The story of Oscar Rodriguez’s early connections to Huntington Beach are not much different amongst thousands of working-class residents who work multiple jobs or commute long hours to make ends meet.
Oscar was born in East Los Angeles and spent the first four years of his life there. His father commuted to Huntington Beach every day for work in a local manufacturing company. After commuting for many years, his family relocated into a small two-bedroom apartment in the Oak View Community often referred by many local residents as the “slater slums”. Moving to Huntington Beach was the best decision his parents have ever made, living in a small but resilient community in Huntington Beach bounded by 8.5 miles of beautiful coastline allowed Oscar to develop a passion for advocacy. Since then, he has called Huntington Beach his home and continues his advocacy in various ways. Oscar’s father continued to work for that manufacturing company until 2010, when the company was sold to new owners who outsourced his position.
Oscar attended local public schools and became the first in his family to graduate from high school and he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Oscar’s advocacy took off in 2015 when he co-founded Oak View ComUNIDAD, a local grassroots group that focuses on directly addressing the needs of individual neighborhoods throughout Huntington Beach. Oscar and his neighbors took on the city’s transfer station, which operated an unenclosed just yards from his local elementary school and community. With the help of the Ocean View School District's legal team, teachers and community members, Oak View ComUNIDAD achieved its first victory: the city’s trash hauler settled a lawsuit and had to retrofit their facility and pay millions in fines. In addition, Rainbow contributed 4 million dollars to build a school gym for the students and community to enjoy. Oak View ComUNIDAD played an important role in educating community members on how to properly file a complaint with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), how to do their own air testing, and to speak up at city council meetings.
One of Oscar’s most recent victories also includes fighting against the Poseidon Desalination plant, in partnership with many local residents and organizations. This facility would have been detrimental for residents in the South East Huntington Beach area who already suffer from the high industrialization along our coast. This 1.9 billion dollar facility would have taken public money for the benefit of Wall St. investors. Desalination should definitely be part of our future water infrastructure and if any county is more prepared to take on a drought, it’s Orange County. We already recycle close to 130 million gallons of water per day, in addition to our groundwater basin.
As Huntington Beach continues to grow, the community spirit that convinced Oscar’s parents to relocate to this beautiful city, must continue to ensure a vision that every policy, decision making, and action is fair, equitable and just for all residents.
Oscar is currently on the Huntington Beach Planning Commission and was appointed by Councilmember Moser in 2021. He oversees development projects and ensures they comply with the city's general plan and zoning laws.
Oscar is a board member at the South Coast Air Quality Management District Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which advises the district on environmental justice issues in local communities.
Oscar is currently an Asset Manager for Orange County Community Housing Corporation, a affordable housing non-profit overseeing hundreds of units throughout Orange County.
Oscar has been the Operations Officer for the Oak View Youth Soccer League in Huntington Beach since 2005. The OVYSL provides affordable soccer opportunities for socioeconomically disadvantaged youth. Oscar plays a pivotal role in building relationships with community groups in order to provide these opportunities to local children. OVYSL's operations have been placed on hold due to COVID19.
Oscar continues to volunteer with Oak View ComUNIDAD where he focuses on a broad spectrum of issues that affect the local community such as housing discrimination, immigration rights, tenant protections, code enforcement compliance and more currently, food insecurity.
In 2013, Oscar received the Spirit of Volunteerism award from OneOC for volunteering hundreds of hours in his neighborhood while in high school with a local nonprofit.
In 2016, Oscar was named one of Orange County’s “Most Influential” for his work in Co-Founding Oak View ComUNIDAD.
In 2016, Oscar received the Environmental Justice award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for his work with community members during the battle with Rainbow Environmental Services.