An Experienced Leader During Tough Times
Here are some examples of the tough decision made on council the last few years...
When Johnson Drive was in disrepair and crumbling under our wheels, Lorrie worked tirelessly with Public Works Director, Streets team and City management to get the Johnson project reassigned to an earlier date on the street management plan as a major arterial road servicing a majority of the Eastside. She was able to frame the conversation, push the need and remain civil while never letting it go until the road was resurfaced. There is still more work to be done on Bristol and North Bank, but she will continue to push for the needs of district six
When our water rights were threatened and there were important decisions to make regarding the future of Ventura Water, even in the face of lawsuits, the council stood firm to protect its water resources while adopting a $200+ million dollar plan to improve our water resources for future sustainability as we continue to face droughts while yet still needing affordable housing and development to support a diverse economy
When District four's representative vacated their council seat we were forced to make the difficult decision to appoint an interim member to council and Lorrie was the leading voice and first vote who shaped the narrative around competitive deliberations in the face of great opposition and misinformation, this saved the city from a significant impact to the general fund if a special election was made. Lorrie felt this would have been irresponsible since the city was still recovering from the pandemic. This also allowed a resident who lived in district four to add their voice to important decisions for the many months before the general election
When Ventura's residents voted overwhelmingly for Prop 64 and recreational use of Cannabis, Lorrie advocated for the establishment of retail business even when regressive policy recommendations were received from members of the community who did not wish to honor the majority vote of tax paying Venturans. The divisive strategy to upset the process of adopting fee structures for retail shops were foiled when Brown and her colleagues stood together in solidarity
As the Chair of the General Plan Committee, Brown virtually led the stakeholder appointed advisory board through the last two years, while remaining in close communication with staff and consultants by having meetings in addition to GPAC meetings. She required fair and balanced discussions surrounding affordability in Ventura and educated members to the fact that housing is needed for our residents, workers and seniors. She worked hard to ensure that the Housing Element would be not only include feasible infill locations but also ensured it was submitted to the state in a timely fashion with pro-housing designation so the city could gain access to additional federal funding
As a strong supporter of business, Lorrie was credited with saving the Card Club by petitioning her colleagues to the necessity of maintaining the revenues generated by this body and convincing them that the relocation to the Derby club would not only allow us to continue to control the permit but also continue to receive annual revenues
During the pandemic, emergency orders and extreme social unrest, Lorrie's balanced voice brought a new perspective to council deliberations and provided a safe space to explore how the City of Ventura could respond to the tragedy of George Floyd, the cries from the Chumash Community, the protests led by racial justice groups and eight hours of public hearings post removal of the Father Serra Statue. In response Lorrie drafted a Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Issue and Denouncing Police Brutality to look at equity in our city, as well as later introducing the Progress Initiative which was a document designed to be inclusive of marginalized populations and add diversity to city decision-making
When the pandemic required council to find ways to cut the budget, Lorrie as co-chair to the Finance, Audit and Budget committee was credited with asking the question regarding merchant fees and was able to help save the city $400,000
Most recently, Lorrie shared her experience as a renter in the City of Ventura and helped her colleagues gain understanding regarding the challenges renters face when at the mercy of poor property management practices. Her transparency and ability to find consensus and agreement led to a rigorous discussion and a policy document that a majority of councilmembers could agree to. This policy closed the gap in current state law and was created only to punish landlords and property owners who were "bad actors."
These are just a few examples of the tough decisions made and how much experience Lorrie has leading district six. There are many more.