution Park. We aren’t going to debate. We will be in a purely NO NEGATIVITY zone. Come with positive signs for all members of our community.

Because here’s the bottom line: Black lives DO matter. All lives matter also. And BLUE LIVES? They deserve us to be unified for the safety of Camarillo.

Please join me!

My Dog Is Cute Enough to be Mayor – Contest Entries Now OPEN!

Is your dog cute enough to be mayor? I tend to think mine are, except when they’re fighting or begging.

As a campaign fundraiser and all around appreciate of our pets, we are hosting an online photo contest to determine the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Camarillo’s pup crew.

Entries cost $25 per pup, and will be accepted from now through September 27th. At that time, there will be a few days of online public voting you will be able to share with your friends and family, and the semi-finalists determined there will go on to the panel of expert doggie panelists to decide who will be inaugurated and gifted a Mayor and Vice Mayor Inaugural Gift Basket!

You may view the Facebook event at the following link FACEBOOK

If you are ready to enter, just make your donation for $25 by CLICKING HERE and then email the campaign your pup photo(s) to HeatherForCamarillo@gmail.com.

Can’t wait to see all our political puppies!

This May Very Well Be the Thing That Loses Me the Election

We are just over two months from the election, and an issue is weighing on my heart to such a degree that I just have to address it. I’ve avoided answering, or being direct, for political reasons. And in doing so, I have sacrificed my principles, or rather what I know to be right.

When I first started thinking about running for Camarillo City Council, I honestly was on the fence for a long time. Not only am I a pretty busy person, but I wasn’t sure that the demographic of the district in which I live would be very amenable to the issues in our city that are important to me. Issues that I know I have the capacity and ability to effectively organize around as a leader that is out front and accomplished, but may not be representative of the values of my district nonetheless.

I am a staunch advocate of public health and safety. Before, and after, the onset of the pandemic. I believe that the pandemic absolutely could have been handled better by local leadership, but I also think our community (as in the average you and I of it) could have done much more to crush the virus with our own city- and resident-driven initiatives. Our kids could be in school in person; our businesses could be more open. Instead, we are in a mess, and Camarillo was a part of that.

I believe in a lot of things that are seen as relatively proactive and forward-thinking that could change our city for the better. These are things like: public and battery charged solar energy, climate change mitigation, affordable housing for all income levels so people can afford to live AND work in our city, public transportation, city-wide beautifying initiatives, public WiFi, livable wages, bike paths that are raised and out of the road, roundabouts, expanded public transportation that actually works around the needs of the entire community, Blue Zone Project, senior services, farmworker education and support programs, community programs for publicly offered tutoring and student support, expanded food banks, community events that don’t just make money for investors and the people that run (*ahem*…embezzle… from…) them, but that honor the rich tradition of our city and its values… I could go on for days, but I think you all get my point. I believe in a future for Camarillo that is much bigger and much brighter for all of our nearly 70,000 residents, and if elected would work tirelessly to make these things a reality.

I also believe that Black lives absolutely and 100% do matter.

Many of the earliest conversations I had after making the decision to run for office had the same theme: “as great as it would be to run a social justice campaign right now, you just can’t do it… people don’t want to hear that Black lives matter in Camarillo.” And it’s true: many don’t, and for me – a resident of Camarillo – this is one of the saddest things I have ever had to say, or hear.

But I believe that we still all have the capacity to grow from here.

Several voters at this point have wanted to know if I believe that ALL lives matter. They want to know if I believe that, or if I know about Black Lives Matter the movement and its origins. To be clear: I understand the need to ask this question, but it’s uncomfortable to answer because I know the divisive position on this issue in our community. Many hear that my children and I did attend a faith-based and peaceful vigil after the killing of George Floyd, and they shut the conversation down, immediately and from that point on. Nothing I say from there is worth anything to them: I have lost their vote. Full stop. On an issue that doesn’t really have to do with being on a city council; and yet at the same time has everything to do with it.

Both my opponent and I have said that Black lives DO matter. He said it multiple times in city council meetings prior to the week when everything hit the fan and our city became indelibly divided.

The difference between he and I, though, is that I don’t back down on humanitarian issues, changing my position when the votes become contingent on it. What my opponent did that day, when he proposed a resolution that All lives matter, was divide our city. All lives are not lynched on live television; or shot 7 times in the back. Black lives are. That night divided our city over an issue we should have been out front on; and opened the door for the just over 1% of Camarillo that represents the Black community to be subjected to the hate and divisiveness that came from that night. Good and reasonable people whom I respect very much went on to say things I never, in all my life, ever imagined them saying. Believing in conspiracies that aren’t just conspiracies, that are dangerous for our community. That are dangerous for our public safety and front line workers.

Back the Blue became the city mantra, and to be clear: I do Back the Blue. In fact, there is more evidence to this in that I am the founder of the Village at the Park Neighborhood Watch group – the biggest impact any average resident of a community can take to support our police is to volunteer to engage in community policing alongside them.

