Ventura, CA – On Friday evening, August 12, 2022, we learned of the tragic loss of the Honorable Chair of the Board, District 5 Supervisor Carmen Ramirez. Supervisor Ramirez passed away Friday following injuries she sustained as a pedestrian hit by a vehicle in Oxnard. We extend our sincere condolences to her family, friends, staff, and the communities she so admirably served. We honor her life and her historic and lasting contributions to the Oxnard and Ventura County community.
“Carmen was a public servant in the truest sense of the term,” said District 1 Vice-Chair of the Board of Supervisors Matt LaVere. “Through her leadership and community engagement, thousands of lives were changed for the better. Carmen was one of a kind, and we will deeply miss her presence on the Board. It was an honor to call her a close friend and confidant.”
“Carmen was an incredible champion for the people and the environment,” said District 2 Supervisor Linda Parks. “What stood out when you met her was her compassion and kindness. What made her effective was her fearlessness, her clear moral compass, her intelligence and her always volunteering to do more. She was a true public servant and a best friend. We are so blessed to have had her in our lives.”
“Carmen Ramirez was a respected leader in our County and demonstrated this over and over again by providing pro-bono legal services to those in need and serving as an elected official for the residents of Oxnard,” said District 3 Supervisor Kelly Long. “Her passion for helping the underserved will never be forgotten and will undoubtedly be picked up by the many individuals she inspired along the way. May she rest in peace knowing she made a significant impact on the quality of life for many Ventura County residents.”
“Supervisor Ramirez was not only my colleague but my friend,” said District 4 Supervisor Bob Huber. “Regardless of our contact in our elected positions, in our law practices, or community events, she was always a true professional filled with enthusiasm and kindness towards everyone she came in contact with. Carmen was all about listening and serving others above herself. Her legacy will never be forgotten.”
“I am saddened by the sudden, tragic loss of Supervisor Carmen Ramirez,” said Interim County Executive Officer Dr. Sevet Johnson. “Through advocacy, leadership, and mentoring she touched the lives of so many. Her legacy as an environmentalist and social justice advocate will live on as I and many others continue to lift up her life’s work.”
“I offer my sincere condolences to her husband, Roy Prince, and her family,” said Oxnard Mayor John C. Zaragoza. “We will miss Carmen tremendously. We worked together often, while I was serving as Supervisor and she was Oxnard’s Mayor Pro Tem, and this camaraderie continued when she was elected Supervisor and I served as Mayor. She was passionate about environmental justice and creating a better future for our City. Her kindness, love and deep compassion for the community was felt by everyone. She will be dearly missed.”
Chair Carmen Ramirez’s life and legacy
Supervisor Carmen Ramirez dedicated her service to improving Oxnard, Ventura County, and the greater Southern California region for future generations. Throughout her public service, she was an advocate for Oxnard and worked unwaveringly to protect the environment, uplift underserved communities, and advance women’s rights in Ventura County.
In 2020, Supervisor Ramirez made history as the first Latina elected to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors representing District 5. In 2022, Supervisor Ramirez became the first Latina to serve as Chair of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. During her tenure, Supervisor Ramirez championed COVID-19 response and economic recovery, and improved government services in Greater Oxnard, particularly advancing areas of environmental and social justice, youth engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the County government. Notably, she served on many regional organizations including the Southern California Association of Governments where she was currently serving as the First Vice President. In 2012, Governor Brown appointed Chair Ramirez to serve on the Commission on State Mandates.
Before being elected County Supervisor, Supervisor Ramirez proudly served on the Oxnard City Council between 2010 and 2020, including eight years as Mayor Pro Tem. During her tenure on the Council, Supervisor Ramirez championed social and environmental justice, government accountability, and economic vitality.
In 1978, Supervisor Ramirez began her career as a legal aid attorney in Ventura County. She represented low-income individuals and families before the government and the courts through the legal aid program. The program later became Channel Counties Legal Services where Ramirez served as Director until joining the Superior Court to run the Self-Help Legal Center in La Colonia.
Throughout her legal career, she mentored youth, law students, and lawyers interested in advancing social and environmental justice issues. Many of these individuals now have successful careers across the country.
Raised in Pico Rivera, one of seven siblings, Supervisor Ramirez is survived by her husband Roy Prince, five siblings, and her two stepsons.
Supervisor Ramirez felt deep pride for the Oxnard and District 5 community. Her legacy lives on through the lives and work of the many whom she inspired.
Public memorial ceremony and college scholarship fund
A public memorial event is being planned by her family to be held in the fall. Chair Ramirez’s family also intends to establish a college scholarship fund in her honor. Plans for the memorial and fund are still being developed and additional details will be shared as they become available.
Remembering Supervisor Ramirez’s leadership and public service
The County of Ventura is profoundly grateful for Supervisor Carmen Ramirez’s honorable service to District 5 and the Ventura County community. We join our community in grieving the tremendous loss and honoring Chair Ramirez’s momentous leadership and legacy. May her soul rest in peace and light forever.