Injunction erodes hope
By Dolly Villa
January 30, 2005, Ventura County Star
Since the announcement of the gang injunction in March, numerous letters have appeared in The Star about it. Many support it; many do not.
How much progress has the injunction made? Has it drastically changed our crime rate? Our city has committed roughly $180,000 yearly to pay Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold, so she can concentrate on making this injunction permanent. When was the last time this much money has been put into La Colonia? Some of our parks don’t have restrooms. Our recreation center could do wonders with that kind of money, such as more sports for children and tutoring programs for kids.
Of the served individuals, how many have violated the injunction? One person, over a Cowboys’ watch. Six months of his life down the drain. For a watch?
Recently, a friend was served while at work. As a result of this public humiliation, he lost his job. A man with rent, child-support payments and financial responsibilities is now unemployed. Why couldn’t they serve him the injunction at home? He lived two blocks from work.
Many others have been served. Many have already paid their debts to society, but are still judged on their past. We need to give these young men access to educational programs, job skills, counseling, parenting classes and drug rehabilitation.
Overall, the city is still having the same problems as before the injunction: high murder and crime rate and more graffiti. The injunction is not working and not addressing the root of the problem.
Yes, there are criminals in the city, but face the fact: They do not all come from Colonia. It’s easy to put the blame there; it may even help some sleep at night. All it has done is create hopelessness for the community, and hatred toward our city. Why not give us hope?
– Dolly Villa, 24, lives in Oxnard and ran for Oxnard City Council in November.