What does not Back the Blue is what happened that night at the City Council.

Our city is not safer when people are divided, and a community and its supporters are dismissed. Our city is not safer when we fail to look at the pulse of the nation, and prevent what happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake by having a leadership on the city council that has the fortitude and gumption to delegate the education and initiative for change, if needed, and to make movement towards validating that there is no room for racism against Black people in our city. It doesn’t matter if you personally have experienced it: we should have taken a stand as a community that there is no place for it here. Again: full stop.

If we’re being honest, it’s hard to believe that all lives matter to anyone given the situation in our city right now anyway.

If ALL lives matter, why does Camarillo rank worse than the national average on income equality?

If ALL lives matter, why have we not addressed the fact that disabled individuals unable to utilize the limited CAT services are forced to ride their electric scooters and risk their lives in our poor excuse for bike lanes, just to pick up their medications from the pharmacy?

If ALL lives matter, why are we shelving solar battery backup projects when people’s homes are being subject to rolling blackouts that in some cases their jobs and lives now depend on?

If ALL lives matter, why do we not protect our police and our vulnerable population and our nurses and doctors by wearing masks and socially distancing, and having leadership that is aggressively out front on making sure the public connects those two dots?

I wonder if any of us really has a clear definition of what All Lives Matter means, just as we seem to have lost what the principle behind saying that Black lives do matter involves. All lives do matter in many ways, and we need to move into a space where we – as a community – can make actionable public policy that is a reflection of that.

Fundamentally, what we are doing here as a community is getting lost in semantics and fighting over something that is doing nothing. Who would it really have hurt to say that Black lives do matter in a resolution? Or as a city to instead convene a volunteer task force to assess and make recommendations to the council? What about convening a forum with councilmembers, police, and other community leaders from the faith and education communities to educate and keep the conversation going – something every other city in our county did, but Camarillo? The Black community is considered a micro-minority community, that is to say that they represent such a small portion of the community (1.26%, to be exact), that at some point we have to ask ourselves: why? Why don’t people in the Black community want to live here? All things that could have been addressed in a different way; instead we turned into a miniature culture war in a community that is supposed to be better than this. A community that is better than this.

It is tempting to believe we missed the opportunity, but I have to hope that we can somehow come together, stop fighting, and do more.

I say that this may be the thing that very well loses me the election because I am in a relatively conservative district, where Back the Blue and All Lives Matter signs and flags are everywhere. But I have to believe that we can all rally around the fundamental truth of public safety and Camarillo’s commitment to inclusivity.

I believe in a community that has the ability to grow and to have conversations and to move on, together – safer and more unified. We don’t really have to fight about this. We just have to say we’re going to do more and learn more and grow as a city.

I hope you will support my candidacy, because if we stop arguing about things like this we can really start doing the work our city needs. All lives do matter. Black lives matter too.

Dear Voters –

Monday, August 24, 2020

I am excited to announce that I am running for the Camarillo City Council, for the District 4. I am starting off my campaign by reaching out to you as a voter in this community. Your email address was provided to me by the County Elections Division, but don’t worry – I’m not adding you to any spam email blast lists. I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and open the door to more dialogue about the future of our city.

I bring to my candidacy over 15 years as a Community Organizer, both in professional and volunteer positions. My more recent volunteer work is among that of which I am most proud: I founded the Village at the Park Neighborhood Watch group to support our police and neighborhood, and have organized and educated through outreach at the Camarillo Art Center. Prior to moving into the volunteer sector, I worked professionally on wages, health care and job initiatives at the Ventura County Working People’s Alliance.

I am now currently a writer, volunteer organizer, and full time mother of three, but the impetus to run for public office has become more urgent as the pressing issues of our community demand a leader that is up for the task of moving Camarillo into the future, for our children and grandchildren, as well as for the protection of our seniors and other vulnerable populations largely left to fend for themselves through the course of this pandemic. I feel very strongly that the best way to support our businesses and get people back to work is to hit public health with a community-based, proactive, and out front effort. We want our kids back to school, and our economy back wide open – and I see so many strategic and easy ways leadership could do this to weather the storm of the pandemic. 

I see so many areas where our city is lacking the kind of leadership that addresses the needs of all Camarilloan’s, but rather than focus on all those negatives, let’s talk about the positives and what I see for the future of our city:

  • Public health and safety, including ramping up efforts to support our police department, first responders, and front line workers through the course of the pandemic and beyond with programs for community policing and engagement
  • Innovation in infrastructure that look to make our roads safer for drivers, bikes, scooters, and pedestrian traffic through strategic planning and forward thinking safety measures
  • Ramping up efforts to create a sustainable and resilient future for the city, including solar battery back upssolar in the public squares, and areas of publicly accessible WiFi that do not disappear when public places are closed for emergencies, such as they were during the pandemic
  • Revitalizing our culture and arts sector with city based projects to beautify Camarillo, protect our open spaces, diversify our portfolio of job creation for Camarillo residents, and preserve the history and legacy of our community

Camarillo deserves leadership that is proactive, transparent, and accountable. I believe I am that leader, and I bring those 15 years of service to my community as evidence to that. 

