By Anne Anderson, Conference Coordinator
Our most recent Conference in Ventura on October 12 was very successful, despite the fact that so many of our out of town attendees were cut off by the various fires that flared up the day before. Sadly, President Linda Nye and her husband Joe, Zone B VP Ron Hulsey and his wife Debbie, and State Secretary Carol Brinkman were not able to come, and Matt Weise from HCD was trapped by road closures in Riverside. However, Zone C VP Mary Jo Baretich picked up GSMOL attorney Bruce Stanton at the airport in Burbank and they arrived on time. We began by honoring Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson with an award for her many years of support for MH owners, after which she delivered a rousing speech, followed by the unfurling of an HBJ campaign banner about ten feet wide that former GSMOL PAC Committee Chair Ron Faas had brought down from Santa Maria. He had also brought one of the campaign signs that the late Jim Richard of Chapter 49 used to make, which the Senator posed with.
This was followed by Bruce’s “MRL 101”, in which he touched upon many of the issues that are of concern to the audience members (who came from 38 different parks in 14 different cities).
We were then served a delicious lunch by the Ventura Super-Chapter and ate on picnic tables in the courtyard. Bruce met with groups of residents, which Co-Coordinator Jill Martinez had made appointments for, during the lunch hour.
After lunch Bruce took the stage again and substituted for the missing Matt, giving an HCD update which included the MPM, the audit, and the MRLPP. He then took HCD questions and answered most of them quite well. In some cases he simply had to say “I’m not HCD”.
As usual, between Mary Jo and me we had two tables full of informative handouts, Californians, membership forms, etc. The audience at this Conference (about 200) were mostly members, so we didn’t get any signups AT the Conference, but this has been a pattern at some of our Conferences – people have gone home and signed up a lot of new members (and even formed Chapters) as a result of a Conference.
And the Ventura Super-Chapter is really invigorated. They are already talking about next year!!