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Perez says family inspires him to run for office

First published in the Moorpark Acorn.

Bernardo Perez said it’s his family that inspires him to make the county better for future generations.

“It’s with them in mind that I continue to do my part to improve the surroundings and make this a better place to live,” said Perez, who, with his wife of 52 years, Victoria, has three children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. “As great as our area is, we can always strive and we should always strive to improve, and that’s what I always seek to do.”

Last month, the Ventura County Community College District trustee announced his decision to run a second time for the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in 2022.

Perez, 72, moved to Moorpark in 1970 and began participating in several neighborhood councils to contribute to the growth of the city. He was eventually encouraged to run for City Council, serving 12 years on the dais, including one term as mayor.

“Every step of the way, people have come to me and asked me to consider running for this office or that office, and I say that with sincere humility but a little bit of pride because it tells me that people like what they see in me as a person,” he said. “When asked, I’ve answered the call.”

The opportunity to address the needs of residents has continuously validated his decision to answer that call, no matter how challenging, Perez said.

He previously ran for the Board of Supervisors in 2018, losing the District 4 seat to Bob Huber—who, he claims, no one could have beaten.

After Huber announced in June he wouldn’t seek a second term on the board, Perez decided to run again.

A spot on the board would increase his ability to effect change, he said, which he believes is needed now more than ever.

District 4 includes Moorpark, Simi Valley, and the unincorporated areas surrounding the two cities. It includes about 164,000 residents, though its boundaries will be redrawn following the recent census.

“I love Ventura County, but I’m concerned for its future,” Perez said.

Due to stagnant wages and the growing cost of living in the county, the opportunity for younger generations to live where they grew up is diminishing, Perez said. He wants to do everything he can to ensure others can enjoy the same chances he had.

As county supervisor, he said his top priority would be to advocate for affordable housing, especially for families, farmers, seniors, and those with special needs.

If elected, Perez said he would continue to “seek to understand the other person” and be a “consensus builder,” recognizing various needs and finding a solution that would address them all.

“I think I’m the best-prepared candidate,” he said. “We can see a clearer path to victory this time than last time.”

To date, two other individuals have also expressed interest in representing District 4 on the county board of supervisors: Longtime Moorpark Mayor Janice Parvin and Simi Valley resident Dean Kunicki.

Parvin, 67, previously served on Moorpark’s planning commission, its parks, and recreation commission, the Ventura Council of Governments, and the League of California Cities.

Kunicki, 76, owns a business and development consulting firm. He is vice chair of the Ventura County Taxpayers Association, past chairman and board member for the Ventura County Board of Education, and was a member of the Simi Valley Planning Commission from 1992 to 2000.

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