Please consider getting involved in my campaign, by checking out my website SchmidtForCamarillo.com, attending a Zoom event, watching for new campaign videos, podcasts, and updates on my social media; and if you support a brighter future for Camarillo, displaying a sign in your yard or volunteering for our campaign.

I can be reached at the campaign office at 805.427.4206, or here by email and would be honored to talk more with you about what we want for our city. 

Sincerely,

Heather Schmidt

Candidate

Camarillo City Council District 4

Seeking YOUR Endorsement!

If you already know my positions, you can cut to the endorsement page to add your name and title to my endorsements list when it is published later this month.

However, I understand you may want to get to know me more first. Please consider the following endorsement letter, that is being sent out to all my current and potential supporters.

Thanks for considering me for your personal endorsement!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

I am excited to announce that I am running for the Camarillo City Council, for the District 4 position. I am starting off my campaign by reaching out to you as a leader in the community to ask for your endorsement.

I bring to my candidacy over 15 years as a Community Organizer, both in professional and volunteer positions. I am now currently a writer and full time mother of three, but the impetus to run for public office has become more urgent as the pressing issues of our community demand a leader that is up for the task of moving Camarillo into the future.

Among the issues in the community that are key to me are: public health and safety, innovation in infrastructure and city planning, and strategic and bold initiatives to flash Camarillo into the future. 

I believe that the economy of Camarillo would be best supported by bolstering efforts to further public health and safety initiatives, especially to garner more community involvement in addressing the coronavirus pandemic, setting us up to more effectively manage future health and safety issues. Protecting workers, especially those in underserved and low income sectors of the community, is essential to Camarillo’s success. 

Further, Camarillo’s roads have a long-overdue need for upgrade and revitalization. Beyond simply repairing roads damaged and unsuited for the amount of traffic the city now sees on a daily basis, we as a community need to look to more sustainable and green options, such as expanding bike paths and walkways. Moreover, I believe our public transit within the city needs to be re-envisioned for expansion, efficiency, and accessibility, and made affordable for a broader range of ages and income levels.

Camarillo is home to an array of beautiful parks and wildlife, as well as open spaces like hiking trails and dog parks. We are also home to a botanical garden, and one of the largest collections of bird specimens at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. It is my belief that the preservation of these spaces becomes less of a priority for the community at large as the years go by, and if elected I commit to reverse that trend and focus my efforts as a leader to prioritizing the city’s support and community involvement in the preservation of these spaces, and in bolstering the PVRPD as a top priority for the future of Camarillo. 

Lastly, I believe that so many of the things that have happened in our communities, and the nation at large, have shined a light on deficiencies and inequities in our society that Camarillo is in a prime position to pioneer into the future on. Among them, I believe expanding public access areas to WiFi is a vital part of the stabilization of our now work-at-home workforce, as well as our educational system. I also firmly believe in the power of community organizing and volunteer-based task forces, that can come together as a more coalesced community to recognize our diversity and uniqueness, and to address inequities that may exist for a more inclusive community that people are proud to call “home.” 

I am running a lean campaign, and focusing my efforts during the next few months not only on running for the office, but using this time to start some of the work of broader community awareness and education on these issues that are critical to my campaign. 

If you would like to discuss my ideas, or to chat further I can be reached at 805.427.4206, or here by email. Also, if you have a questionnaire process for consideration, I would love the opportunity to expand upon my positions there. I would be honored if you would consider endorsing my candidacy for a brighter future for Camarillo.

Sincerely,

Heather Schmidt

Candidate – Camarillo City Council District 4

A Candidate for Public Health and Safety

I have a proven track record on public health and safety being an important issue to me, as a candidate and a community member. If elected this November, I commit to a well-rounded approach to keeping Camarillo safe.

Please join me on August 17th, over ZOOM, for a Townhall Question and Answer Session on Public Health and Safety in our community. Email HeatherForCamarillo@gmail.com for more information.

Sign Up For Campaign Updates Today!

Thank you for popping by! This update is incredibly short! It’s as simple as this call to action:

Sign Up For Campaign Updates Today!

Campaign updates will be sent out regularly, though no more than once per day. Most weeks will be only a few updates a week, with the frequency growing as election day nears.

Updates will include pertinent updates for community members about things going on in the community, COVID-19 updates, position and policy news, city happenings, and campaign events and highlights.

We hope you will join us in this space for news and alerts in what is surely an unprecedented time to be politically active!

%d bloggers like this: